Skydiving in Arizona is first class…
Arizona might not be most people’s first choice as a tourist destination, but there are actually a lot of things in Arizona that make it a perfectly suitable destination for tourists. One of the biggest things, in our opinion, are all the opportunities that exist there for skydiving. With the spacious, wide open deserts, Arizona makes a great destination for skydivers. If you’ve never jumped over a desert before, then Arizona makes a great location for your first jump, and definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.
When you’re 12,000 feet above the desert looking down, you’ll have your breath taken away instantly. The feeling will get all the more exhilarating as soon as you decide to jump.
Of course, there are a lot of other great things for you to see while you’re in Arizona, but being the skydiving enthusiasts that we are, we are going to be focusing mostly on the skydiving options there. Even if you’ve never been skydiving before and you know nothing about the sport, you can still show up on the day of your jump and be in free fall by the afternoon.
Making your first jump in Arizona
Many people will ask how it could possibly be safe for someone who has never gone skydiving before to show up at a drop zone in Arizona and go skydiving. The things is, every drop zone you visit will be able to bring you quickly up to speed, and keep you safe throughout the whole experience. The reality is, you don’t need to do any training before you go. You don’t even need to prepare in the slightest. You just need to show up at the drop zone and be ready to learn.
To some people this sounds extremely dangerous. They can’t imagine how it could possibly be safe to let a person who knows nothing about skydiving to jump out of a moving plane. But any drop zone will be fully equipped to get you ready for your first jump in just a few hours. The first thing that needs to happen, is you’ll need to wake up fairly early in the morning. There will be a lot to learn and a lot of information to take in before you can go skydiving, so you want to arrive at the drop zone as early as possible.
When you show up, the instructors at the drop zone will put you through a short training session. Some drop zones will show you a video while others will walk you through everything step by step. The point of this training session, is to help you understand all the basics of skydiving and also to prepare you in case there’s an emergency. The chances of an emergency taking place are extremely small, but they still want you to be prepared for absolutely anything, just in case. If there is an emergency, then you’ll be very glad you paid close attention during this part of the orientation.
The only emergency that would cause you to need that sort of information, is if your jumpmaster were to lose consciousness during free fall. Keep in mind though that this extremely rare and very unlikely to happen. The point is simply to prepare you for it, in case it does happen. In the unlikely chance that something like that does happen, you’ll be glad you knew exactly what to do.
If that were to happen though, they will want you to understand exactly how to do things like pull your parachute, and glide yourself down to safety. This is not something you’ll actually have to do during free fall, although your jumpmaster might allow you to pull the parachute if you request to do so.
After that, you’ll start going over your equipment. Keep in mind, skydiving gear is not very comfortable, and you probably won’t enjoy wearing it very much. You can counter this by wearing loose, comfortable clothing, but even then, wearing skydiving gear isn’t all that fun. Some people have a tendency to try to wear the skydiving gear loose, so it feels more comfortable, but this isn’t a good idea either. The whole point of the gear is to keep you safe, so you need to wear it properly even if it makes you uncomfortable.
After you’ve finished the training session and learned how to put on your gear properly, you’ll be perfectly ready to get in the plane and head up for your first jump.
The types of jumps you can do as a first timer in Arizona
The most popular type of jump for a first timer is called a tandem jump. This is a jump that will be performed with a jumpmaster literally strapped to your back. A jumpmaster is a certified skydiving instructor who has at least 500 jumps under their belt. A jumpmaster with only 500 jumps or so is extremely rare though, and would mean they are a very new jumpmaster. Since they perform several jumps per day, it doesn’t take them very long to rack up a whole bunch of jumps.
Once you reach the altitude you’ll be jumping from, it will be time for you and your jumpmaster to put your equipment on. Then your jumpmaster will check and double check that you’ve put your equipment on correctly, before strapping themselves securely to your back. This will feel pretty uncomfortable and will make moving around in the already cramped space of the plane pretty difficult. Don’t worry though, the point is not for you and your jumpmaster to spend much time at all in this position with your feet planted on the ground. It will feel much less uncomfortable as soon as you begin free fall.
