What’s the difference between dreaming and doing? It’s ambition. While dreams exist in the ethereal regions of our minds, ambition will take a dream, make it a goal, and strive toward that goal with drive, clear delineated intentions, and a plan.
What about you?
Would you like to take your dream of playing amongst big puffy clouds and turn it into the reality of being a licensed skydiver?
We want to help you establish healthy expectations and paint a realistic picture of what it takes to become a skydiver. Below we’ll cover what you need to know and expect to be perfectly prepared to become a skydiver.
The Importance of Doing This for Yourself
As you can imagine, to make number one on our list, this point must be pretty important. In fact, this is the MOST important decision you have to make if you want to be a skydiver. You have to decide: do YOU actually want this? It’s easy to let others live vicariously through us or to attempt skydiving as a means to impress someone else. Too often, we see individuals taking up AFP because someone else is doing it or has done it.
However, pursuing becoming a skydiver needs to be an entirely autonomous decision. The Advanced Freefall Program (AFP) is a hefty commitment, mentally and financially. You need to be all in. Jump for you, not for anyone else.
Learning To Skydive – Time and Budget
To achieve your goal of becoming a skydiver, you will have to become an expert at budgeting your time and your money. Skydiving is not a cheap sport to become involved in. There is quite a bit of overhead cost and initial investment required to jumpstart your journey.
While you can pay as you go, budgeting enough money to cover the A License Package ($2869), as opposed to forking out funds for individual levels, will save you a substantial amount of cash and allow you to progress more efficiently. If time and weather are on your side, you can also complete your A License in a week. The A License in a week package is $2769.
Though, speaking of weather, please be aware that the weather is an ongoing challenge for skydiving students worldwide. It’s easy to become disheartened from weather holds and delays, but in the sport of skydiving, patience is a necessary virtue.
Commitment To Staying Current
As a student, and later, as a licensed skydiver, you must commit to staying current. The term “currency” refers to making a jump within an allotted amount of time. For students, this period is 30 days. Once you have an A License, you must make a skydive every 60 days; though, we doubt you will be able to stay away that long.
Currency is important for keeping your mind in skydiving mode and ensures your body develops proper muscle memory.
Pass / Fail
It is not guaranteed that you will “pass” each skydiving level you attempt. Instructors will not allow you to progress unless you have demonstrated the required freefall objectives for each level. Before anyone in good conscience can move you forward toward becoming a licensed skydiver, you have to prove you have the skill and awareness skydiving requires. This may mean you have to repeat a level.
Put In The Work
There are ways to improve the likelihood that you will pass each level of your student skydiving progression. After you get a few jumps under your belt, take the time to review your AFP videos, paying particular attention to your exits, freefall body position, and instructor signals. Also, read through your logbook entries to see what your instructors suggest you focus on.
To further ensure success, find out what each level entails ahead of time and before you arrive at the dropzone, read up on that jumps’ particular requirements.
After going over the dive flow with your instructors, visualize your skydive. Our mind is a powerful tool: envisioning performing maneuvers correctly often translates into correctly performed maneuvers.
And finally, if your budget allows, the wind tunnel can serve as a useful tool to develop your body flight skills.
Attaining Your A-License and What That Means
Receiving an A License is the culmination of all your hard work as a skydiving student. Not to mention, your A License opens the door to a wide world of skydiving fun. Once a licensed skydiver, you can jump with your friends, pursue other skydiving licenses, join a skydiving team, or keep it casual and begin attending boogies (basically big skydiving festivals), one of the largest of which is actually hosted right here at Skydive Chicago!
Overcoming Your Fears
It may be tough to talk yourself up on the drive to our skydiving center. But, trust us, skydiving is like driving. When you first received your driver’s license, you were probably quite a bit tentative and unsure. Though, the more you drove, the more comfortable you felt behind the wheel.
Skydiving is very similar. You will be fearful through the process, but the only way to work through it is to keep skydiving!
An Incredible Community
The biggest reward that comes from skydiving is the community of people. From novice to ninja, skydivers all share something special: a love of the sport. Within the skydiving community, you will find every profession from day laborers to doctors, lawyers to realtors, dentists to athletes, bankers and everything in between.
There are a host of connections to be made and a world of friends to grow with. We don’t mean to boast but the friends you make skydiving are unlike any you’ve had before.
Think you’re a good fit for our skydiving program or interested in learning more? Contact us today, and let us help you along the way!