Published: November 15, 2016
How do you prepare for skydiving? Well, technically all you need is an aircraft and a parachute. The deeper story, of course, is a lot more nuanced than that.
If you're interested in learning how to skydive solo or go skydiving for the first time there are a few things you're going to need to do first. To start, gather up your sense of adventure and your chutzpah to tackle a challenge--then we'll sketch out this journey together.
1. Find a USPA Member Dropzone.
The USPA, or United States Parachute Association, oversees the best practices and safety policies for the sport parachuting industry, including skydiving. Since they were founded fifty years ago (!), the organization has supported the introduction of new technologies to make skydiving safer (and more fun), has offered a proven framework for parachuting instruction and has made sure that its member dropzones operate as safely as possible. Basically, the USPA is your friend as an aspiring skydiver and wants the best for you, so hustle on under its wing. Luckily, there are *loads* of USPA member dropzones around the world. (LISC is a USPA dropzone, naturally!)
2. Get Inspired by the Best.
Today's skydiving world champions started with that one, first skydive. And now look what they can do. When they started, they were nervous, wide-eyed and trying to figure out how they were going to pay for their gear; now, they're on top of the world. (Over the top of the world, as a matter of fact.) In every case, they owe that status to single-minded focus and ragged determination, but just think about how far you can go in the sport of skydiving if you show the same mettle.
3. Strategize for Longevity.
Sure, skydiving isn't the cheapest of hobbies. That said, not every skydiver is a gold-biting trust-fund baby. (Far from it, actually.) There are ways to approach the sport that make economic sense and allow you to chase your dream without overreliance on ramen.
If skydiving is for you and you want to do it full time, the time-honored path is learning to pack parachutes. Packing for cash is the perfect entry point--it teaches you tons about skydiving gear, brings in good money, connects you to the community and allows you to expand into the sport. Talk to the packers on the dropzone about what they do, what it takes and how they do it. They'll be happy to share!
4. Try a Tandem Skydive.
Is 120mph freefall your bailiwick? Is it your apple cart? Is it your jam? You'll have no way of knowing until you try. A tandem skydive will help you feel out freefall and see if it's something you're going to want to dedicate the time, effort and resources to all-out chase. We're pretty sure we know what your answer is going to be, but y'know what? We believe that this getting-to-know-you jump is a key part of the process, and we recommend a low-stress tandem skydive to every aspiring solo skydiver. Read more about top FAQs for tandem skydiving.
5. Tell Everyone You're a Skydiver.
It'll keep you motivated and accountable. Plus, it just sounds good.
"What are you doing this weekend?"
"Going skydiving. You?"
See what we mean?
We'd love to be the ones that open the door to the skydiving stage of your life, you know. Come on over; we'll give you a peek into what it'll be like! (Spoiler: MAJESTIC.) Already know it's for you? Let's get you scheduled to go Tandem Skydiving!