How To Choose A Skydiving Center Near Me For My First Tandem Skydive

November 29, 2017

 

How To Choose a Skydiving Center

Most people tend to choose a skydiving center based on 2 factors: location and pricing. However, the first reason to choose a skydiving school should start with the safety of the operation. Once you have chosen locations based on safety your next step is to debunk pricing and make sure you understand your final cost. Read on to find out how to choose a skydiving center.

Tandem Skydiver and Instructor in freefall

Key Factors For Skydiving Safety

The most important factor when making a tandem skydive is that you choose a safe, reputable skydiving center with highly trained tandem instructors and pilots. What makes a skydiving center safe?

Tandem Instructor Training

Landing a tandem parachute

Tandem instructors are the people who will take you as a passenger on your first skydive. It is important that your tandem instructor has followed the requirements to become a professional instructor. To become a tandem instructor, an individual must:

  • Have 3 years of skydiving experience
  • Have 500 jumps or more
  • Attend a USPA tandem training course
  • Complete test jumps with licensed skydivers as passengers before taking first time customers
  • Have 200 tandem jumps before adding a handcam for video and photos of customer (this is a common rule that is broken, be sure to ask your instructor how many skydives they have)
  • Have an FAA Class 3 Medical

Pricing - Compare Apples To Apples

Not all skydiving centers offer the same product. Some locations jump from different altitudes depending on what type of aircraft they are flying. When trying to understand the pricing of a location the first question to ask is, "What Altitude Will I Skydive From?" Skydiving centers jump from two main altitudes:

Skydiving Altitudes

  • 14,000 ft  - 60 second freefall
  • 10,000 ft - 30 second freefall

Tandem Skydivers 

To make sure you are properly comparing prices of different skydiving centers make start off by comparing the same altitude prices. Not all locations have the option to jump from 14,000 ft. Read more about this topic in our article: How High Is A Tandem Skydive Jump? 2 Reasons Why Your Exit Altitude Matters.

Some locations also have hidden fees. Be sure to find out what your total cost for skydiving will be before booking a reservation. Skydiving centers will charge fees in the following areas:

Additional Fees

  • Equipment rental - this is a made up fee by locations who use 3rd party companies like Groupon. They offer Groupon at a very low price and then charge 'equipment rental' feesonce at the location. These fees are often $50; customers end up paying the same total cost they would have paid at a location that was not running a Groupon. This fee is not charged by reputable locations.
  • Fat tax - some locations charge more for customers who weigh over 200 lbs. Read more in our article: How Your Weight Affects Tandems Skydiving and Why The Weight Limit Exists
  • Extra altitude - Some locations will list their prices at a low rate for 10,000 ft skydives and offer the option to skydive from 14,000 ft for an additional fee
  • Weather insurance - Lookout! There is only one location that charges this fee. It is a nationwide booking agency that goes by hundreds of different names. They have had countless BBB reviews, news reporting agency stories and lawsuits made against them. If you hear 'weather insurance' this is a tell tale sign that you are talking to this company. They can be hard to keep up with due to the fact that they change company names regularly. They have hundreds of websites posing as real skydiving operations. They currently go by the name Rush Cube but have been called Skyride in the past. Read more here: Rip Off Report

Skydiving near me CT

Female skydivers on a tandem jmp

  • Skydive Danielson is located in the Northeast corner 
  • 35 minutes East of Hartford
  • 20 minutes North of Foxwoods casino
  • Skydive Danielson is the only skydiving center in CT that is open 7 days a week and jumps from 14,000 ft every day

Skydiving near me Massachusetts

  • Skydive Danielson is located South of Worcester, MA by 35 minutes
  • Southwest of Boston, MA by 1-1.5 hours
  • Several locations catering to Boston, MA residents skydive from just 10,00 ft and offer Groupon's that charge additional hidden fees upon arrival. Make sure to compare pricing in regards to altitude and hidden fees when looking for the right skydiving center for you

Skydiving near me Rhode Island

  • Skydive Danielson is 30 minutes West of Providence, RI
  • Skydiving centers in RI only skydive from an altitude of 10,000 ft - if you want to experience skydiving from the highest altitude you will want to check out Skydive Danielson and our 14,000 ft skydive
  • Skydive Danielson is the closest dropzone to RI residents that has a training program! There are currently no options in RI if you are looking to obtain a skydiving license