So you are sitting at your computer asking yourself, how do I get started? Well here's your answer.
It's not cheap, and it's not quick, but it's the most worthwhile decision you will ever make for yourself. There are lots of ways to go, the best of course, would be coming here to FlyteSkool at Skydive Deland and just get going. We also know that's not possible for everyone, so here's some information to help you make the best decisions to get into the sport.
Tandem / AFF Progression
Most every DZ (Drop Zone) in the US offers Tandem Jumps, as well as AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) training. Tandem Jumps are a great way to get over the initial fear we all have the first time we jump out of an airplane, and will allow you to focus on the task at hand in your AFF training rather than being afraid of the door and what's going to happen next. AFF training was developed by our partner, Skydive University, and has been around since the 80's. It was adopted long ago by the USPA (United States Parachute Association), and is the main training methodology accepted worldwide. This progression training takes you up to all the skills you need to become a licensed skydiver, and normally takes around 8 jumps, and on average run around $1500ish, depending on your performance and the school you attend. Your first Solo jump is around jump 7 or 8, and remaining jumps are normally done with a coach to improve your skill level. This basically teaches you just enough to start learning about how to actually skydive, & not die. Focusing on the activity at hand, not just trying to be stable and open your parachute at the right time, and being able to land in an area smaller than the size of an entire airport comes with more practice than just this. Once you graduate AFF (after your first solo jump), you then have to begin renting gear as you do your skydives as well.
Wind tunnel training is a great tool for beginning skydiving training. It can help you focus your abilities to be able to perform in a free fall environment with more skill and ability, more quickly. We offer this program to assist the new skydiver in their ability to perform their skills in free fall from the first jump on. We try not to focus too much on the wind tunnel, but use it as a tool to help the jumper build confidence more quickly, and perform at a higher level sooner than they would in the air without it. Base price for TAFF package (no extra coaching jumps) is around $2800, with extra coaching (coach on 9 more of your first 25 jumps) for around $3400. Gear rental is covered for your AFF jumps, but is not included in your solo jumps.
Now you have your “A” license & about 25 jumps, and the skydiving world opens up to you. You can go now jump on your own, make new friends and jump with them, and begin to have the time of your life!
Renting / Buying gear
Once you have your license, now you have to figure out how to get in the air more often! Most DZ's have rental gear for new jumpers to rent on a daily / per jump basis. This can be expensive. The DZ's only have so much gear to use for their students, and if you are renting it for the day they can't rent it to anyone else. So it's not cheap, & normally around $30-$35/jump, or $75 daily. Not to mention, you still have to pay for each jump ticket, which at most places are around $25 for you, so on average as a licensed jumper at most DZ's when renting their gear, you will wind up spending around $100 to do one jump, & still have to have it packed by the packing mat to return it at the end of the day, $7. In this case it's best to do as many jumps as you possibly can in one day until you have your own gear, but you also must realize that as the weather changes, you may only get to do one jump or none at all because it's too windy, or any one of a million other factors. Lets just say you do this two weekends out of the month, that would be 4 days out of the month you will be renting gear, and paying to do say 2 jumps per day, is $500 for 8 skydives. If you want to jump every weekend, that would be 8 days of jumping, just in gear rental that's $600. Especially if you want to jump more often, or you want to do all your training as quickly as possible, you quickly come to the conclusion that it is best to own your own gear, when your only option is to rent from your DZ.
This also presents it's own problem. As you progress in your skydiving experience, you will learn that the gear you start jumping, is not the same size as the gear you should be jumping as you learn to fly your parachute. To put it plainly, you start out driving a Ford Escort. By the time you have 150-200 jumps, you will be wanting to fly something like a Ford Mustang, while in the future you may want to be flying a Ferrari, like you see some of the cool guys on the DZ. This means when you buy new or used gear as a newer jumper, you will inevitably be ready for different sized gear by the time you really want what is best for the kind of skydiving you want to do, which you may not even know yet. At this point, you will have to sell the gear you have, and buy either new gear or new used gear that is sized properly for you, and with the particular parachutes you want. Much less, what you want it to look like.
Now the choice becomes whether you buy used gear, that you don't really know much about, from someone you don't really know for a few thousand dollars (depending on what it is), or buy all new gear from whatever top-end manufacturer for around $8000ish with all the goodies you will want, but it's in your size, and in your colors, and exactly what you want. If you have the money, new gear is always the way to go. CLICK HERE. If you don't, the decision, and ability to get into the sport, becomes more difficult. Until Now.
Wouldn't it be a lot better to rent your gear, like you would your apartment or your lease on your car; monthly? And even better, New Top-Of the Line equipment? FlyteSkool is now offering monthly full gear packages for less than it would cost you to go make 5 jumps on 5 different days at your home DZ, so you can jump it as much as you want, as often as you want, even if you get weathered out, for less than you can anywhere else. CLICK HERE for more info. :)
Once you have gear and you begin jumping with others, you will quickly be looking for coaches to help you learn the skills in the air that you need before you can safely jump with others. First is RW (Relative Work) jumps where you are jumping belly to earth as you're used to seeing in most normal skydiving pictures, and then Freefly jumps (very high speed, head pointed towards the ground at over 200mph at times, where every body movement makes a big difference), as well as Canopy Coaching to learn to fly your parachute better. Parachute training is by far the most important part of skydiving, because remember, it's that stuff close to the ground that gets ya hurt. If you're already a jumper, and are looking for discipline coaching, CLICK HERE.
Wingsuit training, by law, cannot begin before 200 jumps. There are many good reasons for this, and honestly that number should be higher. SAFE wingsuit flight requires a very high amount of knowledge and skill, that even most jumpers at 200 jumps do not possess. This is our Bread and Butter here at FlyteSkool, and the reason we created the progression program below, ZERO TO HERO. If you're already a skydiver and are ready for wingsuit training, CLICK HERE and see how we do things. If not, keep reading.
ZERO TO HERO
FlyteSkool's Zero to Hero program is unique worldwide. We are proud to offer this custom program designed by us, to take people off the street, as quickly and safely as possible, to flying wingsuits. One of the by-products of this program, is that the graduates normally fly like those with 3 times the experience at 250 jumps, because of the extra coaching and knowledge that is transferred by the instructors when geared towards the overall goal of wingsuit flight. For more information on this groundbreaking training opportunity, CLICK HERE.