The Ultimate Guide to Solo Skydiving

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Skydiving solo is the epitome of freedom; braving the skies all by yourself, and successfully operating and landing your very own parachute brings about a sense of empowerment and accomplishment like nothing else in the world.

But can you do skydiving alone? Heck yes! Every year, hundreds of people just like you become solo skydivers, or fun jumpers (as we call ‘em)! So, if you’re someone who loves to challenge themselves, seek adventure, and flex their independence – then learning how to solo skydive might be for you! Read along for our ultimate guide on all things solo skydiving.

Solo Skydiving vs. Tandem: Understanding the Difference

solo skydivingA tandem skydive is one of the most popular ways to experience skydiving for the first time but it’s not the only way! A tandem skydive is when a skydiving student (you) would skydive with a certified tandem instructor, which is done by using a specifically designed harness that attaches onto your instructor’s parachute rig. The tandem instructor is responsible for overall safety protocols, equipment operation, and aerial maneuvers. Whereas, on a solo skydive, you would be completely by yourself operating your own parachute and held responsible for following all safety protocols. Solo skydiving demands self-reliance and confidence in executing each phase of the jump, from exit to landing.

How Many Tandem Jumps Before Solo?

Can you skydive alone for the first time? While some dropzones DO require at least one tandem skydive before you can take the class to skydive by yourself, other dropzones DON’T require any skydives before solo – like us!

At Skydive Tecumseh, you can jump right into getting your United States Parachute Association (USPA) skydiving A-license through our Accelerated Freefall (AFF) Program. It all starts with your AFF Ground School where you will learn everything you need to know in a 6-8 hour classroom setting with a certified AFF Instructor leading the class and answers any questions you may have.

How to Solo Skydive

Your journey to solo skydiving begins with the required classroom training to prepare for your first solo jump. During your first few jumps, you will be assisted by two USPA-certified AFF instructors who will be there to guide you along the way while holding onto you during freefall. The instructors will use the hand signals taught during your class to communicate with you to adjust your body position or signal you to deploy your parachute.

Once you reach approximately 5,500 feet, your instructors will let go of you as you pull your parachute. From there, you’ll take your own toggles and use the skills learned in your class to control the parachute back down to the ground. Don’t worry, students will receive radio guidance from an instructor on the ground who will be keeping an eye on you as you make your descent.

As you progress through the AFF program, maintain altitude awareness, a stable body position, and efficient parachute deployment, you’ll be able to skydive without any assistance. Woo hoo! An instructor will clear you to be on “solo status” as you complete the rest of your 25 jumps total to receive your USPA A license!

USPA A License – Solo Skydiving Requirements:

  • Complete 25 freefall jumps
  • Complete all requirements on the USPA A License Proficiency Card
  • Complete five group freefall skydives involving at least two participants
  • Fulfill USPA A License Proficiency Card and Progression Card requirements
  • Pass the USPA written and oral A license exam

How Much Does it Cost to Skydive Solo?

Everything awesome seems to come at a cost! But getting your skydiving license is more than just a once-in-a-lifetime experience – it’s investing in a life of passion, fun, and pure joy! While the cost of solo skydiving depends on factors such as location and progression, it is undoubtedly a commitment in both time and resources. At Skydive Tecumseh, each piece of the AFF Program prices include gear rental, instructional training, and everything else that you’ll need to get through the program. 

In total, you’ll spend about $3,500 for all 25 required jumps, training, and ground school. The good thing is that you can pay as you go and, as you progress through the program, the price per jump decreases – once you’re a licensed skydiver, it’s only $34 per jump at Skydive Tecumseh!

Ground School & AFF Level I Jump $399
Category B Jump $249
Category C1 Jump $249
Category C2 Jump $239
Category D1 Jump $239
Category D2 Jump $239
Category E Jump $239
Coaching Jumps (~6) $175
Self Supervised Jump (~12) $75

Advantages of Solo Skydiving

solo skydiving requirementsOnce you get your USPA A license, you are officially a licensed skydiver who has proven that they are capable of jumping on their own, with friends, and will be able to jump at almost any other dropzone in the world! From there, you can achieve other skydiving licenses (B, C, and D), try different skydiving disciplines, attend skydiving events, or even become a skydiving instructor yourself. Welcome to the vast and wonderful world of skydiving!

Choosing the Best Dropzone

Selecting the right dropzone is crucial for a knowledgeable, rewarding, and safety-focused solo skydiving experience. Be sure to consider the reputation and safety record of the dropzone, the quality of instruction provided, the availability of amenities and facilities, and the variety of aircraft and jump altitudes offered. Researching reviews, visiting dropzone websites, and seeking recommendations from fellow skydivers can help aspiring solo jumpers make an informed decision when choosing where to learn to skydive. 

At Skydive Tecumseh, we’ve been in the biz since 1964 so you know we’ve got the experience to offer all of our guests the best of the best – our reputation speaks for itself (just read our reviews)! With an excellent safety record, top-notch skydiving equipment, highly qualified skydiving instructors, some of the fastest skydiving planes, and the highest altitudes, we are determined to make your first jump a memorable one whether you decide to do a tandem or go it alone. We’ve got you!

Ready to earn your wings and start your solo skydiving journey with us? Book your AFF Ground School today! Blue skies, friends.

Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

Skydiving for the first time at Skydive Tecumseh was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life. No matter how high maintenance I was before the jump when I was scared, every single jumper employee did everything they could to make my experience unforgettable. I have already recommended here for many of my friends wanting to go with me for their first time on my next round!

Christine Kardel