tandem skydiving vs solo first-time

Can You Skydive Alone for Your First-Time Jump?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tandem skydiving is by far the most popular way of making the first skydive. Here at Skydive Tecumseh, we welcome first-time jumpers from Michigan, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and further afield, and offer the highest tandem skydive in the US.

But tandem jumping isn’t the only option available to first-time jumpers, let us explain:

What is a tandem skydive?

A tandem skydive is a skydive where you (the student) are attached to a qualified tandem instructor, who is in charge of the full skydive. To an extent, you’re a passenger along for the ride – although we do give you a 30 minute brief on what body position to adopt and how you can make the job of your instructor easier, safer, and more comfortable for everyone. can you skydive alone first time

The main reasons people choose tandems for their first jump include:

  • Ease: you only need a 30-minute brief as opposed to a full day’s training
  • Experience: when you don’t have to think about deploying parachutes and all the procedures involved in jumping alone, you have more time to take in the views around you
  • Cost: the one-off price of tandem skydiving is arguably cheaper than some of the other options, so if you only intend to make one jump in your life, this can be the most cost-effective way of doing so

That said, we also welcome lots of first-time jumpers who are keen to experience skydiving in other ways.

What are my first-time options?

You can elect to make a tandem skydive for your first jump. By choosing to jump here at Skydive Tecumseh, you have the option to select from three exit altitudes, including the highest tandem skydive in the US.

If you’d prefer to jump solo, this option is also available to you via our two skydive training courses: AFF and Static Line.

AFF Skydive Courses

AFF stands for Accelerated Freefall and is the best option for first-time jumpers who want to jump solo and pull their own parachute from jump one.

Students choosing AFF have to complete ‘ground school’ before they jump. This is a series of skydiving lessons given over a day which teach you how skydiving works, about the equipment we use, and prepares you for a wide range of situations you may face in the sky. AFF courses ensure you are safe to jump and fully understand what you need to do. can you skydive by yourself the first time

You’ll be supported during your actual skydive by two instructors, to begin with, with this decreasing to one instructor as you gain experience. You are required to complete a series of skydives during which you must show a number of key skills focused on developing your flying abilities in freefall and also your canopy (parachute) flight.

Once you have logged 25 jumps and shown the required skills, you’ll be eligible to apply and test for your USPA ‘A’ license. This means you are a qualified skydiver and are clear to jump solo without supervision.

Learn more about AFF here.

Static Line/IAD

Static line and IAD (instructor-assisted deployment) are both methods of learning to skydive without pulling your own parachute. In both cases, your parachute is deployed for you.

You’ll jump from a lower altitude than AFF. starting at 3,500 feet for your first jump. You then work your way up to 13,000 feet. The benefit to this is that each sequential jump builds slowly on the skills learned on the previous jump. Progression is typically slower than AFF but some learners simply prefer this style of learning.

Like AFF, our static line/IAD courses begin with 6-8 hours of training on the ground. After you’ve logged 25 jumps and shown the required skills, you’ll be eligible to apply and test for your USPA ‘A’ license. This means you are a qualified skydiver and are clear to jump solo without supervision.

Learn more about static line/IAD here.

The First-Time Choice For You

can you skydive alone for the first timeSkydiving is a fantastic experience. It’s important you choose the first jump option that’s right for you. Thousands of people from across Ann Arbor, Michigan, Detroit, and further away come to experience their first jump at Skydive Tecumseh every year. 

  • Tandem skydiving: best for one time only jumpers 
  • AFF skydiving: best for those looking to learn and progress quickly
  • Static line/IAD: best for those looking to learn and preferring staged progression

To discuss any of these options with us, get in touch or book online today.

Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

On Labor Day my daughter took our first jump. She got me it for my 62nd birthday to check off my bucket list. It was the most intense adrenaline rush I have ever experienced. James and Amber (my daughters tandem partner) were very professional and made our jumps fantastic. We will be back again and hope to bring a group with us. Tremendous experience.

John Gay