Spring is upon us! Skydivers are forced to hibernate during the winter months, and the sunshine of spring is a sight for sore eyes. Whether you’ve taken the winter months off, or have kept your skills up to par in the wind tunnel or somewhere with year-round sunshine, let’s get into our top three tips to successfully prepare for skydiving season!
Skydiving is an outdoor extreme sport, which is awesome, but it also means that we’re at the mercy of the weather gods. The temperature and the overall dreariness of the weather during the winter months are what keeps skydivers grounded. We look forward to spring skydiving and summer skydiving because there is a lesser chance of cruddy weather and the temperatures are higher! Yes!
Keep in mind that even though 45 degrees on the ground isn’t too unbearable, the temps decrease as altitude increases. It is way chillier at 10,000 feet than it is on the ground — which makes skydiving a perfect way to cool off in the heat of the summer!
Skydivers are required to have their reserve parachute repacked by an FAA-certified rigger every 180 days — not one day more! It doesn’t matter if you promise a million times and swear on your cat’s life that it’ll be fine — it’s the rules! That being said, chances are high that the majority of skydivers will need a repack at the start of the season, and your rigger will be backed up. Don’t wait! Contact your rigger in advance and give them a good cushion of time to repack your gear and double-check that everything is top-notch.
Another off-season activity to prepare for the first jump of the year is doing a proper gear cleanout. Get rid of the old gum wrappers, water bottles, and all the other junk that has accumulated in your gear bag to clear the way for a fresh start! Take the time to clean the hardware of your gear — which is something that needs to be done more often, anyways! We all know that we won’t take the time during the busy season to do these tedious tasks, get ‘er done now to kickstart the season off on the right foot.
Although many US states pause skydiving in the winter months, our United States Parachute Association (USPA) board members and directors are still hard at work getting us set up for a successful season. Before starting jumping, check if anything has been changed or implemented that directly affects you and how you’ll jump this year.
Double-check that your memberships are up to date! Did you get a new skydiving rating last year? Congrats! If you don’t know when it expires, get on it. It is way easier to renew something like a membership or rating than it is to re-do the entire thing and start from ground zero.
Whether you have been tandem skydiving and want to learn to jump solo or have 50, 500, or 5,000 skydives, it is never too late to set a few goals for the season. Goals give us motivation and can act to help us not fall into the trap of complacency in the sport. Plus, crushing a goal feels awesome! If you and a few buddies need to get a bit better at accuracy, set a goal for five consecutive accurate landings, whoever does it last has to buy the first round. Make it fun! Maybe you want to achieve enough jumps to go after a new rating — set a goal for a certain number of productive jumps every weekend.
If you’ve spent the winter inside and have a “new year, new me” mentality, kick it off with a jump from a perfectly good airplane! We recommend that all of our tandems book early. People are itching to get outside and do something exciting as the weather lets up; reserving your spot early will help secure your place so there’s no rushing around at the last minute! As a tandem student, there isn’t too much preparation that needs to be done before your first jump. Make sure you brush up on our FAQs, meet our basic age and weight requirements, and bring your excited self to the dropzone!
Whether you’re a veteran skydiver or preparing for your very first jump, the initial jump of the season can be a bit nerve-wracking — and big-time exciting! We can’t wait to share this experience with you. Please reach out to us with any questions. Blue skies!