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Skydiving Schools: Picking the School and Training That’s Right for You

Perhaps you've considered actually jumping from a perfectly good airplane, from time to time, in your past. Perhaps you are the unwitting recipient of a skydiving gift certificate from a friend. Whatever the case, despite the good advice to the contrary from sane people all around you, you're actually going to go through with it.

Finding a top-notch skydiving school can seem like a daunting task. Every skydiving school web site you visit seems great at first blush, but then you start to see a trend develop, namely, they seem to all claim to be the best, friendliest, safest, and highest-jumping drop zones in the world.

Though your friends, still coming to grips with your decision, might argue that you clearly have no common sense, you know full well that you do. That same common sense is telling you that not all of these schools can actually be the best. So how does one actually choose? How do you read through the hype and come away with the best thrill of your life? You can also choose the best place to skydive in Thailand via

It's a good question, and deserves a good answer because you only get a first jump once in life. Here then, is the answer to that question, a short guide to selecting the best skydiving school for you.

The best way to begin is by actually defining what your desired end result of this experience is to be. Seems like a no-brainer; the end result is to simply jump out of an airplane and float to the ground, right? Wrong. There's a lot about how you get from air to there that can influence your experience and ultimately your opinion of the sport.

A tandem jump is a method of jumping where you exit the plane not with a parachute strapped to your back but an entire instructor. This is the most popular choice for new divers and is highly promoted by drop zones. The reason for this is multi-faceted; there is no responsibility on the new skydiver's part, they simply go with the flow and the instructor does all the work.

This diminishes nearly all new-diver fault risks but also has a higher profit margin for the drop zone. Given the responsibility-free nature of a tandem jump for the new skydiver, the ground portion can be done in an hour or less, and requires only a one-to-one instructor/jumper ratio, where Accelerated Free Fall initial jumps require two instructors and far more ground school.

If you are simply jumping to be able to buy the tee shirt from having done it once in your life, this method is for you. The relief of putting all the worry into the hands of a capable pro is terrific.


If, however, you think you may want to take up the sport beyond this first jump, it might be well worth your while to consider investing your money into the first required dive of your AFF (Accelerated Freefall) certification. Your tandem jump, in most cases, will not apply towards this series of jumps, making your investment in the tandem jump somewhat of a waste if you pursue licensing. Only you know the answer to that question, and as long as money isn't an issue (and if it is you might want to find a cheaper sport) you can just do the tandem jump anyway.