Published: May 15, 2016
Welcome to Skydive Finger Lakes! If you're reading this article, chances are you've either booked your tandem skydive or are thinking about it. Either way, we want to provide you with some useful information to help enhance your tandem skydiving experience.
Tandem skydiving requires no experience and is the most traditional method of introduction to our great sport. Throughout the US, there are hundreds of skydiving centers, but it can be difficult to find good advice on how to have the best experience possible.
Here, we provide some important guidelines whether you are looking to skydive in the Rochester area or further afield.
1. Check If the Skydiving Center is a USPA Dropzone
Here in the US, The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is the regulating body for the sport of skydiving. Their role is to provide skydiving safety guidance and training.
If you check just one thing off, it's this - book your skydive at a USPA member dropzone (such as Skydive Finger Lakes). USPA membership ensures that the skydiving center has agreed to follow basic safety requirements as mandated by the USPA.
You can use the drop zone locator provided by the USPA to check for USPA membership.
2. Do Your Research & Find The Right Feel
All dropzones are different. They operate in a variety of ways and have their distinct feel. With that said, it's worth researching a few dropzones and picking the one that feels best to you. Choosing where to jump should not be based on price. Every DZ has a different culture on safety and customer service.
To get to know a dropzone's personality, check out their social media or phone them up with some questions. To get to know the quality of service they provide, check out reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor and see what their customers have to say. Also, call the DZ directly and get a feel for how they interact with their guests. You can learn a lot from these interactions.
Lastly, Google the skydive center and see if there have been any safety issues reported. We have found that the media does like to sensationalize most things as it relates to skydiving, so if you find something interesting, call the skydiving center directly and inquire about what you're finding. You'll get a sense of what they're about based on their reaction to your questions.
3. Pick An Early Slot
Most dropzones will offer you a choice of time slots for your tandem skydive on your selected day.
We'd recommend booking as early as your travel will permit. Morning skydives tend to make for a better experience - it's less windy and cooler, making the skydive more comfortable. Also, if there are any weather delays, you'll be able to board the aircraft sooner as opposed to those who have arrived with later reservations.
4. Be Sure To Eat Normally
Anticipating your skydive will fill you with adrenaline. You will probably feel nervous, excited and possibly a little sick.
Even though it's a special day, we recommend you eat normally. Food will keep your energy levels up, and can help settle a nervous stomach - so long as you don't overdo it. It's also very important to stay hydrated!
PRO TIP: Use the restroom before gearing up. Inevitably, guests tend to want to use the bathroom after gearing up for the skydive because of nervousness. This process requires getting de-geared and then gearing up over again (often making you feel more nervous and rushed).
5. Invite Your Friends
Skydiving is all about making memories - which are for sharing! Bring friends and family along to watch so they can see you take off and cheer you on during your landing.
PRO TIP: The majority of skydiving centers do not permit the consumption of alcohol during skydiving operations. This policy includes spectators. It's imperative for skydiving centers to be above reproach when it comes to alcohol and skydiving during operational hours.
Dropzones usually have a dedicated spectator area which can make for a great, all-day outing for everyone. To learn more about a dropzone's onsite amenities, check their website or call the DZ directly.
6. Invest In The Photo/Video Package
The photo/video package is the best souvenir you can have. It adds to the price, but it's worth it. Having the ability to relive your first skydiving experience is truly priceless. No matter how many jumps you make, there's nothing like the first one!
As an added plus, videos and pictures are also perfect for posting online which will make your social feed explode!
7. Wherever You Choose - Go Skydiving!
No matter where you make your first jump, the thrill of tandem skydiving is something we think everybody should do at least once. Do your research and most of all, have the time of your life! We know you won't regret it!
Skydiving Rochester & Central New York
Skydive Finger Lakes has been skydiving Rochester and Central New York for over thirty years. If you're ready to make your first jump, we would love to make your dream of skydiving a reality. Book online today or contact a team member with any questions you have. We hope to fly with you soon!
Gabriella jumped with me and even though I was scared out of my mind, she calmed me down, explained everything, and when I landed, i said I would do it again!
» Melisa E.