A skydiver falls through the air.

A Skydiver’s Proper Top 10 Bucket List

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Everybody has a bucket list. Some have it memorized, some have an actual handwritten list or Pinterest pins, while others may simply daydream about future goals or achievements. Well, skydivers have bucket lists too. From daydreaming of making that first skydive to jumping from exotic locations, we uncover a skydiver’s Top 10 bucket list!

#1 Earn Your A-License

Everyone has a beginning, and to even consider dreaming of other skydiving bucket list items, your first goal is to earn your A license. The very first step is either with a tandem skydive — to better prepare you for our PSP, learn to skydive program — or to jump right into the PSP program headfirst.

Tandem Skydiving

We recommend starting with a tandem skydive as this will help you determine if skydiving is even for you before you go all-in with the PSP program. A tandem skydive is beneficial as it helps prepare first-time jumpers on what to expect which helps reduce stress during the first solo jump in the PSP program. Tandem jumpers will become familiar with the various activities happening on the aircraft during the flight to altitude, feel the sensation of exiting the plane, the wind in their face during freefall, get a “sight picture” of what the dropzone looks like from above, and experience what it’s like to fly under parachute. Becoming familiar with these elements better prepares an individual for PSP.

Paraclete Student Program [PSP]

At Skydive Paraclete XP, making a tandem skydive first isn’t mandatory. You can begin with the PSP program for your first jump. Our student program is designed to guide you all the way to the first basic license from our national organization called the USPA. The A-license is significant as it is a badge stating that you have the basic skydiving knowledge to skydive by yourself, and now, with others … with limitations of course. Hence, progressing so we can tick off those other mega skydiving bucket list goals!

instructor guides learn to skydive student through exit and freefall
Students receive hands-on training from instructors

#2 Earn Your B-License

By this time in the sport, you’ll have many new skydiving buddies and you’ll want to be jumping with them at various skydiving events and off some very cool kinds of aircraft like the next bucket list item – jumping from a hot air balloon which requires a B-license. Learn more about skydiving license levels.

#3 Make a Balloon Jump

Okay, not like David Blaine recreating the character in the movie, UP. Rather, a hot air balloon that floats you up in a basket to a few thousand feet. Jumping from a hot air balloon is awesome as it’s not a common occurrence, and jumping from a fixed object like a balloon versus a moving airplane provides a completely different sensation that’s both exhilarating and epic!

#4 Jump on the Beach

Can you imagine your vacation supercharged? Going to an exotic location, bringing your rig, jumping in shorts and a t-shirt?! Usually attending an event like this (known as a “boogie”) requires that clutch B-license. This license opens the doors to incredible opportunities at exotic skydiving locations around the globe!

Examples of this include landing on the beach in the Maldives or into the Blue Hole in Belize. Once you are immersed in the skydiving world, you’ll see these epic images and know that you’ll wanna check off this mega skydiving bucket list goal!

#5 Jump Naked (or in your undies)

As if skydiving wasn’t exhilarating enough, it can be even more exhilarating when you do it sans clothing. Skydiving sans clothes is never a good look as one’s skin (and other bits) will flap in the wind, but the exhilaration that comes from being completely free in one’s birthday suit is exhilarating. If being in the buff leaves you feeling uncomfortable, many participate in the Hundie Undie jump. Jumping with your buddies in your undies for your 100th jump! Jumping naked is definitely an old-school thing, and still accepted in our sport, but you don’t see it as often as people jumping in lingerie or their undies!

#6 Earn a C-license

Do you see where we’re going here? When you earn these level upped skydiving licenses, it allows you to open the door to more opportunities! The C-license is a big skydiving bucket list goal for many and you’ll see why next!

#7 Skydive With a Camera

Everyone – even our dear tandem students – want to jump their own camera. When you start out in the sport, you’re schooled on why only experienced jumpers who’ve been properly trained on the equipment are allowed to jump these precious little cameras. Jumping a camera may not seem like a big deal – especially since we live in a tech world and everyone has a smartphone and GoPro.

However, jumping a camera adds an element of distraction from your safety procedures. A camera may get entangled with other equipment, it may fall off and become a projectile, it could take away from focusing on gear checks and other important safety measures. This investment of time and training in the sport allows you to jump a camera. Because – it’s not just about being the next viral sensation – it’s about safety!

#8 Attend a Competition

Ok, we know not everyone is competitive, and being a competitor takes a lot of time and investment. However, that dedicated time helps improve your skills exponentially, defines you as an athlete, and competition exposes you to new techniques and extraordinary people! Competition is exciting, fun, and inspiring that it’s worth everyone to experience at least once!

A tandem skydiving experience.

#9 Jump from a Specialty Airplane

We are really fortunate here at Skydive Paraclete XP because many people do not have the opportunity to jump from such different aircraft and travel many miles to do so! The traditional skydiving jump planes are the Cessna 182’s which fit 4 jumpers, the Cessna Caravan which seats 18 jumpers, and the Twin Otter, which fits 23 jumpers. The specialty aircraft we have in our own backyard are our tailgate planes: The Shorts Skyvan and the CASA.

Most skydiving centers fly the smaller planes while we host a large fleet of specialty planes! However, some people seek out specialty planes like the old military aircraft, biplanes or even helicopters to skydive from!

#10 Jump in a Wingsuit

This is most people’s ultimate skydiving bucket list item because it’s the closest thing to true flight. To soar for minutes through the air for miles, there is no freedom like it!

skydiving canopy control
Photo from Wikipedia – Richard Schneider from Los Angeles – Ocean Wingsuit Formation Uploaded by FAEP

In order to jump the beloved wingsuit, you will need that necessary C-license to show your experience, and attend a First Flight Course. Because Skydive Paraclete XP attracts so many renowned skydivers, we often host these right here!

There are so many extraordinary things we get to experience as skydivers! If you’re inspired to begin your skydiving bucket list journey, give us a click or call and we’ll be happy to welcome you to the skies at Skydive Paraclete XP!

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Skydiving License Levels Explained

woman dancing in freefall with ballet slippers

I did my fist tandem jump yesterday with Jon. It was one the best things I have ever done in my life. I wish to thank everyone there for their professionalism and yet you made it so much like being a part of team and a family.

Coleen Courtney Mick