Talk to experienced skydivers about the best place to learn
Skydivers are a phenomenally friendly bunch and will always be more than happy to give advice to newcomers who are starting out in skydiving, including the best places to go to learn to skydive.
Talk through everything with an experienced skydiver
Your first few jumps you may be a daunting experience but that is only natural. Never forget that every skydiver you meet was a beginner once too so don’t be afraid to ask for any tips or advice as they will more than happily help you in anyway they can.
Sleep well and don’t drink alcohol before a skydiving course
You must be mentally and physically in good shape to undergo any skydiving tuition as there is a lot of information to take on board. Before you attend any course make sure you are well rested and avoid drinking for a few days too as you will need all of your senses at full function!
Don’t rush out and buy all the gear
It is very tempting when trying out any new sport for the first time to rush out and buy all the gear. However, all the equipment you need as a student will be provided. Once you have qualified as a skydiver you can then try the different disciplines or styles of skydiving before investing in the equipment you need to progress in the sport.
Watch some skydiving films
Don’t rush down to ‘Blockbusters’ and hire a cheesy ‘Hollywood’ movie about skydiving! Get hold of some actual skydiving footage – this will really help you to know what to expect and make the whole experience less daunting when you have your first go.
Expect aircraft noise when skydiving
Most of us have travelled overseas on holiday or on business, but the aircraft we will have flown in will be well insulated from the extreme noise that aircraft engines generate. When you skydive for the first few times the sheer noise from the engines coming through the open aircraft door can be daunting — be prepared for it and just block it out.
Consider learning skydiving overseas
Learning to skydive in some countries can be hindered by the weather, especially as there are often very strict limits on wind speeds and cloud levels imposed for novice skydivers. If you want the chance to learn quickly with better weather and often for less money, then consider a course overseas. Once you are qualified you may be able to jump regularly in your own country as it is likely the wind and cloud levels will not be so restrictive.
Visit a wind tunnel before skydiving
Wind tunnels offer an awesome opportunity to rapidly advance your skydiving skills and are a great environment in which to learn. On average the progression you will achieve during a ten minute wind tunnel session will be equivalent to having completed 50 solo skydives!
Experiment with skydiving techniques
Once you have become a qualified solo skydiver, have a go at each of the various disciplines available (described in other sections). Some people will get a buzz from jumping solo, performing mid-air gymnastics or jumping as part of a formation team.
Focus on your skydiving
The most important tip when starting out in skydiving has been left until last, and that is to focus on your jump. When you make your first ever skydive a million thoughts will be crashing through your brain. Just focus on one thought and one thought alone … all that matters is getting a good stable ‘arch’ position as you exit the plane. As you approach the door that is all you should think about and you will enjoy the perfect skydive.