As the largest city in Texas, your entertainment options in Houston are almost unlimited. The city is home to over 300 parks and about 200 additional green spaces. With over 200 million people living there covering approximately 600 miles, it’s almost impossible to ever run out of things to do there.
Of course, some visitors to Houston will be looking for something to do above and beyond the normal tourist attractions. Those who are looking for a more adventurous experience might want to give skydiving a try. It is definitely the ultimate in adrenaline fueled activities and Houston makes a great location for your first jump.
The views that you can see from that high above the ground are breathtaking. If you’ve ever visited Houston before you may have never realized just how beautiful it is when viewed all that way above the ground. It’s like an entirely different city when you view it from that altitude.
Making your first jump in Houston
Whether you’re an experienced skydiver or you know absolutely nothing about the sport, It’s perfectly possible to go skydiving in Houston. Many people wonder how it could possibly be safe for someone who doesn’t know about skydiving to be allowed to jump out of a moving plane the same day they first show up at the skydiving facility.
The reality though is it is actually very safe to go skydiving in Houston or anywhere else in the world regardless of whether you have experience or not. This is because all skydiving facilities have a system in place to quickly bring you up to speed and get you prepared for your first skydiving experience in a safe manner.
The first thing you’ll want to make sure you do is to show up early in the morning. Showing up early is helpful because you’ll need to go through a fairly lengthy training process before you’re allowed to go up in the plane. Some facilities will start off by having you watch a training video, while others will walk you through all the steps with a skydiving instructor.
Either way the initial training session will prepare you for absolutely anything that could go wrong during your dive. While it is very rare for anything to actually go wrong, if anything does you’ll be very happy that someone took the time out to explain it to you.
If for example the instructor that you’re jumping with is to lose consciousness on the way down, they want to make sure that you’re perfectly ready to handle anything. This means that they’ll be showing you exactly how to pull your parachute and get yourself back down to safety on your own. The chances of you having to do this are extremely low, but again you’ll be very glad you learned how to do it in the small chance that anything unexpected is to happen.
After going through the initial training session, you’ll be shown how to put on all your gear. Keep in mind that skydiving gear is not very comfortable at all. Once you put it on you’ll immediately want to take it off, and it can feel very constricting. Our best advice is to wear some loose and comfortable clothing to the facility that day, to counteract the uncomfortable skydiving gear. If you wear something like tight jeans it will only make the skydiving gear even more uncomfortable.
Some people try to fight it and put on their skydiving gear way too loose. This is obviously inadvisable, because the skydiving gear is there to keep you safe. Wearing it improperly will only ensure that it doesn’t do its job correctly, which is extremely unsafe when you’re 12,000 feet above the ground.
We also recommend that you wear long pants and long sleeves, even if it is very hot on the ground. Once you reach that altitude the air will get a whole lot colder. You’ll also be falling at a great rate of speed and the wind resistance will be high. No matter how hot it might feel on the ground, it can get quite cold while you’re in the free fall. Wearing the proper clothing can keep you warm and more comfortable throughout the entire experience.
Closed toed shoes that can be laced up are also a necessity. If you wear sandals or open toed shoes that are loose, you won’t be allowed to jump because sandals or open toed shoes have a tendency to fall off due to the rate of speed you’ll be falling. While it’s not likely that you’ll hurt your feet in midair, a falling shoe from that height can be extremely dangerous to anyone who is below you while you’re jumping.
Once you’ve learned about all the safety procedures and how to put on your gear correctly, you and your dive instructor will both board the plane and get ready for take off. Don’t worry about not knowing what to do because there will always be someone around to answer any questions you might have.
The types of jumps that are available for a first timer in Houston
The most common type of jump for someone who has never gone skydiving before is the tandem jump. A tandem jump is when a jumpmaster straps themselves to your back and jumps with you, to make sure nothing bad happens.
A jumpmaster is a certified skydiving instructor who has over 500 jumps under their belt. That said, it is extremely rare for you to meet a jumpmaster who has only jumped 500 times. Anyone who has only jumped 500 times would be an extremely new jumpmaster, and most jumpmasters have well over 1000 jumps. Since they are jumping multiple times per day, it is very easy for them to quickly rack up a lot of jumps over a short period of time.
Once you reach the correct altitude it will be time to actually make the leap. It’s at this point where many people get cold feet and might decide to back out from the jump. Keep in mind though if you decide not to jump, you will still be responsible for paying the full amount for your skydiving experience. This is because most of the cost is for the airplane in the jumpmaster’s time. Even if you don’t actually jump, you’ve used both the airplane and the jumpmaster’s time at that point. Many people essentially view the dive itself as being free, and if this does anything to help push you to actually make the leap then use it.
