FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You must be at least 18 years of age to make a skydive according to the USPA. (United States Parachute Association). The FAA also states that the manufacturers of Tandem Skydiving Equipment set the rules for jumping for their equipment. The manufactures in the USA all state the minimum age to be 18, so in compliance with FAA law, we are required to adhere to the manufacturer’s decisions. It is not something we can make any concessions on and parental approval will not satisfy either the manufacturers or the FAA.
Yes. Our weight limit at Skydive West Coast is 250lbs. Different drop-zones have different weight limits according to what the individual Tandem instructors are willing to take. The equipment is test dropped to withstand a terminal opening of 500lbs, so this sets the legal limit. 500lbs is the total combined weight of two jumpers and the equipment. The equipment weighs between 50 and 70lbs depending on the sizes of the parachutes. That leaves a weight of 430 to 450lbs. Giving that the average Tandem Instructor might weigh about 180 to 200 lbs; 230 to 250 lbs is available for the customer. All drop-zones have the right to refuse to jump an individual even if they don’t weigh as much as the weight limit, if they feel an it is an issue of safety for either the instructor or passenger.
It would be remiss of us to say yes to this question as there is always an element of risk involved with any extreme sport. Do we work on making it as safe as possible? Yes, absolutely we do! Our reputation and our livelihoods depend on each and every customer, and instructor, walking away from every skydive. The sport of skydiving has evolved over the years and has come a long way from the yahoo days of stuffing a parachute into a bag and hoping it opens when you jump. Manufacturers have spent a lot of time and money studying the deployments, the flight characteristics and the landing ability of parachutes. The equipment we jump today is manufactured to the highest of standards and has undergone the toughest of testing. Our instructors are all USPA certified and have thousands of skydives. The fact is, the highest risk to you when you want to go skydiving, is driving to and from the airport.
Our exit altitude is 2 miles above the ground (12,500ft msl). We open just below 1 mile above the ground (4,500 ft), so that gives us just over one mile of freefall reaching speeds of up to 120 mph before we open our parachutes for a three to four-minute canopy ride back to our landing area.
Think sports clothes; Yoga pants, track pants, running shoes. On colder days, think long sleeves, sweatshirt, hoodie, etc.
We suggest that you plan to spend at least half a day with us. We are not a fairground ride, we are a skydiving operation. We do not label you, churn you through the mill and spit you out the other side without a care for who you are. We are a family operated friendly skydiving facility that wants you to get the most out of your experience. On arrival you will be asked to watch a short video about the legal rights you are signing away, an explanation of the risks involved and a brief outline of your responsibilities in making a Tandem Skydive. After watching the video you will be asked to fill out the waiver, the legal document that is explained to you in the video. After filing out the paperwork and finalizing your payment, you will then meet your instructors and get the necessary training. Weather permitting, you will then be placed into your harness, (this will be explained on the day) and you will be ready to make your skydive. The plane ride to the exit altitude takes place over the San Jacinto Mountains and truly adds to the amazing experience. These are sights that you will not see at any other skydiving center in the United States. The proximity to the mountains is breath-taking. Once the skydive is complete you will then return to the main hangar where you will be presented with your first jump certificate and pick up your video and photographs if you have chosen to purchase them.
Yes, we encourage you to bring your family and friends. We want you to share your experience and get everyone involved. It’s a great adventure for everyone!
Yes, our Tandem Instructors are all trained to carry both a video camera and a stills (Photographs) camera. They take video of your whole experience and even if you didn’t want to get any memories when you took off, we do our best to make sure we have them anyway, in the event you change your mind on landing!
No, sorry, it is another rule set by the manufacturers and is a safety issue. Although you might think it is just a small little camera, it is a big problem if things do go wrong and lines get caught on your camera. The Tandem Instructors have to have at least 200 Tandems before they are able to jump with cameras because of the additional safety factor. This is a rule we can-not, nor do we want to change. Phones are also prohibited as they can be dropped in the air and again it becomes a safety issue. No one wants to be hit on the head from a falling phone!
Each Tandem skydive exits the plane on their own. It is not possible to be with other members of your group in the air. Due to the specialized equipment used for Tandem Skydives, space is needed both in the air and during the deployment of the parachutes. The skydive is enough of a trick for a first timer; Our goal is to be as safe as possible while making it the best time possible for you. We like to exit the plane as safely as possible and get you into a safe and comfortable position for you to enjoy the freefall. After the parachute has opened, you can ask your instructor if you can help fly the parachute back to the landing area.
If on arrival to the center, you decide you don’t want to make your skydive for whatever reason, we will understand. We do not want to force you to do something that you are not comfortable with. If you get into the plane and it takes off, again, we will not force you to make a skydive that you are too scared to make, however, due to the expenses incurred, once the plane takes off, we will not be able to offer you a refund.
This varies from drop-zone to drop-zone, depending on the method used to get you through the license program. We use the AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) program, we use the wind tunnel as a training aid and then usually have you making solo skydives by jump number 8. You need at least 25 jumps to be eligible for your first skydiving license, your “A” license. Once you have your A license, you are certified to jump at any drop-zone around the World.
If the weather works with you, you could complete you’re a license in a week.
The minimum jump requirement is at least 200 jumps and participation in a wing suit course. It is a very complex suit and needs very guided instruction to keep you and everyone around you safe. It’s a great goal to aim for and definitely a big reason for people wanting to start skydiving these days.