Skydiving Seasons: What to Expect on Your Jump Based on the Time of Year

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Jumping at Skydive Paraclete XP offers a unique experience all year round – thanks to our fantastic weather, beautiful landscapes, and the right gear for every condition. Whether you’re a seasoned jumper or a first-time tandem skydiver, understanding what to expect during each season can enhance your overall skydiving experience. Which is why we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to skydiving throughout the year in Raeford, North Carolina!

Tandem skydiver and her male tandem instructor during freefall - both giving two thumbs up

Skydiving in the Spring

Springtime offers vibrant and spectacular views from above as the landscape bursts into color with blooming flowers and fresh greenery, creating a stunning backdrop for your skydive. But with those flowers can come springtime showers! Spring in Raeford can be a mixed bag of weather, from rain to clear skies and quickly moving puffy clouds. This variability requires flexibility in scheduling jumps and taking extra safety precautions. Wind patterns can be stronger and more unpredictable, which might affect jump timing and conditions.

Layered clothing is an essential key for springtime jumps at Skydive Paraclete XP. The temperature can vary significantly throughout the day, and (as always) the temperature is 30 to 40 degrees cooler up at altitude. So, we recommend wearing a warm base layer with long sleeves and adding layers that can be easily removed if it gets warmer.

Skydiving in the Summer

The North Carolina landscape in the summer is lush and green, providing breathtaking countryside views – a perfect canvas for an inspiring and unforgettable skydiving adventure! As far as weather goes, summer promises plenty of clear skies, long daylight hours (more time for jumps!) – as well as muggy temps in the 90s and afternoon storms.

Light, breathable clothing is essential for summer jumps along with staying hydrated. Although it will be hot, leave your flip-flops, sandals, or any other type of shoe that exposes your foot at home. Closed-toe shoes that you can lace up tightly are an absolute must for skydiving. Tank tops and short shorts are weather appropriate but could be a bit uncomfortable while wearing a harness and flying at 120 mph in the sky. 

Skydiving in Autumn

Autumn brings cooler temperatures, which has the potential to influence thermals and wind patterns in the sky. These changes may affect the flight and landing phases of skydiving, which requires extra adjustments in technique and equipment performance. However, the milder weather can make the physical aspects of skydiving much more comfortable. The fall foliage in Raeford is nothing short of spectacular; the aerial view of forests painted in red, orange, and yellow is breathtaking – especially from 14,000 feet!

When the temperatures begin to drop as we transition into fall, warmer clothing becomes a necessity. A thermal base layer with additional, flexible layers on top to adjust your comfort level is best. Gloves are also optional depending on personal preference and how cold it is up at altitude. Feel free to ask your instructor for advice!

Skydiving in the Winter

Winter in Raeford is generally mild compared to many other regions, but the colder temperatures can still pose challenges. 

Clear and crisp winter skies can provide a serene and calm skydiving adventure with less turbulent air than you might experience in other seasons. The clarity of the air during winter can also enhance visibility, offering crystal-clear views of other surroundings that you might not be able to see in other skydive seasons when there’s potential for a bit of haze.

Thermal gear is an absolute must for winter skydiving. Insulated layers, jumpsuits, and gloves should be worn to keep as warm as possible. Layering and using moisture-wicking fabrics are key here. Hand warmers are also another option to add to your ensemble, providing even more warmth without causing too much obstruction to dexterity. 

As skydivers at Skydive Paraclete XP, it’s important to stay current with our skydiving skills – which is why we’re open all year long! And if it’s just too darn cold, we have our very own indoor skydiving wind tunnel just 15 minutes away from the dropzone to keep our flight skills up and escape the brisk winds of winter.

Outside photo of a videographer in mid air filming a tandem student in freefall with her instructor

What is the Best Skydive Season?

Is it better to skydive in the summer or winter? What about spring and autumn? If you asked skydivers around here when is the perfect season for skydiving at Skydive Paraclete XP, many would vote for either spring or late summer/early fall. Generally, the best weather for skydiving includes blue skies, warm temperatures around 75 to 85°F and a light breeze – something spring and fall tend to offer in Raeford!

Tip for Year-Round Skydiving

  1. Check Weather Forecasts: Always keep an eye on the weather forecasts BEFORE heading out to the dropzone – weather can change rapidly. This helps in planning your jumps, staying safe, and saving yourself from the major disappointment of driving out to the skydiving center for nothin’. Don’t worry if you have a reservation already set, we will call you if things are looking less than promising and simply reschedule your jump for another time. 
  2. Stay Hydrated: Regardless of the season, staying hydrated and fueled is crucial when jumping out of an airplane. In the summer season, it helps with heat; in winter, it helps combat the drying effects of cold air. Besides, water and food fuel your body for the high-adrenaline you’re about to experience on your jump! 
  3. Use the Right Gear: Proper attire not only ensures comfort but also enhances your safety during jumps. Be sure to dress for the weather and add extra layers to prepare for the cool winds up at higher altitudes. 
  4. Enjoy the Scenery: Each skydiving season offers a unique, breathtaking view of our world below. Take a moment during each jump to appreciate the changing landscapes and breathe in the vastness and beauty of our wonderful planet.

When does ‘skydiving season’ start? Right now! The dropzone gets busier in early spring when skydivers begin to get prepped for a full skydiving season, and things slow down once the winter chill rolls in and most skydiving centers shut down – but not us! At Skydive Paraclete XP, the skydiving season lasts all year-round! So get out here and enjoy the skies with us – book your skydive with one of the best dropzones in the country! Blue skies, y’all!

woman dancing in freefall with ballet slippers

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