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If you’re getting ready to make your first skydive, you probably have quite a few questions! If you’re considering jumping with us, we encourage you to read through the tandem skydiving FAQ we’ve compiled below. Reviewing this information will help you feel more confident and relaxed about your upcoming experience and will ensure that you’re ready both mentally and physically on your big day!
If you need further clarification or would just like to speak with someone, please don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (920) 568-1700. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have!
If you feel butterflies in your stomach when you think about jumping out of an airplane, skydiving is definitely for you! If you’re on the fence, we’ve got a heap of articles that tell you all about Why you should Skydive.
Skydiving is like any other extreme sport: there are inherent risks and avoiding them requires careful training and execution. Failure to follow that training can lead to serious injury. Skydiving is as safe as individuals make it. On our part, we provide the latest equipment, highly experienced staff, a comprehensive training program, and a lot of back up systems.
Yes, gift certificates are available for any amount. We guarantee this will be a once in a lifetime present that will never be forgotten. They are refundable within 30 days (less a $15 processing fee) and are transferable. They do not expire and can be purchased online or over the phone.
Jumping solo on your first skydive is highly overrated. Think about it – would any pilot in training want to receive ground training and then hop in an airplane and go fly around by themselves? Of course not! At Wisconsin Skydiving Center (just like at most advanced skydiving centers throughout the United States), you will be harnessed to your instructor on your first jump, referred to as a tandem jump. You are on the front so it may very well feel like you are on your own, but you have your instructor with you as backup. Only one tandem is required and it counts towards your licensing requirements if you want to learn how to skydive. It is a great introduction and after doing a tandem you will know if skydiving is indeed the sport for you.
Our instructional class lasts for one hour.
There is no roller coaster feeling when you jump out of the airplane. The sensation of freefall is more like flying than falling, and is intensely exciting and liberating. The parachute flight is quiet and inspiring; however, if you like roller coasters, ask your instructor and he/she can kick your canopy ride up a notch!
It will take 15 minutes to climb to altitude, you will freefall for approximately one minute, and you will fly your parachute for 5 to 7 minutes.
The average size person freefalls at a speed of 120 mph. The heavier the person, the faster the freefall. The descent rate under parachute is about 1,000′ per minute.
Most landings are quite soft with many people doing stand-up landings. Sometimes, especially on calm days, the forward speed of the parachute will provide you with a “sliding” landing through the grass. Your instructor will ask you to pick up your feet so that he may touch the ground before you. Read up more on the experience in our blog post “What is a skydiving landing like?”.
At WSC, we use only the very best equipment. All our parachute systems are equipped with main and reserve ram air (square) canopies. Square canopies are superior to older style round canopies in their opening reliability, maneuverability, accuracy, and landing performance. This informative article on “How Parachutes Work” provides more context too.
Although it is very unlikely that your main parachute will fail to open properly, it can occur and this is a common question. On every jump, we are equipped with a main and a reserve parachute as a back up. In addition, all of our reserve parachutes are equipped with an Automatic Parachute Deployment system (commonly referred to as a CYPRES or AAD). This unit will automatically deploy the reserve parachute should the jumpers be unable to.
We have taken people with many different disabilities. We have some of the most experienced Tandem Instructors here at WSC. If you have a special requirement, please contact us so we can discuss your particular situation. In most cases, we can make your dreams of flight come true! If you have a special health restrictions, please contact your doctor.
Yes. Our weight limit is 260lbs. However, students that weigh over 200 lbs need to be aware of the following restrictions:
200-230lbs +$50 surcharge — exit altitude 8,000′
230-260lbs +$100 surcharge — exit altitude 8,000′
The reason for the altitude restrictions is that with increased weight, terminal velocity is higher and therefore the parachute deployment is harder which in turn increases the possibility of parachute damage – we are minimizing this risk. The lower the altitude, the slower the speed (terminal velocity), and the slower the opening.
The reason for the surcharge is that heavier students put more strain on our equipment and are more demanding on our instructors during exit, opening, and especially for landing. Our instructors are experienced enough to safely skydive with heavier students, however, it is fair to pay them more for a higher workload.
Read up more on skydiving weight limits.
You must be at least 18 years of age to skydive within the United States. However, there is no maximum age limit. Our oldest student to date was 86 years young.
As far in advance as you can, especially if you have a large group that wants to jump with you. However, if you get the urge at the last minute, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll do our best to fit you in.
We suggest arriving with your skydiving friend / loved one. We encourage spectators to sit through the tandem ground school as they are more a part of the experience that way.
Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what time your skydiving friend will jump until everyone who is signed up in a time slot has arrived. We match them up with the appropriate instructor and accommodate video orders, requests to be paired up in the plane, and various other inquiries.
Please understand that it is very difficult for our team to answer calls from family and friends, as we are busy attending to our tandem students. We suggest you contact your skydiving friend directly and not the skydiving center if you have questions about weather, directions, what time they are scheduled, etc.
You will need a valid government issued photo ID. You will also need to wear gym shoes. And by all means – bring lots of family and friends to cheer you on! We have an awesome spectator area with barbecue grills, picnic tables and a shaded terrace to ensure everyone’s comfort.
Plan on spending a half-day, unless you are part of a big group, in which case plan on spending the whole day. Skydiving is dependent on weather factors so don’t make any plans for after your jump unless they can be postponed if necessary. Weather conditions and schedule permitting, you can easily train and jump the same day – or even make a second and third jump!!!
Don’t assume that the weather is going to be bad and that you won’t get to jump. Forecasts are generic, and historically have been inaccurate. We have jumped on many days when, according to the forecast, we were not supposed to. If you have any weather concerns, please feel free to call us the day of your jump to check on the weather conditions in Ft. Atkinson.
No outside cameras are permitted on your skydive due to safety reasons. There are no exceptions. The United States Parachute Association mandates that skydivers have a minimum of 200 jumps prior to taking a camera into freefall.
Yes, in fact about 95% of our first time students request a video of their skydive. Our expert freefall videographers will capture your entire experience: your training, gear up, boarding the airplane, the ride up to altitude, your exit, parachute flight, landing, and of course the best part…. FREEFALL! That’s right, your videographer accompanies you through freefall and captures your expressions as you fly at 120 miles per hour!
For a professional quality video, we use state-of-the-art digital video equipment and edit the footage from your skydive in our studio to make a mini motion picture of your skydive. All this is done in only 20 minutes so you get to relive your skydive right away on our big screen TV, with your family and friends. Every time you watch this video, or show it to your family and friends, it will bring back the excitement! You make your first skydive only once, capture it and relive the moment!
*We are so certain you’re going to love your video that we offer a money back guarantee if you’re not absolutely delighted with it!
Unfortunately no – the time/distance gap between jumper exits precludes a camera person from being able to film more than one student at a time.