Skydiving FAQ

Skydiving FAQ

It's completely normal to have questions about your upcoming skydive and we're here to help!

With more than 35,000 jumps between them, our team of highly experienced, expert tandem instructors know all there is to know about tandem skydiving and have answered more skydiving questions than you've even thought of! We're here to make your experience the best it can be, so don't be afraid to ask if there's anything we can answer for you or you simply want to talk through the experience a little more.

We encourage you to browse through the skydiving FAQs below prior to your skydive. If you have questions that aren't answered below, please contact our team via our contact page.

About Us

Why Choose Skydive OC?

Skydive OC is the premier skydiving location for skydiving Maryland and the Washington DC metro area. We welcome thousands of jumpers from around Maryland, Baltimore and DC, as well as further afield, every year.

Located in Ocean City, MD just minutes from the beach, we offer unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland's Eastern Shore, and Assateague Island.

Our expert team is made up of highly experienced tandem skydiving instructors, who have all passed rigorous examination processes and proven their abilities through thousands of skydives each.

^

How Far Are You from Ocean City?

We are actually located in West Ocean City. It's about a 5 minute drive from the boardwalk and 1st Street on Coastal Highway. As the skydiver flies, the airport is approximately 1 mile south of the Ocean City boardwalk, along Assawoman Bay.

^

How Far in Advance Should I Make My Reservations?

We recommend a few days notice during the week and about a week's notice for a weekend appointment. Also, you'll have a better chance at getting a prime time slot the earlier you make your reservation. Often during July and August, the only appointment times available are between 6:30 - 8:30 am and 6 - 7 pm. Larger groups should also give consideration to the fact there may not be a large enough time block available for your group on the day you are requesting.

^

Should I Tip My Instructor?

Your instructors work hard to give you an experience you will not soon forget. Tip envelopes will be provided to you on the day of your jump should you feel you have received exceptional service!

^

Safety

Who is USPA and Are You Rated through Them?

The United States Parachute Association or USPA is the regulatory or governing agency serving skydivers. They are the only such agency in the United States and have set forth standards in skydiving safety and training. Skydiving centers that have pledged to abide by these safety standards are called "Group Members." The Ocean City Skydiving Center is a USPA Group Member and all of our Instructors are Individual Members adhering to the Basic Safety Requirements as dictated by the USPA.

^

How Safe Is Tandem Skydiving?

Statistics on the safety of skydiving are meticulously recorded by the USPA (United States Parachute Association). Tandem skydiving has the best safety record of all types of skydiving. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee. Find out more on the USPA website.

^

How’s Your Safety Record?

While skydiving is definitely an extreme sport carrying an obvious risk of serious injury or death on every jump, we are proud to say that with over twelve thousand tandem skydives, we have not had a single student injury at the Ocean City Skydiving Center. Statistics have proven that skydiving injuries typically occur during a poorly executed landing. The tandem skydiving method employed by the Ocean City Skydiving Center greatly minimizes this risk by the direct supervision of our highly experienced, rated tandem instructors. This adds an unparalleled safety margin as an instructor with thousands of skydives' experience will possess a certain expertise with the parachute during landing.

^

Who Packs the Parachutes?

At the Ocean City Skydiving Center, all main parachutes are either packed by our instructors, our staff FAA certificated parachute rigger, or a directly supervised parachute technician. Auxiliary or reserve parachutes are inspected and repacked every 180 days, per FAA regulations, by our staff FAA certificated parachute rigger.

^

Rules and Regulations

If I Am under 18 Can I Still Jump if My Parents Sign for Me?

Unfortunately, no. The age requirement of 18 is set forth due to the hold harmless waivers every skydiver must agree to and sign. These waivers are only binding if the person signing is at the age or consent, 18, or older. Parental or guardian permission holds no validity when signing legal documents directly related to release of liability regarding recreational sports.

^

What Is the Tandem Skydiving Weight Limit?

