How to Research a DropZone

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The ‘drop zone’ or ‘DZ’ is the term we use to describe a skydiving center. Whether you’re an experienced skydiver or thinking about your first jump, choosing a dropzone is a significant decision because no two DZ’s are the same. A great experience is not dictated by just your free fall, but everything else as well. If you’re thinking of skydiving NC, here’s how to research a dropzone to find the best one for you.

1. Consider If The Location Is Real

When researching a skydiving center online, it’s important to discern whether the website you’ve landed on is an actual skydiving center.

Not all listed dropzones on the internet are real. Several third party resellers have created websites that look like actual drop photo-apr-08-5-02-15-pmzones or even pretend to be a drop zone, but are not.

Identifying a real DZ and a reseller takes a keen eye. Resellers usually charge much more than the dropzone would which is why it’s important to discern the difference. To help identify a real DZ and a third party site look for the following:

  • an actual physical location at an airport (be sure to Google the address)
  • staff bios
  • the ability to make online reservations without having to call
  • a pricing page

Another great way to find out if a DZ is real is to call the number listed. Third parties won’t usually tell you where they’re located until after they have received payment. They want to make their commission first! It’s all shady stuff and is why research is needed.

Here at Skydive Paraclete XP, we’re located in Raeford which makes us the ideal choice for skydiving in North Carolina. Choose the drop zone that best suits your location – but make sure you’re working with a real skydiving center and not a call center.

2. Choose a USPA Member Drop Zone

The USPA (United States Parachute Association) is the regulatory body for the sport of skydiving. The USPA provides basic safety requirements for its member dropzones, but it is not a mandatory requirement for skydiving centers to be part of the USPA. Non-USPA group member DZ’s can set their own rules or have no rules at all. We don’t think this is the best idea. We recommend that the skydiving center you choose be a member of the USPA.

You can quickly check whether a skydiving center is a USPA member by utilizing the DZ locator on the USPA’s website.

skydiving nc

3. Look at Reviews

You can tell a lot about a dropzone from the reviews left by previous jumpers. There are several skydiving centers with great reviews and conversely, some with terrible reviews. Do your homework! Common review platforms include:

Google Plus

4. Call Ahead

Each DZ will have its own style and it’s worth putting in the time to check how professional they are and whether their style suits you.

A good way to get a feel for the DZ’s style is to give them a call, or check them out on social media. See how they respond to your questions and the tone they use, and decide whether you’re happy to spend a day there. Usually, if they’re not enthused to have you as a potential customer, there’s a good chance the customer service won’t be any better when you arrive for your skydive.

Skydiving NC

Skydivers, in general, are a friendly community of people. Whether you’re jumping for the first time or you’ve done hundreds of jumps, you’re likely to be met with a warm reception when you go to jump. If you’d like to speak to us about skydiving in NC, get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help.


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woman dancing in freefall with ballet slippers

Awesome environment, by far the best dropzone I've been to. I finished my AFF skydiving school here, they have super experienced instructors not to mention the amazing facility with top of the line equipment. Everyone here is always in a good mood willing to help you with any questions or concerns you may have as a tandem or AFF student.

Rafael M.