Tandem Sky Diving in California - What to Expect
You may already know a little about the tandem skydive. You may have seen it on YouTube, or maybe you found it on an adventure trip, extreme sports, or bucket list website. If you have never experienced it, though, you will be interested in learning more, so read on! Just keep in mind that while your tandem jump will be very similar to what's described here, each skydiving jump is unique.
On the day of your sky diving lesson
- Wear comfortable pants(jeans) and a t-shirt if it's hot and a sweatshirt (please, no hoodies) if its cold.
- Wear comfortable closed toed shoes. No shoes/boots with open hooks.
- Your arrival time is the time on your email. Your class time will be up to a half hour to an hour after your arrival time.
- Everyone must be over 18 years old and under 200 Pounds. We can usually take people that weigh up to 240 pounds for an extra charge. Make sure you ask about it on the phone.
- We call the person that made the reservation for every group the day before the jump to remind them. If you do not get a phone call from us the day before your jump please call us as we may not have your phone number correctly or may not have your reservation correctly.
- Please make sure you check your e-mail and phone messages the day of your jump as we may call you to give you weather advisories.
- Make sure you gave us a phone number you will be able to answer on the day you will be jumping.
Why do we want to take you skydiving?
We love to skydive and we love to share it with people! Skydiving is our passion, and we're sure you'll experience that passion when you skydive with us. When you arrive, you'll be greeted by a Skydive Coastal California staff member with a friendly smile and a handshake of introduction, although you may have to wait for your handshake to be delivered from 2 miles high! Be assured we have a great safety record and an excellent customer service record.
Making a Skydive Reservation
Be sure to state if you are over 200 pounds at the time your reservation is taken, because the maximum weight limit changes based on time of year. When your reservation is taken, you will be asked to arrive at a specific time for your scheduled class. You should also receive a confirmation call the day before your jump.
Helpful hint for making a reservation: Always provide a phone number where you can be reached on the day before and the day of your jump. Also, please check your e-mail the night before and the morning of your jump. We will need to tell you if weather or other circumstances may change your scheduled jump time.
Arriving at the Skydiving Dropzone
Plan to arrive at the drop zone on time for your scheduled class to allow time for paperwork and the use of our bathroom facilities. If you are the first group of the day, the manager and jumpers may be arriving at the same time. If you are early, you may even beat them there! Just sit tight, relax, and be assured they will arrive soon and be ready to go!
Your Sky Diving Class
Your skydive instruction will take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the number of people participating and the number of questions asked. The information and instruction is pretty straightforward, and we think you will grasp it fairly quickly, but we will take as much time as you need.
We usually place 4 to 6 people in a class, although we typically take only 2 people at a time up in the plane. After you have completed your class, you may have the opportunity to watch one or two groups skydive before you...or you may jump first! We teach four to six people at a time in order to offer tandem jumps to a more optimal number of people which keeps the cost as low as possible for you, and allows everyone to stay on schedule. This efficiency in both time and money is good...both for you and us!
Your group will probably be done skydiving about two hours after the completion of the class, although we recommend that you do not plan any special dates right after your jump since there is always a possibility for a weather delay.
Gearing Up: Your Sky Diving Equipment
When you gear up, the harness should fit comfortably and snugly around your body. Feel free to ask questions about the harness fit. "Is this tight enough?" is our most common question. Usually the answer is "no", simply because we are not done yet. But ask anyway if you are concerned. We love questions!
We like tandem skydives because we enjoy giving you your first skydiving experience, and anything we can do to make it more fun and more comfortable for you will be great for us! Questions are always welcomed.
Approaching and Boarding the Airplane
When walking to the airplane: Stay next to your instructor. If your family wants to take pictures you should let your instructor know before walking to the plane.
We have a great safety record and we strive to maintain that. Even experienced pilots have walked into spinning propellers so don't be surprised if your instructor is holding onto you during your walk to the airplane. They may ask you to walk on the other side of them to protect you from this. An educated passenger or skydiver will always approach the airplane from the back even when the engine is turned off. This will demonstrate your familiarity with aircraft and airports, and make your pilot very happy.
Your instructor will tell you where to sit. If you can't see out the window very well just let them know after take off and they may be able to help you move for a better view. We have the best view in the country and we want you to enjoy it.
Your Skydive Flight
At about 3000 feet (3 minutes after takeoff), you will start your scenic flight over the Pacific Ocean. You will see Catalina, Downtown Los Angeles, the Channel Islands and a very long stretch of the SoCal Shoreline. We have the most beautiful skydiving view in California. Don’t forget to ask about your in-flight meal...free with every skydive (just kidding)!
At 5000 feet, your instructor may show you his altimeter and tell you this is the altitude he will be opening the parachute. Enthusiastic first timers may be able to pull the parachute themselves, so if you are interested be sure to ask.
Finally, over two miles above the ground, your instructor will ask you to assist him in getting ready for the skydive. You will know it's time to go when the door opens and the wind comes whirling through the plane.
Right before you jump the camera will be pointing at you as you look back into the plane at your friends. READY... SET... GO!!!!!! Don’t forget to smile. 120 MPH freefall for over 40 seconds! You'll feel like you are flying and the video camera will capture it all.
When your parachute opens, you will feel the wind stop. Then you will peacefully float down from 5000 feet. Your parachute ride will last about 7 minutes. You can steer the parachute and ask your instructor questions about the jump. Remember to look around at all the beautiful scenery, but don’t worry if you miss something because our video will capture it.
You will be surprised at the ease with which you land your parachute. Your landing will feel as if you are stepping off of your front porch.
After your jump, be sure to enjoy some refreshments at the Waypoint Cafe, which is the most delicious airport cafe we have been to.
Next, you will want to try our Accelerated Freefall. Schedule your jump today!