Have you decided to go for that tandem skydive because it’s right at the top of your bucket list? Heck yes! We fully support that; lots of our happy customers leave with a grin of triumph at having checked off that item.
…But perhaps there’s another bucket list hiding behind that single check mark.
If your first skydiving tandem jump sends you head-over-heels in love with freefall, you’ll discover a delightful secret: There are so many awesome things you can do in the sport of skydiving itself. We’ve created a skydiving bucket list to celebrate these things! Once you catch the skydiving bug, you may want to work your way down this list and send yourself on a madcap mission to experience all the things only skydivers get to do. Happy checking!
Item number one, of course, is to get started. That initial tandem jump will give you a taste for it–and send you leaping out of a flying airplane for the very first time. You’ll get a sense of the sensations, camaraderie, and responsibilities involved–and it’ll likely get you definitively hooked.
Pursuing your entry-level solo skydiving license–the USPA A-License–requires some serious commitment, but it’s the challenge of a lifetime. You’ll learn how to use the surfaces of your body to fly–to do twists and flips and zoom forward at a thrilling rate. Also, you’ll learn how to approach other jumpers in the air, to connect with them, and to safely separate when the freefall portion of the jump is done. You’ll learn to pack your own parachute. When you graduate from the program, you’ll be the proud holder of a “golden ticket” that will free you up to jump solo almost anywhere in the world.
With a brand-new license in hand, you’ll be raring to explore the big blue world that has opened up to you. You can join some skydiving friends to concoct super-fun ways to get out of the plane: diving, flipping, or linking up with your buddies to exit in a linked formation. You can even play chase, choosing someone to be the “rabbit” and barreling down to catch up with them and take grips.
Ready to ratchet up the wacky? Try a hula hoop jump. For this one, two people exit the plane holding a hula hoop and then hold it that so that other jumpers can fly through it. The game is to see how many people can make it through the hoop before it’s time to track away. Whee!
On the plane, each skydiver gets a piece of Mr. Potato Head, that classic children’s toy. One jumper gets his face; another, his eyes; yet another, his ears…mustache…shoes…the whole shebang. The “base” of the jump holds his body. After exiting the plane, everyone races to put him together before running out of altitude. (Spoiler: We’re finding hats and noses in the landing area for months afterward.)
Every single day is Halloween on the dropzone. One of our favorite traditions is wearing silly outfits for our jumps. Especially at “boogies” (skydiving parties), you’re likely to see tutus, onesie pajamas and other creative sartorial efforts–so get in on the action. Try to get your friends to do a costume theme jump! How about the cast of “Stranger Things” (don’t forget the Demogorgon!) or a Marvel mashup?
Launching from a hot air balloon is, hands down, one of the most notable skydives you’ll ever undertake. Skydiving from a quiet aircraft with no horizontal speed is totally different than jumping from a plane. No matter how many airplane skydives you have, jumping from a balloon is distinctly, hair-raising different–but it also feels delicious.
Helicopter jumps are another must-have on your skydiving bucket list. Like a balloon jump, the absence of forward speed gives a whole different flavor to the exit–and, on some helicopters, you may even be able to hold on to the rails like a big ol’ monkey. Super-fun.
Talk about complicated! A HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jump requires all the jumpers to breathe supplemental oxygen on the plane ride and dress for some seriously chilly temps, no matter what the weather on the ground. Some HALO jumps can pop up to 26,000 feet, which is double the normal exit altitude at most dropzones. The result: significantly longer freefall and views that actually show off the Earth’s gorgeous curves.
Night jumps are pretty freaky, no matter what your experience level. They’re way out-of-the-ordinary (requiring special clearances to even enter the realm of possibility) and more dangerous than daytime skydives by half (because even regular jumpers at a given dropzone can be thrown off by the elemental change in the visuals guiding them down). That said: night jumps are something most skydivers won’t want to miss doing at least once. Bedecked in an assortment of glow sticks, you’ll watch bright lights on the ground at the dropzone to guide you safely back home.
Y’know those airplanes that featured in old Disney cartoons? The ones with two open-air seats, usually occupied by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, invariably wearing goggles and white scarves? You can jump from one. More to the point: you’ll be able to take off your seatbelt and let go of it as flips upside down, starting your skydive from a sitting position. (Wha-WHAT?!)
Want to go straight from the plane to a beach vacation? You totally can. Because of the winds involved (and, often, the unsuspecting tourists below), this kind of jump tends to require a higher level of solo skydiving license–but how amazing would it feel to land with sand between your toes, and proceed directly to the tiki bar? Pretty darn good.
The capstone bucket-list item for most skydivers also requires the most advanced license: A “demo rating,” which gives the holder the ability to perform exhibitions and demonstrations for crowds. Soaring down into the field in front of a cheering crowd at a sports stadium, towing your country’s flag? Yes, please!
So–what are you waiting for? This bucket list can’t kick off until you make that first jump, so get started today.
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