9 Things to Expect When Doing a Tandem Skydive

A tandem skydive is when a skydiving instructor is connected by a harness to the skydiving student. This is so the instructor can instruct the student during the entire diving process. This is the most common training method used in skydiving because the expectations from the student are very minimal, making the student feel safer.

Before you begin a tandem skydive, you will notice that the equipment is different than that used in a traditional skydive. For instance, a drogue parachute is used, whereas a regular skydive does not require this parachute. This parachute will deploy shortly after leaving the plane in order to slow down velocity. The main parachute is also larger. It can range from 360 square feet and above. This is necessary because the parachute must support two people instead of one and, as usual, there is a reserve parachute as required by the FAA with an automatic activation device to deploy the parachute in case a skydiver is in a free fall below a specific altitude.

Here are 9 other things to expect when doing a tandem skydive:

1. Before you engage in a tandem skydive, you will need to sign a waiver form.

2. After meeting your instructor, you will then have to put on some gear. This gear includes a jumpsuit, goggles, and a harness. The harness is not usually used on solo skydives. The harness is specific to tandem sky diving. The instructor then outlines specific rules that include how to exit the plane and the proper body form when diving.

3. You will be taken to the desired elevation for a skydive. The plane’s door may be open so that you can easily make the dive. You will need to jump at a specific time because the landing spot is specific. You can’t jump too soon or too late. Expect this ride to last an average of 20 minutes and it will most likely be cold and loud.

4. You can also choose your jumping height, which is usually between 9,000 and 14,000 feet.

5. Expect the jump to be more of a roll than a jump. You and your instructor are sitting on the floor of the plane, so you will slowly inch toward the door until you are sitting on the edge. When it’s time to execute your tandem sky dive, the two of you will roll out of the plane so that you can assume the diving position.

6. The instructor will tell you to arch your back, giving your body a banana shape. This allows you to keep your center of gravity. Your instructor will be attached to the back of you.

7. Tandem skydiving seems as if it doesn’t take long. If you jump from 14,000 feet, you can expect the free fall to last 60 seconds. If you jump from 9,000 feet, you can expect the free fall to last less than 30 seconds. The conditions will be rather windy and you can expect to not be able to hear much of anything because the resistance of your body and the flapping of your jumpsuit means the conditions will be loud.

8. You will feel the tug of the parachute when it deploys. It may pull you up to a higher altitude as the air catches it. From there, parachuting to the ground is like riding on a swing. It is quiet and relaxing, so you and your instructor can then converse about the experience and the upcoming landing.

9. A few minutes after the parachute deploys, the instructor will tell you to pull up your legs so you can make your landing. Your landing will be a slide in the sand. It is gentle and you will be on your behind. Yes, you may see some divers land on their feet, but they may be more experienced divers. In this case, you are making a tandem sky dive, which means you will need to land the way your instructor tells you to in order to avoid injury for both of you.

There is a risk associated with a tandem skydive. If you are wondering about the risk, note that there are roughly 2 million skydives worldwide each year. Approximately 35 deaths occur annually. Some of these deaths are not always the jumps themselves, but the plane rides.

The most significant thing that you can expect is to have a lot of fun from the thrill that skydiving invokes. Sometimes, there is something to facing such risk that is exhilarating. Although it is good to assess the risk of a tandem skydive, it is important to understand that driving your car to work is also a risky activity. There are many safety precautions that have been put in place to make sure skydiving is an extremely enjoyable thrill ride.