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Skydiver Training Program: Common Questions

Skydiver Training Program: Common Questions

Aug 22, 2012

Following are several frequently asked questions about the Skydiver Training Program at Skydive Spaceland. Please call us at 1-800-SKYDIVE (or 281-369-3337) or email us if you have any more questions, we’d love to talk to you!

How old do I have to be to learn to skydive?

At least 18 years old, and bring a valid photo ID to confirm.

Is there a weight limit for students in the STP program?

Yes… you will need to be under 250 pounds.

How many jumps are in the program?

Eighteen, not counting your two tandems or any levels that need to be repeated.

How much does it cost?

The solo transition class you take first is $60. STP levels 1-16 are $150 each, level 17 (lower-altitude jump) is $95, and your graduation jump (level 18) is free! Purchase STP skydives now…

How long is the class and when is it offered?

The class lasts about 4.5 hours, and it is offered at 8 a.m. on Sundays.

Are there any discounts?

Yes! You can buy everything at once with our A license in a week package (includes all of the above plus five jumps on your own to reach the United States Parachute Association A license requirement of 25 skydives) for $2400–a $400 savings. You also get free stays in our bunkhouse during your student training.

You can also buy any two STP levels together and save $20.

Can I start the Skydiver Training Program without doing tandems first?

At Skydive Spaceland, we only offer tandem for your first and second skydives, where you are harnessed to an experienced instructor. Experience the thrill of skydiving with the comfort of an expert guide for every step of the way (plus it’s more time-efficient than jumping solo, which requires about a 4.5-hour instructional class before jumping). For tandem skydiving, you’ll learn the basics during a 30-minute class and we will get you skydiving soon afterwards.

I’ve read that there is a short 7-jump program to get my skydiving license. Can I do that at Spaceland?

There is an 8-jump Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) program, but it does not get you all the way to your license. These days many programs are significantly longer because people have realized that it just takes more instructional jumps than that to really learn how to jump safely. Even if other drop zones may not say it up front, there is usually a number of coach jumps required after AFF before you would be allowed to jump on your own. You still have quite a few jumps, solo or coached, before you reach the 25 jumps (minimum) needed to achieve your basic skydiving license (A license) from the United States Parachute Association.

We do not do standard AFF here; instead, we start with two tandems as this is a better way to give you the feel of an entire jump with complete supervision and less training time. Once you are solid on basic body position and altitude awareness on tandems, you move on into our Skydiver Training Program, which is 18 levels of learning with a single instructor at a significantly cheaper cost per jump than AFF (which has two instructors for the first several levels and does not include video). Also, our instructors provide video of each of your training jumps (after tandem) for free, which greatly accelerates your learning. Once you complete our program, you have only 5 jumps to go (assuming you did not need to repeat any levels) and you will be at the 25 jumps required for your A license.

We are open 7 days a week and we’ve had people complete this program in as little as 4 days.

We will happily compare our program to any training program in the world, because we know we come out on top. We train more than twice as many people to their A licenses here than any other skydiving school in the country, and we have people come here from around the world to learn with us. You won’t find a better place to learn to fly.

How many jumps can I make in a day?

As many as you are ready for and the weather/our schedule permit! Usually students will do anywhere from 1 to 8 jumps per day.

Can I get video of my jumps?

Absolutely… and it’s free! Each instructor wears a video camera on his or her helmet on every Skydiver Training Program skydive so you get all the information on how your skydive went. We suggest bringing a USB/flash drive or purchasing one here to store your skydives so you can watch at home and show your friends!

If I get the A license in a week package, do I have to finish in a week? What if we get bad weather?

Our Skydiver Training Program does not have to be completed in any given time frame, even if you buy the A license in a week package. It could take you a few days or a few months, depending on your schedule, weather, etc. If you get weathered out, just come back later for another jump. However, you will need to be aware of our currency requirements. People learn new skills better when they stay current (i.e., without long breaks between jumps). Following are our currency requirements for Skydiver Training Program skydives:

  • Tandem Level 2: Within 90 days of Tandem Level 1 (or repeat Tandem Level 1 before Level 2)
  • STP Solo Transition Class: Within 2 weeks of Tandem Level 2 (or repeat Tandem Level 2 before class)
  • STP Level 1: Within 30 days of Tandem Level 2 (or repeat Tandem Level 2 before STP 1)
  • STP Levels 2-18: Within 30 days of previous level (or repeat previous level before moving on). If you don’t make a freefall jump within 30 days of the previous level, you’ll need to take a refresher class for $50 before your next jump.

What are the weather conditions that would stop me from jumping?

Clouds that prevent us from seeing the ground, precipitation, turbulent winds, or high winds.

What kind of gear do students jump at Skydive Spaceland?

We have state-of-the-art Javelin Odyssey containers with Sabre2 parachutes and Performance Designs reserves. Canopies range from 135 to 300 square feet. Each rig is also equipped with an automatic activation device (Cypres) that will activate the reserve parachute if needed.

What should I wear to skydive?

Wear comfortable, relatively close-fitting clothing for the current weather (we will put a jumpsuit on over your clothes). Here are some examples of suitable clothing:

  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Sweats
  • T shirt
  • Tennis shoes/other athletic shoes

The following clothing is not recommended:

  • Flip flops (or any other shoes that are not secured to your feet)
  • Shoes with built-up heels
  • Boots with speed lace hooks
  • Five-toe shoes
  • Any clothing that will restrict your movement
  • Any clothing that will be uncomfortable under a snug harness (i.e., very baggy jeans can bunch up).

I’ve done a few training jumps at another drop zone or a long time ago. Where would I start in your Skydiver Training Program?

Previous training will integrate with our program in different ways depending on what your training was and how long ago. Please email our chief instructor or call him at 281-369-3337 to discuss your previous jumps and get jumping again!

I need transportation to Skydive Spaceland. Do you have a shuttle?

We do not, but contact Darren at See Our City Tours and Travel. He drives skydivers out here on a regular basis from all over Houston and he can also help with flights, hotels, and car rentals if you need those services.