become a skydiver

How to Become A Skydiver

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The act of becoming a skydiver is easier than you think – you’ll jump into the skydiving fam with just one jump! However, if you’re looking to take your experience to the next level to become a regular skydiver, there is a bit of time and cost associated. We’ll break it down for ya!

Make Your First Skydive!

The easiest way to become a skydiver is to … well, skydive! 

Once you make your first tandem skydive, you’re officially a skydiver – welcome to the tribe! You’ll never forget your first skydive. Even seasoned skydivers still remember the first time they jumped out of an airplane! 

While the memory lives on forever, you’ll want to be sure to get the video of your first jump so you can watch it over and over (and over!) again to relive that life-changing moment. Especially after you become a licensed skydiver – watching the video of your first time will give you a sense of pride for all of your accomplishments and be a sweet reminder of why you got into the sport of skydiving in the first place!

become a skydiver

Training to become a skydiver 

The USPA (United States Parachute Association) ‘A’ License is the first license you’ll achieve on your path to become a skydiver. Skydive Paraclete XP offers one of the best-customized student programs in the United States, and with top-of-the-line instructors, you’ll be sure to get supreme coaching as you begin your journey! It’s extremely important to get started on the right foot so that you avoid developing bad habits as you progress.

The Paraclete Student Program (PSP) consists of 18 levels that cover all you’ll need to know in order to obtain your A License. The PSP progression includes ground training, wind tunnel training, a parachute packing class, freefall techniques, and canopy control.

Requirements to achieve a USPA A License:

  • 25 jumps
  • 5 successful skydives with one or more people
  • Completed USPA A License Proficiency Card
  • Official A License stamp on skydiving license
  • Pass the USPA written/oral exam

The program itself costs $3,576 in total. However, Skydive Paraclete XP offers a discounted rate for those who are interested in paying for their license upfront. From there, you can go on to achieve other licenses (B, C, and D) and/or other skydiving certifications. One of the best things about the sport of skydiving is that there is always something new to learn!

become a skydiver

Ground Training

Your training starts with ground school – aka the First Jump Course (FJC) – in the skydiving training center (“the school”) at Skydive Paraclete XP. It is called ground school because there will be no jumps during FJC; all training is done on the ground. (*See what we did there?*)

The FJC itself lasts 4 to 5 hours and covers all theoretical knowledge and practical training you’ll need to complete your first solo skydive. This includes learning about skydiving gear, proper aircraft and exit procedures, freefall technique, proper parachute deployment, canopy control, and how to deal with malfunctions. The training is very thorough and we encourage any questions during this time.

The first jump course at Skydive Paraclete XP takes place at night in order to avoid any interruptions or scheduling conflicts. The school hosts a First Jump Course every other week, so keep an eye on the schedule for the next ground school! Slots are limited, so register early!

Wind Tunnel Training

One of the things that makes the Paraclete Student Program so extraordinary is that it includes 15 minutes of wind tunnel training at our indoor wind tunnel facility just minutes away from the dropzone at Paraclete XP. Fifteen minutes may not sound like much but, as you will quickly learn, it is a lot, lot!

The wind tunnel is used as a great training tool to fine-tune the free-falling body position and improve body flight skills, which will help you fly with others in the future! In our years of experience, we’ve learned just how advantageous the wind tunnel is in helping students progress through the PSP.  You start off more prepared than most, all before you’ve even performed a single jump!

Student Progression Jumps

Following ground school and tunnel training, you’ll finally be ready to make your first solo skydive! On your first couple of jumps, instructors hold onto you during the freefall experience and guide you on deploying the parachute. 

On each of the 18 jumps, you’ll learn and apply new skills and progress throughout the student program at your own pace. Before you know it, you’ll be on your own completely as you perform seven additional solo jumps in order to reach the 25 jumps required to receive your A License and officially become a skydiver!

Graduation Ceremony

At Skydive Paraclete XP, we welcome our newly licensed skydivers into the fam with a unique skydiver chant performed by all dropzone attendees. You’ll get to find out what “HIM! HIM!” or “HER! HER!” means when you get there! *wink wink* 

During the ceremony, you’ll receive your required A License stamp … which is famously placed on your forehead and transferred onto your A License to be submitted to the USPA! With that, you’ll have done it – you’ll be licensed to fly!! (And then you can recruit your friends to join you in the sky!!)

Make it official – book your skydive today with some of the best instructors in the industry at Skydive Paraclete XP. Blue skies, future skydivers!

woman dancing in freefall with ballet slippers

Without a doubt my absolute favorite place to be when I'm out of school and off work. I came here after I made a tandem skydive and decided I wanted to learn and did my AFF. The instructors and coaches are wonderful. You WILL learn here. Loved jumping with Michael, Randy and Mike so much. Even if the drive is 2 1/2 hours and I'm licensed now, I'll keep coming back.

Jenna Nicole