Have you ever been to Baltimore? While most people wouldn’t think of Baltimore as their first choice for a vacation getaway, there is actually quite a lot of things that can be done within the city. It’s a very historical place to visit and there are a lot of attractions around. One thing that people very rarely talk about when going to Baltimore though, are all the opportunities that exist there for skydiving.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been skydiving 100 times before or you’ve never even thought about taking a leap. A first time skydiver can go skydiving in Baltimore just as easy as a very experienced skydiver can. There are some spectacular views to be had while skydiving in Baltimore, although the view that you will get will depend largely on the area in which you jump over. With so many skydiving operators in Baltimore, you should be spoiled for choice as to which one you want to actually jump with.
If you’re at all planning to take a trip to Baltimore in the near future, then we definitely recommend getting some skydiving in while you’re in the city.
Skydiving as a first timer in Baltimore
When most people hear that it’s possible to know nothing at all about skydiving and be able to show up at a skydiving facility and be in the air later that day, they believe that it is very unsafe. While we admit it does sound pretty unsafe to allow first timer to jump on their first day, every skydiving facility in North America has an excellent system to get first-timers up to speed very quickly.
On the day that you are planning to jump, you would be wise to wake up very early in the morning and head out to the drop some as early as possible. Once you arrive you will immediately be thrown into a training session to get you prepared. The first part of the training session will be to get you accustomed with all the procedures that will happen during the jump. Some drop zones will show you a video to teach you these things, while others will have an instructor walking you through everything.
The point of this is so that you know exactly what to do if anything is to go wrong in the air. Don’t worry though because it is very rare for something to go wrong during a jump. A worst case scenario would be if your skydiving instructor was to lose consciousness on the way down and was not able to pull the parachute for the both of you. That is why they will spend a couple of hours teaching you about all the safety procedures and things that you need to do just in case something like that would happen. It is almost unheard of for a first-time skydiver to actually have to employ any of these techniques but if you do end up having to use them you’ll be very glad you learned them.
Once you’ve been taught about all the proper safety procedures and you have an understanding of what the upcoming jump is going to be like, it will be time for you to learn about your equipment. Your instructor will help you to put your equipment on and get it fitting correctly. Keep in mind that most people find the skydiving equipment to be extremely uncomfortable. Some people even try to make the skydiving equipment less uncomfortable by not tightening it up fully. This is a very bad idea though because this is essentially safety equipment. Not wearing your skydiving equipment properly means it won’t be able to do its job and will not be able to keep you safe.
Our best recommendation, besides wearing your equipment properly, is to wear comfortable clothing underneath the equipment. This means wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing. If you wear something like a tight, rigid pair of jeans, you’ll really be making your skydiving experience less enjoyable due to how uncomfortable you are. Sweatpants work great and a loose fitting long sleeved T-shirt works well also.
It’s also important to note that you should be wearing close toed shoes that can be laced up. If you were to wear sandals or other open toed shoes then you run the risk of them falling off in midair. While it’s not such a big deal that you might hurt your feet on the landing, if your footwear were to fall off in midair it poses a big danger to anyone was waiting on the ground below you. The reason we recommend long pants and long sleeves is because skydiving can actually be quite cold, even if it is very warm on the ground. Since you’ll be 12,000 feet up in the air and free falling through the wind, you want to make sure you have some protection from the elements.
Once you’ve gone through the training for both the safety procedures and the equipment, it will be time to board the plane and get ready for your first jump.
The types of jumps you can do as a first timer in Baltimore
By far the most common type of jump for a first timer is known as the tandem jump. With this sort of jump, you’ll have a jumpmaster literally strapped to your back. A jumpmaster is a professional, certified skydiver who has completed over 500 jumps in their career, but it is actually quite rare though to meet up jump master who only has 500 jumps. A jumpmaster with only 500 jumps would be a very new jumpmaster, with most jumpmasters having at least 1000 jumps, since they jump several times per day.
Once the plane reaches the correct altitude, is when you and your jumpmaster will put all your gear on and get ready to leap. Your jumpmaster will assist you in getting your gear put on correctly and tightened up. Then they will strap themselves to your back. This will feel very awkward and uncomfortable at first but don’t worry. It will only feel uncomfortable for as long as you’re both standing on solid ground. As soon you exit the plane, you’ll be weightless and you won’t even realize the fact that you have someone strapped to your back.
