Does Your First Skydive Have To Be a Tandem?

Published: October 31, 2020

No! No, your first skydive does not have to be a tandem.

That said, consider the following statements:

  1. Your first motorcycle ride doesn't have to be a tandem.

  2. It's not a terrible idea to ride on the back the first time you take a motorcycle out for a spin.

The reasons why are pretty intuitive, no? When you hop on a motorcycle for the first time, there's a lot that's new to your body. It's kinda like a bicycle, but it's heavier. You have to use your body differently in order to feel secure. Smoothly controlling your speed can be a challenge. The controls are unfamiliar. Finally, it's scary--you know that if you make a false move you can throw yourself right down the road.

For the first ride, it's nice to be on that motorcycle with someone who knows what they're doing--for whom this little ride with you is totally a piece of cake; something they've done a thousand times before. That way, you can pick up the basics and get familiar in a less frantic mindset, exploring the novelty with a smile on your face and the wind in your hair.

For exactly the same reasons, we tend to recommend that folks make their first skydive as half of a pair. Ain't no shame in it. Not at all. Here's why:

1. You'll Have Less To Fret About And More Mental Space To Have Fun.

In precisely the same ways as our example motorcycle ride, making a skydive is an intense prospect. The nervousness (that literally everyone experiences) has a tendency to crowd out your ability to remember the details. It's really a favor to yourself to give yourself the space of a tandem to enjoy that first skydiving experience without unnecessary added pressure. Consider it self-care; an investment in your future in the sport.

2. You'll Still Learn A Ton (If You Want To, Which--if You're Reading This--We're Guessing You Probably Do).

There's still a lot to learn on a tandem skydive. Happily, because someone else is going to be in charge of the life-saving, you can scale the amount of learning you do to the amount you feel like learning. That said: If you want to get the equivalent of a tandem master's degree, we'll welcome the opportunity to introduce you to every bit of equipment, every nuance of body position, every quirk of the plane...everything. Just let us know if that's your bailiwick, and we'll go right into professor mode.

3. You'll Be Able To Play Your Tandem Right Into Your Skydiving License Progression.

If you let us know ahead of time, we'll custom-tailor your tandem experience to be the first jump of your long skydiving career. In practice, this looks a lot more like tutoring than it does chauffeuring, so be ready to actively engage with the process. With some briefing, we'll even let you steer. (Try that when you're riding two-up on a motorcycle!)

So: Whaddaya say? Wanna go for a ride? Hop on! You'll be cruising solo before you know it.

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» Tyler D.