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In-Person Training

If skydiving is more than just a one-time, bucket-list adventure for you, then you may want to get qualified to jump solo. This means earning a USPA A License, which requires demonstration of certain freefall and canopy flying skills and completion of a minimum of 25 instructor-supervised jumps. There are three types of beginner skydiver training: tandem freefall, accelerated freefall (AFF), and instructor-assisted deployment (IAD)/static line. You can find out more about each one here, and decide which might be the right choice for you. USPA issues four skydiving licenses, A through D, indicating progressive levels of skill and accomplishment.

Online Learning

Designed as a resource for first-time jumpers, the USPA Online Ground School is not a complete skydiving course. It gives newbies an introduction to the equipment and concepts needed for their maiden jump and serves as a refresher for those who may not have jumped in quite a while.

Vertical Wind Tunnel Training

Both rank beginners and professional parachutists use vertical wind tunnels, also known as indoor skydiving centers, to hone their freefall skills. In the tunnel, your freefall time is not limited to the typical 60 seconds of a real jump, and you don’t have to worry about chute packing and airplane exit procedures. You can hire a coach to teach you some nifty body flight maneuvers or just get better acclimated to the sensation of freefall and the wind hitting you at terminal velocity of 120 mph.