How Many Tandems Until My Solo Skydive?

January 13, 2023

Were you bitten by the skydiving bug? Are you ready to go beyond the tandem skydive? How can you skydive alone? We got you! 


Nothing makes us more excited than to hear that someone is interested in skydiving solo. To us, that means adding another member to our growing family – welcome sky babies! In all seriousness though, skydiving can be fun but it is no joke. Skydiving solo is a rewarding, challenging, and fantastic achievement – but a risky feat nonetheless. So listen up! This is everything you need to know about how many tandems you’ll need before going solo and other requirements before achieving your solo skydiving license.




Skydiving solo isn’t as easy as it sounds – meaning you won’t be able to just walk up to the dropzone and ask to jump by yourself. But why? Safety is our number one priority, so as much as we would love to get you solo skydiving right away – we will need to follow the steps necessary to responsibly skydive. 


Skydiving can be much more complex than fresh eyes may notice at first glance. Before completing a solo skydive, there are certain safety precautions, training classes, and additional supervised jumps that you’ll need to complete – let’s dive into those solo skydiving requirements!




This answer can vary depending on which dropzone you decide to jump at. At Skydive Danielson, we require 2 training tandems.


We think this is the best way to get a feel for skydiving and knock off some of those first jump jitters so you can focus on what you should be doing while on your solo training jumps. Tandem skydiving is the best introduction to the world of solo skydiving because you will get the experience of a skydive without having to deal with all the responsibilities that come with it. You’ll be attached to a highly-trained and experienced United States Parachute Association (USPA) certified tandem instructor who will perform all duties necessary to allow you to just enjoy the experience.


1-on-1 Parachute Training


The biggest reason why we require two training tandems is that we believe it is a safer method that offers hands-on learning alongside a trained professional. You’ll be able to get a feel for how to fly and land the parachute with your instructor by your side guiding you along the way. This will give you a huge jumpstart in getting comfortable with flying the parachute all by yourself when the time comes.


What You’ll Learn During Your Tandem Training Jumps:

  • Hand signals
  • Altitude awareness
  • Parachute deployment
  • Determining if your main parachute is safe to land
  • Interpreting wind direction and flight patterns
  • Flare technique



When learning to skydive at Skydive Danielson, we do things a little bit differently to enhance the student experience and create safer skydivers.


Skydive Danielson Student Program:

  •  2 Training Tandems
  • Wind Tunnel Training (optional): While wind tunnel training is optional, it is highly recommended because it helps you to quickly develop your bodyflight/freefall skills in a controlled environment. You'll learn basic skills (360, Up, Down, Forward, Backward) and gain the confidence to help you stay calm and focused while on your first solo skydive.
  • 4-6 hour Ground School: No jumping will be done in this classroom-based first jump course. You’ll learn airplane safety, freefall body position, malfunctions, landing, solo equipment orientation, and focus on preparing you for your solo skydive!
  • Solo Skydive on Jump 3: Congrats! You've graduated from your two training tandems and completed your ground course. Finally, the time has come to do your solo skydive! While you will finally have your own skydiving rig and parachute to operate, we won't just let you go at it completely alone. On your first solo jump, you will be with two certified instructors who will hold onto you in freefall to keep you stable and guide you through the jump.
  • Accelerated Freefall (AFF): Complete and pass 5 AFF jumps.
  • Coach Jumps: Complete and pass 5 coach jumps and learn group freefall skills.

  •  Self-Supervised Jumps: Complete 12 solo skydives.

  •  3-4 Hour Parachute Packing Class: Learn to pack your parachute, and jump it!

  •  Check Dive: Complete and pass your last student jump with an AFF Instructor. WOOHOOO!

You’ll need to complete and pass all 25 jumps total to complete A license (those training tandems you did will count towards your jumps)!


*Solo skydiving requirements vary from dropzone to dropzone. However, all USPA-member dropzone must use the guide provided by the USPA Integrated Student Program (Cat A-H jumps) and complete all requirements listed on the USPA “A License” Proficiency Card and complete 25 jumps total.


Becoming a solo skydiver means granting yourself the freedom to jump anywhere without needing supervision and you’ll be able to jump with other skydiver friends! From there, the learning opportunities are endless.


Have more questions about solo skydiving? Contact one of our awesome team members today! Blue skies!