When you aren’t sure what to expect when you’re preparing for the unexpected, you’re well served to seek advice from the pros — and skydiving is rich with passionate sages who love nothing more than to share about their sport. Here are seven ways you can prepare for your first skydive:
All skydiving centers – known as dropzones – are not created equal. Before booking your tandem, jump online and do some research. The return on your investment of time is high. First, make sure the DZ (aka dropzone / skydiving center) you’re considering is a Group Member of the US Parachute Association. If it is, you can proceed with confidence, knowing that the dropzone in question meets stringent guidelines for safety and professionalism; if it isn’t, weigh our options. Read lots of reviews (like Skydive Carolina’s reviews), making note of positive and negative comments on safety, professionalism, vibe, amenities etc. Considering others’ feedback gives you important clues while helping you understand the types of questions you should be asking. Make an informed decision.
After you choose your DZ, spend some time wrapping your head around the process. Knowing what to expect, with whom, at what point, why it’s important etc. will help you to relax as you navigate arrival and check-in, training, suiting up, boarding the plane, cruising to altitude, exiting the aircraft, having-the-most-amazing-experience-of-your-life during freefall, coasting through the dream-like sequence of being under canopy, and landing. There are PLENTY of wonder-filled moments to relish in; doing your research isn’t going to spoil the mystery!! Read up on the details so you don’t miss out on the big picture!
An empty belly will send any jitters you’re battling into overdrive, and a full one will have you
bellyaching for a whole different reason. Be thoughtful about what you eat before heading the DZ on your big day. Nourish your body. Wind and rain can stall the fun, and sunshine can make for a super busy day at the DZ. Packing snacks will help you keep calm and grounded while you wait on the green light.
Night-before nerves are totally normal for any big event, and skydiving for the first time is huge. Be kind to your body and take care of your mind as you prep to process all of the amazing new experiences that will come with your first jump. Be careful not to overindulge on food or drink before bed and hit the hay at a reasonable time.
The temperature on the ground isn’t the same as the temps up in the clouds. Dress in close fitting layers so you can be comfortable throughout the day – yoga pants, leggings or sweats are great for the bottom, a T-shirt and long sleeved shirt on top are perfect, and sneakers won’t let you down. Some DZs offer students a jumpsuit, and our vote is always to take advantage of the offer. Jumpsuits keep your personal threads snag- and grass-stain free and prevent unanticipated “costume malfunctions” during freefall!
The number one regret we hear around the DZ is not getting the photo and video package. Your first-ever skydive is not the time to be Frugal McFrugalson! There is so much awe-inspiring in-the-moment emotion to process, you cannot possibly fully experience or appreciate them unless you capture it all. Plus, it’s social media gold.
Remember to stop and take it all in. Look at the gorgeous views round you, look up (or when it’s your turn, look down!); feel energized by all of the people around you making the same bold decision you have; inhale deep healthy gulps of empowerment and exhale fear and whatever else is holding you back. Harness your gratitude; today you will fly.
When you’re ready to take the leap, come and see us. We can’t wait to welcome you into the family and take you on your first skydive at Skydive Carolina!
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