Skydiving is one of those things that’s awesome solo and supremely awesome when your best pals are right there with you. There are some logistics involved in getting everyone where they need to be on the right day, so here’s a cheat sheet of what you need to know about bringing a group.
But first, picture this:
You and your BFFs have booked your tandem at Skydive Carolina and have marked your calendars. The big day finally arrives. Your collective energy on the drive to the dropzone is so electric that it seems like it could propel the car right down the highway.
You attend the training together and you can’t help but meet your friends’ excited eyes across the room. You’re really doing this! Selfies abound as you suit up and wait to board the best-ever flight of your life.
At altitude, you make hand gestures, crazy faces and shrieks of anticipation at each other as you prepare to j-u-M-P!
And then: freefall. Glorious, frigging-amazing freefall. You’re flying. And right across the clouds, above you and below you, your nearest and dearest are flying too.
Your canopy opens and you begin to experience the most peaceful, easy feeling you’ve never known existed. Exhale. You did it. You all did it.
After you land, your brain is buzzing. Your heart is racing. Your memory bank is overflowing. You high five your instructor and sprint across the field to hug your friends. Never have you ever experienced such exhilaration, such a sense of accomplishment, such as intense camaraderie.
THIS is everything you’d hoped it would be, and so much more.
To make sure everyone has a dream-come-true kind of day, here are some things to keep in mind as you plan for grand adventure:
In sweet Carolina, we are fortunate to have big blue skies most of the time … which means busy, booked weekends most of the year. For your whole group to skydive on the same day – or be on the same plane – you’ll need to pin down a date and book your group skydiving in advance.
When you make your reservation, you’ll be able to see the number of slots available at different times throughout each particular day. Keep in mind, though, that the times listed are arrival times – not jump times.
You can hold spots for the number of people in your party, but know that you’ll need to provide their names, contact info, weight, video option, and payment at the time of reservation.
Others who decide to join the party later can cite your Group ID Number and link up with the rest of your crew.
A major perk that comes with group skydiving is a break in price.
At Skydive Carolina, groups of six to 10 jumpers receive $10 off each. Groups of 11 or more get $20 off per person.
A word to the wise: get the video. That money back in your pocket may feel good, but not nearly as good as having proof positive that you came, you saw, and you straight-up conquered at #skydivecarolina.
The chief lament we hear after people jump is, “I should’ve gotten the video!!” You can’t experience your first jump a second time. Instead of should-ing all over yourself, just do the damn thing and rest assured it’s money oh-so-well spent.
(Plus, it’s solid social media gold.)
At Skydive Carolina, we have a fleet of aircraft that includes a Super King Air, which can accommodate 13 passengers, and a coveted Twin Otter, which holds 23. The Twin Otter is everyone’s favorite not only because it can hold big groups, but also because it can achieve jumping altitude in just 15 minutes. Boom.
While bigger aircraft are awesome, they take longer to refuel and to reload. And all of the parachutes that carried the tandem students and videographers safely down, have to be carefully repacked for the next load who’s ready to go up.
Safety is our number one priority; always has been, always will be. Delays due to behind-the-scenes logistics or weather are for good reason. Plan to spend four to five hours with us – and pack your patience, trust in the process, and either bring good eats and cold (non-alcoholic) drinks or grab a bite at Dave’s Dive-In.
Those who hate to wait would benefit from booking an early-morning slot (i.e. 8 or 9 am) when wait times are significantly reduced and the likelihood of your whole group fitting on a single load is high.
And if you’re thinking ahead to the holidays, consider giving the gift of human flight. Whether you’re surprising someone who’ll be over the moon to jump with you and the crew, or you want to pay it forward after you’ve been forever-changed by your first tandem, you’ll be a mega hero and a certifiable badass. (You’re welcome.)
Blue skies, y’all.
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