There are many factors that contribute to your overall comfort and abiitiy to make a tandem skydive. Your body shape and physical condition are the two biggest factors in determining your ability to fit in a tandem harness properly and safely. Individuals weighing less than 200 pounds generally fit this bill. Students, who do not, sometimes have trouble lifting their legs for landing. There are individuals who weigh over 200 lbs that can be fit in the harness properly, safely, and will not find lifting their legs for landing challenging. Individuals in this category may receive prior instructor approval.

On the flip side, even if you are within the weight limit your Body Mass Index and your body shape may make any skydive more of a risk to you. For this reason, you may still not be able to jump even if you weigh less than 200 lbs. Typically speaking, individuals over 200 lbs and less than 5'5" may find themselves at risk.

^

What if I Weigh over 200 lbs?

It is still possible to receive instructor approval to skydive if you weigh between 200 lbs and 250 lbs.

Additional fees (fuel surcharge and gear fees) apply for all individuals in excess of 200 pounds. The fee is $2/lb over 200 pounds

If you are (1) under 5'5" and over 200 pounds or (2) over 5'5" and over 225 pounds, you will need a pre approval prior to booking. You may obtain this pre-approval by calling in or emailing us. Factors such as age, height, overall physical condition, body shape and combined exit weight will be reviewed before an approval can be made. Preliminary approvals can often be made over the phone but in all cases a final approval can not be made until the instructor has had an opportunity to see the student's build, body shape, and overall physical condition in person.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO APPROVE ANYONE WEIGHING IN OVER 250 POUNDS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

^

If I Have a GoPro Camera or a Similar Small Camera, Am I Permitted to Bring this with Me on My Jump?

No outside cameras are permitted on your skydive due to safety reasons. Even experienced skydivers are not allowed to take these types of cameras on a jump with them until they have at least 500 jumps under their belt. There are no exceptions to this rule.

^

How Much Does Skydiving Cost

Click here for current pricing.

^

Making Your Jump

What Should I Wear?

On a warm day, you should wear shorts and a t-shirt. Female students should consider yoga pants, work out pants, or board shorts. On a cooler day, jeans or sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt are recommended attire. On a cold day, long underwear are recommended and students will be provided with full jumpsuits if necessary. On every jump, sneakers are required footwear.

The goal is to have as much fabric between you and the harness you will be fitted in. For this reason, tank tops, work out tops, sleeveless shirts, and short shorts should be avoided. All female students must wear shirts whose collar line is no lower than a couple inches below your collar bone, no exceptions. Loaner clothing and shoes are available for all students inappropriately dressed.

Keep in mind collared shirts and items with draw strings or zippers will also cause you discomfort as these items get into that 120mph wind.

All jewelry and piercings will be asked to be removed prior to your jump. Save yourself the hassle and keep them safe at home.

Lastly, bring a hair tie and if you have the choice, contact lens' are preferred over your eye glasses.

^

Should I Arrive Earlier than My Scheduled Time?

No. Arrival time is your check in time at time of booking. Even though you have paperwork and training to still complete we are not ready to begin this process until your scheduled check in time. A late arrival however may mean we will not have ample time to get your ready for your scheduled flight. Please keep in mind you will be at the DZ for approximately 3 hours. Be prepared for this as there is some down time between your training and actualy boarding the plane. There is much happening behind the scenes so please be patient and prepare for one of the best experiences of your life!

^

If There Are Two of Us, Can We Pay for One Video to Capture Both of Our Jumps?

This is not possible. Each tandem pair exits the aircraft with about 5-10 seconds of separation out the door to ensure that parachutes will not be deploying in close proximity of each other. Because of this separation it is not possible for your instructor to film another person's skydive.

^

What Height Do We Jump from?

Our typical jump altitude is approximately twelve thousand feet providing a typical 40 second freefall. We do have upgraded jump altitudes available from 15K and 18K feet. We are however forbidden by the FAA to jump through clouds. If there is a cloud layer which prevents us from climbing to peak jump altitude, we offer skydivers the option of a slightly lower skydive under the clouds or to reschedule their skydive to another day.

