What Is Tandem Skydiving?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

With over 500,000 tandem jumps occurring every year, tandem skydiving is the most common and widely-used method for introducing first-timers to the sport of skydiving. With the guidance of a trained skydiving professional and an hour of training, nearly anyone can take to the skies. On a tandem skydive, the student is attached to a certified skydiving instructor who handles the operation of the skydiving equipment. With all of the fun and only some of the responsibility, tandem skydiving is an expedited way to get first-time skydivers in the air for the experience of a lifetime. 

Tandem skydiver giving thumbs up and instructor blowing a kiss at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee


Interested in learning more? Here’s a comprehensive look at tandem skydiving.

How Does Tandem Skydiving Work?

Similar to a tandem bicycle where two bodies share one bike, on a tandem skydive, two people share one set of skydiving equipment. This means one tandem skydive refers to a single jump with the tandem pair.

How Are Tandem Skydivers Connected?

On a tandem skydive, the student is attached via a harness to a licensed, certified tandem skydiving instructor. The harness has several straps that are fastened securely: shoulder straps on either side, a chest strap, and leg straps. You are attached to the front side of your instructor at four connection points on the skydiving harness: two at the shoulders and two at the hips.

Tandem skydiving harnesses strap around your chest, legs & hips at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Why Is It Important To Have An Experienced Instructor?

Skydiving is an extreme sport, and like any extreme sport, there are risks involved. While the chances of an issue are slim, on a tandem skydive, you want to make sure you have a guide that knows exactly what to do if things do not go according to plan. In essence, your tandem skydiving instructor is there to save your life.

How Much Experience Do Tandem Instructors Have?

Before being paired with a tandem student, an instructor candidate must have accrued a minimum of 500 jumps, four hours of cumulative freefall time (remember, freefall lasts for about 45-60 seconds), have been in the sport of skydiving a minimum of 3 years, and must be able to pass the FAA Class III Medical. In addition to meeting these prerequisites, the tandem instructor is required to attend a thorough tandem instructor course sanctioned by the United States Parachute Association and competently perform skydiving maneuver evaluations both on the ground and in the air. Because of strict requirements for would-be instructors and advanced skydiving equipment, the number of skydiving deaths that occur from tandem skydiving is remarkably low, with one fatal accident occurring per 500,000 jumps over the past decade.

What is tandem skydiving? A first time skydiver preparing to jump out of a plane at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

How Much Training Do You Need For Tandem Skydiving?

Because of the brevity of instruction, tandem skydiving is a perfect fit for first-time jumpers. Generally, the ground training for a tandem skydiving student will take about an hour. That’s it, just an hour of training will get you from sitting on the ground to flying through the sky!

Relive The Experience With Skydiving Photos & Videos

Nine out of every 10 first-time skydiving students get a video of their jump, and it’s for good reason. Our professional skydiving videographers use state-of-the-art video equipment and a lot of skill to capture your experience from start to finish. The footage is edited in-house to make a mini motion picture of your skydive, featuring you as the star! Your film will cover your training, the first nervous moments as you slide on the harness, the palpable anticipation as you ride to altitude in the plane, the exit, and of course, the exhilarating freedom of freefall! It’s a memory you’ll want to revisit and well worth the price.

What is tandem skydiving? at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago


Is Wisconsin Skydiving Center Right For Your First Tandem Skydive?

At Wisconsin Skydiving Center, our staff live and work with our core values in mind:

  • Deliver an amazing experience
  • Treat each other with honesty and respect
  • Be passionate and determined
  • Continuously learn and grow
  • Enjoy the journey and have tons of fun


Because of the dedication of the Wisconsin Skydiving Center staff we have been able to continue to pursue our mission and commitment to safety, community, and fun. The result of our efforts is an unparalleled level of customer service and satisfaction. You don’t have to take our word for it. If you have some time, give our reviews a once over.

These are the words we love to hear: “That’s the best thing I’ve ever done!


Nervous? It’s okay. We all started right where you are now. If you’d like to experience the thrill of a lifetime with a team that is focused leaving you feeling empowered and inspired, schedule your tandem skydive with Wisconsin Skydiving Center today.


For more information on tandem skydiving, check out our frequently asked questions page, or feel free to give us a call!

ARRGH!!! A Pop-Up! (We hate them too)

But this is totally worth it! We won't spam you or waste your time! Sign up to learn more about who we are, what we're about and receive helpful tips to ensure your skydiving experience is the best it can possibly be! We won't waste your time with nonsense... we promise! 

A lady smiles while in free fall during a tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee, WI

You have Successfully Subscribed!