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What You Need To Know About Skydiving For The First Time

Skydiving Tips

Wisconsin Skydiving Center Posted by: Wisconsin Skydiving Center 3 years ago

Although skydiving is often portrayed as a wildly risky prospect pursued by unhinged outsiders, it actually has a lot of rules. Skydivers are very risk-aware, as successful skydiving is all about applying knowledge, experience, science, and technology to jump out of airplanes in the most enjoyable way possible. Then do it again, and again, and again. Like a great many other sports, skydiving has a rabbit hole of highly involved techniques and terminology to navigate that go along with the more obvious and formal procedures you must follow at the very start. Here let us have a look at some of the most important rules of skydiving.

First-time skydiver giving a thumbs up during her tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Milwaukee

First a Word About Being a Skydiving Student

Tandem skydiving has been refined over the years and decades into a very accessible way to experience jumping out of an airplane for the first time. Being harnessed together with an instructor means that you only need to learn the basics, and they will handle the more involved procedures. That said, those basics are important and it is very much your responsibility to engage with the process and get them right. When embarking on a tandem skydive you are not just a passenger, you are very much a student – and however straightforward your tasks actually are, getting them just so helps everything be as enjoyable as possible. Shared responsibility is a big part of the sport, and this starts from jump number one.

And that leads us to some of the most important tenets of skydiving, whether to ensure safety or enhance the experience.

Woman excited and smiling after her first tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Don’t Ever Get Complacent

Your tandem instructor will appear very relaxed, this is because to do this job they must be highly experienced. They will probably tell you bad jokes and seem almost too calm – but really they are aware of everything that is going on and processing all the necessary information. The better prepared you are to go skydiving, the more enjoyable skydiving is. If you look with keen eyes you will notice the procedures, such as everyone doing gear checks before every jump and reviewing their emergency procedures (in the unlikely event they need them), also always approaching the plane from the rear whether the prop is spinning or not – and generally communicating well between everyone about exactly who is doing what and what is going on.

Look After Yourself

You don’t need to be super fit to be a skydiver, but the better shape you are in the more you are likely to get out of it. One of the best things about the sport is that it matters less about your age or weight or height, and more about your attitude and discipline. Getting involved in skydiving can very much change your life, and there are many physical and mental benefits to be gained – even a single jump can have a profound effect on how you exist in the world and face challenges. Being generally healthy will help with completing your first skydive, as it does involve some clambering around to get in and out of the plane in the correct way. Once you are involved, it is entirely possible to become completely hooked, and leaping out of airplanes becomes your motivation to get fit, eat healthily, and properly pursue what this amazing sport can offer.

Skydiving instructor Laura Duffy lifting weights at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Sensible Things & Best Practices

For your first jump, many of the rules involve common sense. Wear some sensible clothing that covers your body (think sport) including shoes that tie up tight. Don’t bring things in your pockets because losing anything in the sky is forbidden. Eat and drink properly as you need energy and skydiving is not going to make you feel sick.

Skydivers have rules for significant milestones. These change a little bit from place to place, but you will get the idea.

  • Just got your license? Big rubber stamp on the forehead.
  • Just passed a hundred jumps? Cake in the face.
  • Jumping naked at some point is also popular – just because it’s fun.
  • First time for pretty much anything (new place/new plane/new parachute etc.) means it is your turn to buy beers for everyone (or ice cream if you prefer).
Skydiving photo montage at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

Lots of the rules are necessary and sensible, but just as many are about the community of people you will find yourself with. The sport of skydiving involves endless things to learn and a great many amazing adventures. It all starts with that first jump, then nothing is ever the same again.