Once all the equipment has been put on and you’re attached to your jumpmaster it’ll be time to jump. Some people head over to the open door of the airplane, look down at the ground and get cold feet. If this happens to you there’s no reason to worry, as it’s a very common thing to happen. In fact, your jumpmaster has seen it so many times before they know exactly how to deal with it.
If your jumpmaster can tell that you truly want to jump but you’re just scared, then he’ll be able to give you that little push you need to get out of the plane. On the other hand, if the jumpmaster can see that you’re truly terrified and don’t actually want to go through with it then they won’t be cruel enough to push you out of the plane against your will.
Keep in mind though that if you don’t jump you’ll still be responsible for paying full price for your skydiving experience. This is because most of the cost comes from the airplane and the jumpmaster’s time, of which you already used both of at this point. For that reason some people like to look at the jump as being free and use it as a motivator to get them out of the plane. If you decide not to jump, then your jumpmaster will either ride down in the plane with you or they may decide to jump on their own. For an experienced skydiver it can be very difficult to get all the way up in the plane, get suited up and then not actually jump.
If you do decide to go through with it, the moment you leave the plane all of your fears will immediately go out the window. Once you’re in free fall it is hard to think about anything else and your adrenaline just takes over. The good thing is, you won’t have to worry about doing anything at all because you’re jumpmaster will be handling everything. All you have to do is keep your eyes open and enjoy the free fall.
Once you reach the correct altitude, your jumpmaster will pull the parachute and your descent will start the slow. Well most people thoroughly enjoy the free fall, many enjoy the point after the parachute has been pulled just as much. At this point you’ll be gliding slowly towards the ground and you’ll really be able to appreciate the view that is below you.
Most people upon reaching the ground come to the decision that they truly love skydiving. You might even decide you want to go again right away. Depending on the company you’re jumping with and what time of day it is when you reach the ground, it might even be possible for you to go again immediately. Usually if you go for a second jump on the same day you can work out a discount with the company.
If you’re feeling a bit more venturous and don’t want to jump with the jumpmaster strapped to your back and you still have options. As a first-time skydiver you can actually jump and pull your parachute and get yourself back down to the ground all by yourself. This type of jump is known as a static line jump.
Instead of jumping with the jumpmaster strapped to your back though, you’ll be jumping at the same time as a jumpmaster. There will be a long and very strong rope that will be tethering the two of you together. Once you reach the correct altitude you will be expected to pull your own parachute. If for some reason you panic and can’t pull your parachute then your jumpmaster will be able to pull theirs. Since you’re attached to them by rope once they start to slow down, you will slow down as well.
Then it will be time for you to guide yourself back down to the ground. You’ll be in communication with the jump master on the ground via walkie-talkie. They can analyze the wind patterns and tell you how to steer yourself back down to the ground. The jumpmaster who is tethered to you can also take over if you have trouble during this part. The goal of the static line jump though is for you to be doing all the stuff yourself, so it’s not a good idea to rely just on the jumpmaster for these things.
A static line jump is generally more expensive, because it requires a bit more training and will utilize the time of two jumpmasters. If you’re at all hesitant about going skydiving and we can’t recommend you start with a static line jump. You would be much better off getting over your fears of skydiving by doing a tandem jump first and then working up to the much more adventurous static line jump later.
Where to go skydiving in Baltimore
By this point hopefully we been able to convince you that going skydiving in Baltimore is a great idea. You’re probably also wondering where the best places to go skydiving in Baltimore are. Before we tell you though, we need to make sure you understand one thing. It is very important for you to always be checking the safety records of any facility you plan to jump with.
Although almost every facility in North America will be completely safe, with even one single accident causing them to be shutdown, It still pays to do your homework. You’ll be putting your life in their hands so a quick phone call to make sure that they are safe is a very good idea. Give each one that you plan to jump with a ring and ask them any questions you might be having. If anything seems fishy, hang up and call the next one.
To get you started, here are couple facilities we can recommend:
3536 Aldino Rd, Churchville, MD 21028
So if you are at all thinking about going to Baltimore, then we can’t recommend enough that you try skydiving while you’re there. Even if you’ve never had the thought to go skydiving before you can still have the Baltimore and be up in the air on your first day. Happy jumping!