Your jumpmaster is very familiar with the feeling that you’re going through at this point. They have seen people get cold feet dozens of times before and they know exactly how to deal with it. Most people actually do want to jump, they just aren’t brave enough to bring themselves to throw themselves from the airplane. If your jumpmaster can see that you truly do want to make the jump, but you’re just scared then they can give you that final push to get you out of the airplane. This is extremely helpful for some people who just can’t bring themselves to do it.
If the jumpmaster can see that you’re truly terrified and you don’t want to go through with it, they won’t be cruel enough to push you out of the plane. After so many tandem jumps though, the jumpmasters are experts at gauging people this way and will do their best to help you out in the best way possible. If you decide not to jump then you can just ride the plane back down to the ground. If that’s the case, your jumpmaster might ride in the plane back down with you or they might just decide to take a solo jump on their own. It could be very hard for a passionate skydiver to be all the way up in the plane and not actually make the jump.
Once you exit the plane though most people see their fears vanish immediately. It’s quite difficult to be scared when your adrenaline is pumping and you’re flying towards the earth and free fall. The good part is that you really don’t have to do anything at all this point, because the jumpmaster is going to take care of everything. All you have to do is enjoy the ride.
Once you reach the correct altitude, Your jump master will pull the parachute. If you wish, you can request to pull the parachute for both of you, Although if you have any troubles doing so they will take over at the last minute and pull it. Once the parachute is pulled, your descent will instantly start to slow. While people do love the free fall, the glide down towards the earth can be very enjoyable as well. This is because you start to fall much slower and you can just relax and take in the view below you.
Did you know that it is possible to skydive from space?
Many people make it back down to the ground, and immediately want to jump all over again. Depending on what time it is once you hit the ground and the rules your skydiving facility has, it might be possible for you to go again instantly. You might even get a discount on your second jump of the day.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and don’t want to jump with the jumpmaster strapped to your back, Then you can do what is called a static line jump. A static line jump will have you pulling your own parachute and gliding yourself back down to safety. Of course, as your first jump you won’t be allowed to do this completely on your own, as that would be completely unsafe.
Instead you will jump simultaneously with the jumpmaster, but instead of being strapped to your back they will be tethered to you with a long and very strong rope. If for any reason you aren’t able to pull your parachute before the correct altitude, the jumpmaster will pull theirs and since they are tethered to you, your descent well also slow down. It’s not recommended though that you rely fully on the jumpmaster. People pay extra money to do the static line jumped because they want to get the full experience of skydiving almost on their own. The jumpmasters only there as a form of protection in case you aren’t able to pull your own parachute.
After the parachute has been pulled you’ll also be responsible for guiding yourself back down to the ground safely. You’ll be in communication with the jumpmaster who is on the ground via walkie-talkie. They’ll be able to note the wind patterns and be able to tell you exactly what you’ll need to do to get yourself back down.
A static line jump is usually more expensive, due to the fact that you’ll be utilizing at least one jumpmaster. The training period will also be a bit longer as you’ll need to know much more information about the jump that’s ahead of you. If you’re at all apprehensive about the skydiving experience, then a static line jump is not recommended. You’d be much better off with a tandem jump where everything is taken care of for you, if you begin to love skydiving, which most people do, you can always work up to a static line jump later.
Where to go skydiving in Houston
If we’ve been able to convince you that you should be going skydiving on your next trip to Houston, then you’re probably wondering where the best places to do so are. Before we tell you that, we feel it’s important let you know that you should always be checking into the safety records of any skydiving facility before you agreed to jump with them.
For any skydiving facility in North America, they most likely have immaculate safety records. This is because even just one single accident would cause them to lose their license for good. Still, you’re putting your life in the skydiving facility’s hands, so you want to make sure that everything is in order. Before agreeing to jump call them up and ask them any questions you might have. Ask them about their safety records and policies and if anything seems the least bit fishy to you, hang up and call the next one until you find one that fits. We can recommend the following places, but we still recommend that you call them and check out their safety records as well.
16111 FM 521, Rosharon, TX 77583
Phone: 832-301-1323 / 888-758-JUMP
4695 Gloster Lane
Sealy, TX 77474
While there are definitely a ton of great things to do in Houston, we feel that skydiving one of the most interesting. If you’re already planning a trip to Houston and are looking to do something adventurous, then skydiving is your best bet. Just remember to show up early at the drop zone and always check into the safety records of anywhere you’re about to jump. Happy jumping!