What A Rush!
Skydiving can be an intense experience. What happens when you're done? For some people, the mere thought of their skydive gets their heart rate up and the adrenaline going again, even days or months after they jumped! They want to tell all their friends about it (several times) and show their video to anyone who will sit still long enough. Other people report that the rest of their life seems so easy compared with the experience of skydiving. This can be a very positive thing; if you can jump out of a perfectly good airplane, you can do anything! Many people skydive to face their fears—of heights, flying or any other number of things. Once they jump, they realize they can face other fears in their life, too. So, what do you do with this newfound passion? Should you quit your job, move to a drop zone and skydive for the rest of your life? Some people do, but that's certainly not the only option! Many people are weekend jumpers or skydive only a handful of times each year. It's something that each person needs to decide how it fits into their life.
Congratulations on making your first skydive! You’re now part of a special minority of the population—not many people have what it takes to go to a drop zone and actually jump out of an airplane! All of us who skydive know exactly how you feel now. It was the most exhilarating and liberating thing you have ever done—EVER! Since the day of your first jump, the sky is bluer, the grass is greener, people are more interesting, and life is better. Now what? Well, you can live the rest of your life with the memory of your first jump, refreshed occasionally by the DVD and photos of that day. But before long, that exhilarating feeling will begin to fade. Colors will begin fading, too, and you’ll settle back into your life’s routine. But you don’t have to. You can keep skydiving. You can have that heart-pounding, life-affirming exhilaration every time you jump, which explains why many people (who only planned to make one jump) take up skydiving as a sport, hobby and even lifestyle. Remember all those happy, laughing, playful people you saw at the drop zone? They were once in the very same position. They made a first jump ... and then continued.
Moving On To Jump #2
So, you’re ready to give it another go? You have essentially the same options for your second jump as for your first. Your local drop zone may offer some or all of these options. If your first jump was a tandem, you can make another tandem, this time as a training jump, and have it count toward your student progression. On a training tandem jump, you’ll pull the ripcord, and you’ll receive training from your instructor on freefall and canopy skills. You can also choose an Accelerated Freefall jump. In AFF, you’ll wear an individual parachute system. Two certified instructors will jump with you, holding on to your harness in freefall. You’ll then deploy your own parachute and have a solo canopy descent with radio assistance to help guide you to a safe landing. Use our online tool to learn more about the AFF program. Some drop zones also offer static-line or instructor-assisted deployment (IAD) training. In these methods, you’ll wear an individual parachute system. You’ll climb out of the airplane, and as you exit, either a tethered lanyard or your instructor will deploy your parachute for you. You’ll then have a solo canopy descent with radio assistance to help guide you to a safe landing. Use our online tool to learn more about the static-line and IAD training programs. Can't decide? Quickly compare the various methods with our useful chart. For supplemental training, take a look at our online ground school. (Note: This is not a course that can be used as complete training for any of your skydives.)
Earning Your Skydiving License
After your second skydive, your next goal should be to earn your skydiving A license—essentially your "Pass Go" card. Your skydiving license is your credential to jump at virtually any drop zone in the world. USPA has been issuing skydiving licenses for over 50 years. It starts with your USPA A license, which you can earn after only 25 jumps and completion of a proficiency card signed by your instructor. Regardless of which training discipline you choose, USPA’s training program advances students through eight categories of proficiency to qualify them for a USPA A license. Each student completes a series of required skills and knowledge sets in each category. At the end of each category, a student in any training discipline will have achieved similar skills and knowledge. The online Skydiver's Information Manual is a great resource to learn more about USPA’s student training program. Your A license says you are a safe, competent skydiver. It allows you to rent gear and jump at most drop zone locations in the U.S. It is also the first stepping stone to more advanced skydiving licenses. So get started now! Earn that USPA A license and begin to discover all that skydiving has to offer!