^

What Happens if the Weather Is Bad on the Day of My Jump?

All payments are non-refundable, but are transferable and valid for one calendar year. In the event that your skydive will have to be rescheduled due to inclement weather, you will have up to one calendar year to do so. If you have a long drive and weather is questionable, all are encouraged to contact Skydive OC by calling 410.213.1319 or texting 443.783.5656 to check on the status of the weather. Phones are answered between 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week.

^

What if I Have to Reschedule My Appointment?

All payments are non-refundable, but are transferable and valid for one calendar year. In the event that you need to reschedule the date, time, or number of people in your party you must give 48 hours notice in order to avoid a deposit forfeiture and be able to apply the payment up to one calendar year.

^

Can You Breathe in Freefall?

The freefall and parachute environments do not cause any difficulty in breathing however some student have commented that it was awkward to breathe during the first few seconds. This is caused not by lack of oxygen but by the surge of adrenaline and excitement of first jumping out of the aircraft.

^

How Fast Will We Be Falling?

Typical freefall speeds are approximately 120 MPH although this can increase or decrease slightly with body size and position.

^

Do We Actually Land on the Beach or in the Water?

Although the water and beach are only several hundred feet away from our target landing area at the Ocean City Airport, we are prohibited from landing on the beach unless special event permission is granted. The designated landing zone is a grassy patch located approximately 300 feet from our spectator deck.

^

What’s the Landing Like?

Several factors come into play when we land a parachute. Most tandem parachute landings are very soft, often times standing up nicely. However this soft stand up style landing cannot be guaranteed and students must be physically fit enough to perform a harder falling down or sliding style landing. Generally, a person is fit to tandem skydive if they can perform some other rigorous sport such as tennis, basketball or racquetball and not injure themselves. Please consult your physician if you have doubts about your physical condition or strength.

^

What if I'm Afraid of Heights?

Many people are hesitant to skydive due to their personal fear or discomfort of heights. A skydiving experience does not equate to being say at the top of a ladder, bridge, or building. You are simply too high up to have any height induced vertigo or dizziness. We are literally over two miles up when we skydive. An individual would no more encounter a fear of heights during skydiving than when flying in a jet liner.

^

How Hard Does the Parachute Open?

Most students would say the parachute opening was not nearly as hard as they anticipated it to be. On occasion, the parachute will open harder than normally expected. Although possible, it is unlikely you would sustain any injuries from an opening. Please consult your physician if you feel you may have a condition where you should refrain from skydiving.

^

Am I too Old to Jump? Or Will My Injury Prevent Me from Jumping?

It's on your bucket list and you're not sure if you waited too long to finally take the plunge? Perhaps. Skydiving is a sport and requires you to be able to engage in at as such. There are certain body positions during the gearing up process, freefall, and landing which are mandatory for you to perform in order to safely skydive. As a fitness test, we ask that you be able to engage in a moderate game of tennis. For agility and endurance, we ask that you feel comfortable jumping from the top of a picnic table without feeling threatened of injuring yourself. Individuals over 55 years of age must be in excellent physical condition compared to others his or her age. If you are nursing an injury involving the knee, back, neck or ankles you may want to discuss your participation in skdiving with your physician. Ultimately, in any event, your instructor has the right to refuse anyone they deem unfit to skydive. We are proud of our perfect safety record and would like to keep it that way!

^

How Long Does Skydiving Last?

Your skydive is made up of three main parts; the airplane journey, freefall and the parachute ride. Here at Depending on the altitude of your jump, Skydive OC, the flight up will take about 15-20 minutes. You'll be in freefall for around 40-90 seconds. Your parachute ride will take about 5 minutes, during which you'll be able to take in the incredible views that have made Skydive OC one of the premier skydiving locations for tandem skydivers.

^

It was simply unforgettable.

» Justyna and Konrad | Read More Testimonials