Skydiving Tipping Etiquette Explained

Monday, April 24, 2023

Guide to Tipping in Skydiving

Picture this: you’ve just landed from your first skydive (an out-of-this-world, once-in-a-lifetime experience) and you’re getting out of your harness. You look at the person who just saved your life and think, “Man, how can I ever thank them enough?!” There are plenty of ways! Skydiving is a bit of a … unique activity, to say the least. We don’t expect you to know everything — or necessarily anything — about it, and we can assure you that you’ve already given us enough by allowing us to share our love of the sky with you. But, let’s get to the question you came here for: do you tip skydiving instructors? And if you do, how much do you tip skydiving instructors? Is it expected? We’ve got you covered. Let’s get into it!

calculate time in freefall

Tipping in Skydiving is Never Expected, Always Appreciated

Skydiving instructors and videographers at Skydive Carolina are fairly and squarely paid for their professionalism, safety-oriented mindset, and overall skills. It takes a lot of training and dedication to pursue skydiving as a career and we make sure that our staff knows they’re appreciated. That being said, everyone loves a tip! If you feel that your experience was tip-worthy, your generosity would definitely be appreciated.

What Makes My Instructor So Great?

Skydivers are awesome. That is all. Nah, in actuality, skydiving instructors have worked extremely hard to be able to attach random people to their bodies and jump out of perfectly good airplanes with them! To even take the tandem instructor course, you must have a minimum of 3 years in the sport of skydiving, at least 500 skydives, a USPA D-license (the highest license possible), and pass a FAA Class 3 Medical Certification. Getting skydiving certified is serious stuff!

skydiving instructor

I Want to Tip my Skydiving Instructor, How Much is Enough?

Simply said, anywhere from $20 to about 20% of the cost of your jump is customary. If carrying cash isn’t your jam, payment apps are quite common and you can always ask your instructor if they prefer an alternative method. Again, anything is appreciated, there is no set amount. Whatever you feel is right will be right!

If coming up with some extra jingle isn’t in the cards, it’s also valuable to give other types of tips, such as a personal note, a raving review about your instructor, and even a genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU.

  • Personal note: Asking us for a piece of paper or even whipping out an old receipt to write your thanks down for your instructor will not go unnoticed! While some good ole moolah may be more practical, something sentimental will be cherished on another level.
  • Glowing review: Leaving an online review for your instructor and the dropzone is the best! Would you trust the food at a restaurant with cruddy reviews? Probably not, but if the reviews were consistently A+ you’d want to experience it! Would you seek out a skydiving instructor with awesome reviews? Yes! A good review goes FAR, showcases our pristine reputation, and can even help your instructor advance in their jumping career.
  • THANK YOU: Giving your instructor a killer high five, fist bump, or hug and showing true gratitude is indescribable! Our days are made when we get to help you experience the beauty of actually flying and a genuine “thanks” warms our hearts.

Should You Tip Your Skydive Videographer?

Thank you for asking about us — says all videographers everywhere! That’s right, although your tandem skydiving instructor is the one to safely get you to the ground, your videographer is right there with you both. They interview you prior to the jump, document you boarding the airplane, your ride to altitude, your exit (woo!), your freefall, and your celebratory landing — they do it all and yet are often overlooked. Don’t forget to include your videographer in whichever way you choose to tip — their day will be made! Your videographer will make you the star of your post-worthy video and will ensure that you have a tangible memory (and top-quality evidence) of your skydive!

skydive videographer

My Experience Wasn’t Awesome, Do I Need To Tip?

Ah! We hate to hear this, but yes, we would still like a tip … on how to be better! If your experience with us was less than satisfactory, we need to know. Our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible skydiving experience for everyone, whether you are a tandem or AFF student, a fun jumper, or someone who has come to watch and hang out. We strive to be a welcome, inclusive, and exemplary model of what the skydiving community is all about. If you see a way that we can improve, please let us know.

To wrap it up, any way of showing gratitude is met with a thankful heart! Tipping is not obligatory but is appreciated. We cannot wait to share the big blue skies with you! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns and BOOK TODAY!

Go Tandem Skydiving

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