How Many Tandem Jumps Before Solo

How Many Tandem Jumps Before Solo

Published: March 27, 2017

How Many Tandem Jumps Before Solo?

Becoming a fully-fledged solo skydiver is a great achievement. By completing your skydiver training and gaining your skydiver license, you open up a whole world (quite literally) of opportunities. At San Jose Skydiving Center, we do require 2 tandem jumps in our Integrated Student Program. You have 25 total jumps before your A License when you become a certified skydiver.

Learning to fly with other people, adopting different body positions, becoming an advanced parachute pilot, learning to be a skydiving instructor yourself... all of this becomes available to you once you qualify as a solo jumper.

To help you on your journey to becoming a solo skydiver, here's a bit more information on what you need to do...

How many skydives before solo?

  • You need to make 2 tandem Jumps in our ISP skydiving program.

  • You need to make 16 additional skydives with an instructor (or supervised by an instructor) before you can jump solo

  • Jumps 19-25 are your solo jumps, with Jump number 25 being your graduation jump!

  • Once you've completed all 25 jumps and passed the requirements and test, you can then receive your A license to jump on your own, that's when your jump tickets become cheaper too!

Here's a Look at San Jose's Integrated Student Program (ISP)

  • Tandem 1 - Intro to canopy flight, control surfaces and locating the drop zone

  • Tandem 2 - Canopy control check, holding area, landing pattern & assisted flare

  • Jump 3 Intro to solo freefall

  • Jump 4 Counter turns

  • Jump 5 Release dive - heading control

  • Jump 6 Solo flight & pull

  • Jump 7 Upper body turns

  • Jump 8 Turns to forward movement

  • Jump 9 Barrel Rolls

  • Jump 10 Back Loops & front Loops

  • Jump 11 5500' Hop & Pop

  • Jump 12 3500' Emergency exit practice

  • Jump 13 Intro to tracking

  • Jump 14 Lower leg turns

  • Jump 15 Forward movement, backsliding, and docking

  • Jump 16 Fall rate adjustments

  • Jump 17 Accordion arm docks & side bodies

  • Jump 18 Tracking dive

  • Jump 19-24 Solo Jumps (with self-supervised packing)

  • Jump 25 Graduation Jump

What's the best route to becoming a solo skydiver?

When we talk about solo skydiving, we're referring to skydiving as a qualified jumper. This means you've completed your skydiving lessons and have been cleared to jump without the supervision of an instructor.

Getting to this point is incredibly rewarding. You'll have completed ground training, then learned new lessons every step of your skydiving course to prepare you for jumping solo. You'll finish your course fully equipped with the basic information you need to keep yourself as safe as possible in the air.

Many people choose to start this journey with a tandem skydive. This is where you'll be strapped to a fully licensed and experienced tandem instructor, who will be operating the equipment and be in charge of the jump from start to finish. This can give you the chance to take in the experience of freefall without having to think about the things you need to do too much - which is why some people choose to do it before they learn.

That said, there's no 'best route' to becoming a solo skydiver. When people ask us 'how many tandem jumps before solo?', we do have a minimum of 2 tandem jumps, however, some choose to make more tandem skydives before embarking on becoming a solo skydiver. We do guarantee an exhilarating experience in the process!

Why become a solo skydiver?

Becoming a solo skydiver means you have the freedom to jump without needing the supervision of an instructor. It recognizes that you have completed your training and are able to take responsibility for yourself and for your equipment.

What this means practically speaking is that you'll have a skydiving license, which you can use at any USPA affiliated center. It's your proof that you're an experienced jumper.

It also means that you can start thinking about your progression as an experienced skydiver. You'll be able to start learning new skills - things like flying in a formation with others or using different body positions. You can even consider competing as a skydiver, which could take you all over the world!


The possibilities are endless as a solo skydiver. If you're interested in learning to jump solo, check out our Learn to Skydive page, or get in touch and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.