Before leaping into the air from 10,000 feet up and falling at about 120 miles per hour, here are some important tips to know before going skyward with a skydiving company.
What to Know
Make sure the company you’re dealing with is indeed a skydiving company. There are many businesses advertising themselves as skydiving firms, but really they are essentially resellers earning commissions for directing customers to specific partners outside the city. You should deal directly with places that are group members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), the governing agency for skydivers.
Starting from 10,000 feet up at about 120 miles per hour, you’ll have less than a minute before landing. It’s going to go by quick, and you’ll want to relive it again and again later. Find out how much it costs to video your fall and in what format you’ll get the media for later duplication or sharing with friends via the Internet.
You must be 18 years old or older to skydive, no exceptions. Parental or guardian permission won’t release any liabilities regarding recreational sports, and hold harmless waivers are required by all skydivers. Bring your photo ID.
For tandem jumps, find out the company’s weight limit. Typically clocking in on the scale at 200 to 240 pounds or more will disqualify you for a tandem jump. Also call ahead to discuss any medical conditions that might put your risk factors too high.
Aim to schedule your jump as early in the day as possible in case there are weather issues or other delays. After training, orientation and paperwork, expect get airborne at least an hour after getting started.
With many reservations during the summer months, you may find yourself stuck with either an early slot (around 7 a.m.) or near dusk (around 7 p.m.), with weekdays more open than weekends. Call ahead for availability and keep tabs on that day’s weather forecast.
Where To Go
The “Find A Dropzone” list on the USPA website — http://www.uspa.org — offers complete listings, descriptions of aircraft and details about on-site services from its various group members. Here’s a quick list of what’s nearby.
Skydive Snohomish, Inc.
9912 Airport Way / Harvey Field
Snohomish, WA 98296
(25 miles south of Seattle)
Jet City Skydiving
18664 Conway Frontage Rd. / Barker Field
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
(60 miles north of Seattle)
Kapowsin Air Sports
141 W Airview Way / Sanderson Field
Shelton, WA 98584
(80 miles southwest of Seattle)
5239 Jackson Hwy. / Winlock Airport
Toledo, WA 98591
(105 miles south of Seattle)
Skydive Oregon, Inc.
12150 S Hwy. 211 / Skydive Oregon Airport
Molalla, OR 97038
(200 miles south of Seattle)
(800) 934-5867 or (503) 829-3483
West Plains Skydiving “The Ritz”
2045 Schoessler Rd. / Ritzville Aero Recreation
Ritzville , WA 99169
(220 miles east of Seattle)