Then it will be time to jump out of the plane. Of course, jumping out of the plane is the easy part, it’s building up the nerve to jump out of the plane that’s hard. Many people will go through all of the training and even the ascent completely confident about the upcoming jump. Then they gear up and start looking down at the ground and decide they might not want to jump after all.
Any jumpmaster is more than familiar with the thought process of a skydiver at this step. They are very good at gauging your reaction and judging whether or not you truly want to jump. Most people actually do want to jump, but are too scared to physically make the leap on their own. In this case, your jumpmaster can give you the push you need to get you out of the door of the plane.
Of they sense that you are truly terrified though, they won’t be cruel enough to push you out of the plane against your will. For many people though, if they’re already all the way up in the plane, they do want to jump, but just aren’t brave enough to actually do so. Having a jumpmaster push you can be invaluable.
If you do end up jumping, as soon as you hit free fall, all your fears should be immediately gone. The feeling of free fall is so indescribable that it’s hard to stay scared. You are observing the world from 12,00 feet above and you feel completely weightless. Seeing the desert below, while you rush towards the ground is an indescribable feeling, for sure.
The best part is, since you’re jumping with a jumpmaster, you don’t have to do anything at all. All you need to do is go along with the free fall, and enjoy the ride. Your jumpmaster will take care of everything for you. Once you reach the correct altitude, you jumpmaster will pull the parachute and your descent will begin to slow. At that point you’ll glide slowly down towards the ground. You don’t have to worry about anything except enjoying the ride. Most people reach the ground and want to immediately go back up and do it again. Depending on the drop zone and what time of day it is, they might just let you too.
That sounds great, but what if I don’t want to jump with a jumpmaster?
If it’s your first time skydiving, then no drop zone in the world would ever allow you to do a solo jump, completely on your own. That would be downright dangerous, and while you might make it back down to the ground safely, your first actual test of whether or not you knew what you were doing would happen during your first free fall. This is of course, not recommended.
The other type of jump that’s available to first timers, albeit the much more adventurous ones, is known as the static line jump. A static line jump means you won’t be jumping while strapped to a jumpmaster, and you’ll be responsible for pulling your own parachute and steering yourself down to the ground. Instead of being directly attached to you, they will be tethered to you by a long and very strong rope.
Then once you reach the correct altitude, it will be all up to you to pull your parachute. If, in the event that you panic or can’t figure out how to pull your parachute, your jumpmaster will pull theirs, and the rope tethering the two of you will ensure that your descent is slowed to match theirs. You should still plan on pulling your own parachute and not depend on your jumpmaster, but they are there just in case you need them.
Then a jumpmaster on the ground will help to guide you safely down to the ground through the use of a walkie talkie. They will give you some instruction on how this works while you’re still on the ground, but it won’t be until you actually try it, that you’’ll fully understand how it works to steer yourself down safely.
If you’re planning on doing a static line jump, then you will have to go through a much longer training period. You’ll be taking in a whole lot more information in order to teach you how to pull your own parachute and allow you to jump without the help of your jumpmaster. It is also usually more expensive due to the longer training and the fact that you’ll be working with two jumpmasters instead of one.
Where to go skydiving in Arizona
At this point, hopefully we’ve been able to convince you that not only should you visit the great state of Arizona, but also that you should go skydiving while you’re there. We have to add one thing to this though, before we can recommend a place for you to go skydiving. Before you head out to the drop zone, we urge that you contact each drop zone individually to ask about their safety practices and records.
While almost every drop zone in North America will be completely safe, since you are putting your life in their hands, it defintely doesn’t hurt to make sure. Even a single accident should cause them to lsoe their license, but this isn’t something you want to take a chance on. Any drop zone that are worth jumping with will be more than happy to answer your questions before you jump with them.
Now, for our suggestions of a good drop zone to jump with:
Address:4900 N. Taylor St.
Eloy, AZ 85131
Skydive Phoenix Inc
Address: 22548 N Sailport Way
While skydiving might seem dangerous at first, it is actually a very safe sport, and most people who try it end up becoming very easily excited about it. It inspires an adrenaline rush like no other, and almost no one who tries skydiving says they wouldn’t do it again. It’s the type of activity that most people want to do over and over again.