- Info & Pricing
Published: November 23, 2020
Hello future skydiver (that has a nice ring to it!) If you've landed here, it's likely you're thinking about making your first-ever skydive and doing some research to ensure you have the best possible skydiving experience.
You've come to the right place at Skydive OC! Close all those other Google tabs because there is no need to look any further! In this post, we'll share everything you need to know and ensure that you have the best tandem skydiving experience possible.
What Makes a Great Skydiving Experience?
The elements that make up a truly amazing skydiving experience are the following:
As with all things, the ingredients that make up a lifelong memory are the combination of the people involved and the experience itself - these cannot be mutually exclusive. Think best experiences in your life will always involve passionate people who go out of their way to ensure you're having a good time.
The same is true for a great skydiving experience. If the dropzone personnel are going through the motions or, more importantly, if your tandem skydiving instructor is burned out because they are doing so many jumps each week, the passion will not be there and this isn't optimal for the best experience.
This detail of burnout is not something you'll find in any skydiving research - it's where we'll pull the veil back. Within the skydiving industry, there are two pricing models. There's the low-price, high-volume model, or there's standard pricing. The low-price, high-volume approach isn't less safe (this is more dependent on safety culture), but it does take a toll on instructional staff who are in constant motion. While cheaper is better in most cases, skydiving is not one of those.
Here are our recommendations if you want to acquire a good sense of a dropzone's enthusiasm for what they do:
Nothing beats honest feedback from people who have experienced a dropzone before you. Read Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Yelp Reviews, etc!.
Follow Them On Social
You can get a good sense of a dropzone's attitude toward service based on the content they're putting out. An example of this is our friends at Skydive St. Louis or Wisconsin Skydiving Center (and us, of course). If you follow them on social media, you can see how much they love what they do by celebrating their guests' achievements.
Call The Dropzone
Call the dropzone and get a sense of their service. Ask questions and see how you're treated.
Visit the Dropzone
Visit the dropzone in-person before you make reservations, and observe. You'll get a sense of their professionalism.
Ask any skydiver what they consider to be one of the most important elements of a great skydive and they'll tell you, altitude! This may seem contrary, but in skydiving, the higher you can go without the need for supplemental oxygen, the better! The most enjoyable aspect of a skydive is freefall time and you'll want as much as you can get parachuting through the air! Here at Skydive OC, we offer an 8,000-foot option, but if you really want to do this right, plan for the 15,000-foot option - it's completely worth it!
What we mean by "culture" is the culture of safety at a dropzone. The safety culture begins at the very top organizationally and comes into play when a skydiving center is willing to ground operations even at a financial cost. It's hard to research the safety culture of a dropzone, but asking skydivers about an operation and speaking to the owner will give you a sense of what they're all about.
What you see in freefall makes is a big part of the experience! There are lots of great skydiving operators around the world, but the few that have ocean views should be high on your list!
The reason ocean views are rare is because most skydiving centers need to be close to a metropolitan city (or near a large population base) and outside of a major airport in order to operate without interruption. Having a major population base close to the ocean isn't too common, and it's easier to skydive in large open spaces with lots of farmland.
Video and Photos
If you're planning to make a skydive, make sure to add video and photography - photos at the very least. Skydiving should rank as one of the top five experiences of your life, so be sure to get it documented!
Your Prep + Our Prep = An Amazing Experience
Another key factor that affects the outcome of a great skydiving experience is preparation. Of course, we'll need to be ready, but so will you! How you arrive for your skydive both mentally and physically will determine just how great your experience will be. Here's what you need to know:
- Be Stress-free
- Be Hydrated and Without Hunger
- Don't Be In a Rush
The key to getting the most out of your first skydive is to be present. One can't be present if super stressed before the experience even begins! It's not uncommon for guests to be running late for their scheduled skydive and thus feel super stressed upon arrival - this is not a good way to start your life-changing experience! Our advice is to make sure you're on time or a tad early to allow you to be calm, relaxed (as much as possible anyway), and ready!
Be Hydrated and Without Hunger
Not only do we want you to avoid being hangry, but we also want you to be prepared for the surge of adrenaline you'll be experiencing during the jump! If you skip a meal and have nothing to support the adrenaline surge, you will feel nauseous.
Generally speaking, people don't usually get sick when making a skydive, but if they do it's because they chose to not eat out of fear of getting sick. It's counterintuitive, but don't make that mistake. Being hydrated, especially during the summer months is equally important for the same reasons. Eat a nutritious meal, and drink lots of water.
It should also be noted that showing up to a skydive hungover will likely result in you not skydiving at all. Everyone needs to be on their A-game on jump day!
Don't Be In a Rush
Weather delays and skydiving go hand in hand - it happens all the time! It's very possible, even likely, that your scheduled jump may be delayed due to weather. No one likes to wait, but it's part of the sport. If you're in a rush to get somewhere after your jump is supposed to end, this leads to stress which will equate to you not having a great time. Our advice: don't schedule an event right after your skydive is supposed to end as it's possible that you'll be at a dropzone for at least half a day.
You will be feeling a lot of emotions as you prepare for your skydive and that includes a lot of nervousness and fear. When you feel the rush of butterflies, breathe through it. The act of skydiving isn't nearly as scary as you think it will be, but it's very easy to get psyched out by the fear of the unknown.
We hope you have found this post to be helpful! If we missed something, we'd be happy to speak with you to answer any of your questions. Feel free to contact us at any time, or book your first skydive today!