The experts at Skydive Hollister in Hollister, CA have compiled a list of FAQs about skydiving and answered them. If you are a beginner, you will find answers to almost all of your questions regarding skydiving. Let us know if you are looking for specific information. Our experts will provide you the required information.
The commonly asked questions are categorized below. For any questions or concerns not listed here, give us a call at 1 – 800 – FUNJUMP.
Is Skydiving Dangerous?
Of course it’s dangerous. You get out of a plane three miles above the earth. Gravity does work, in fact, it rules supreme. The only thing between a skydiver and “deceleration trauma” is a chunk of nylon about the size of your living room. Which part of not being dangerous was unclear?
Is It Safe?
Ahhh…a much better question.
Skydiving Hollister owns the latest student, solo, and tandem gear. All of the equipment used at Skydiving Hollister is serviced and maintained by FAA certified technicians of the highest ratings. The parachutes are packed by professionals, and the reserves are packed and repacked even if they’re unused (it’s not only a good idea, it’s the law). Although an inherently dangerous sport, just as driving a car is an inherently dangerous activity (you did know that, right?), we take every precaution to assure your safety while on our drop zone. Do you drive with bad brakes and bald tires?
So, the short answer is that the sport of skydiving has been made as safe as possible. And at Skydiving Hollister, we take every precaution possible before, during, and after your skydive.
What Should I Drink?
As mentioned, it does get warm around the DZ during the summer months, so drinking water will keep you from dehydrating.
Drinking alcoholic beverages before your skydive is not only a bad idea; we won’t even take you skydiving. If you want to have a drink after your skydive, that’s up to you. Skydiving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is just a plain bad idea. What you do on your own time is up to you. What you do when you’re with us is our business.
What Should I Eat?
Well, some are a bit concerned about seeing their breakfast or lunch again when they do their first skydive (I know I was), so you may want to eat light, or bring something to snack on. The town of Hollister is just a few miles down the road, and there are plenty of places to eat there, too.
What Should I Wear?
Clothing would be a good thing. Oh, you mean specifically? Well, let’s start with shoes: wear sneakers. That’s about it. You may see some of the experienced skydivers wearing sandals, but the key word there is experienced. For the beginner, stick with sneakers. Wear comfortable jeans or shorts. You will be putting a jumpsuit on over your clothing, and it does get warm around the airport in the summer months, so think about it.
What Are Your Hours?
Skydive Hollister is open from 9 am until sunset seven days a week, including some holidays. Call ahead (1-800-FUN-JUMP) for a reservation and make sure that we’re going to be open and running on the day you plan to jump. (On a light business day, we may decide to wash the airplanes.)
What if I’m Afraid of Flying?
Well…um…find a good therapist and then call us?
Does It Feel Like You’re Falling?
Briefly. A human body leaving an airplane at 15,000 feet reaches terminal velocity within just a few seconds. After that, you no longer feel like you’re falling, just like you’re moving down a cushion of air. Or atop a waterbed that’s sprung a leak. Only not as wet, hopefully.
What if I’m Afraid of Heights?
A good deal of acrophobia has to do with relativity. No, not what Einstein talked about, but seeing objects moving in relation to one another. At 15,000 feet, the ground is a long way off and you can’t really tell that you’re above anything. Not like climbing a ladder where you can see objects and gauge your distance from them.
At something like 2,500 feet, the ground becomes too far away to worry about and acrophobia goes away. You probably know better than anyone what you can handle, but we did have someone who is acrophobic tell us that they’d rather jump out of a plane than climb a step-ladder. (They did a tandem and enjoyed it thoroughly.)
Is Free Fall Noisy?
Yes and no. Don’t plan on carrying on a lot of conversations without first learning sign language. But you won’t need earplugs, either. It’s like sticking your head out of a car window. When it’s moving,
Does it Hurt when the Parachute Opens?
Yep, Terribly. The thousands who skydive are masochists.
No, it doesn’t hurt. The harness is tightened so that there’s no real shock from it pulling when the parachute opens. Grab your belt and pull your pants up; it feels a lot like that.
How Long Does the Plane Ride Take?
In Skydive Hollister’s PAC 750XL, it takes only about fifteen minutes to get to an altitude of fifteen thousand feet.
How Long Does the Skydive Take?
For an AFF level or traditional Tandem (the highest in California!), free-fall lasts about sixty seconds, depending a lot on body-weight, surface area, and a number of other factors. You will then have about five minutes under canopy to enjoy the view and the ride.
For California’s Highest Tandem from 18,000 feet, free-fall will last about ninety seconds with the same amount of time under canopy. Quite a rush.
We highly recommend that you plan your day around the skydive. Due to the nature of the sport of skydiving, the entire process may take all day due to unforeseen circumstances such as wind speed and direction changes, butt coverage, gear and/or equipment maintenance, aircraft upkeep and operation, air traffic, and other factors that may affect the safety of your experience.
Okay, what if both Main and Reserve Fail?
You’re about to have a really bad day.
Statistically, you are more likely to die on your way to the drop zone in a car accident, Or be struck by lightning while winning the Lotto.
We won’t kid you. Skydiving is a dangerous sport, particularly if the proper precautions aren’t met, as are many things in life. But like those, if you pay attention to what you’re doing, stay aware of the hazards, and prepare for the possibility of them, you’ll either avoid the hazards or know how to handle them when they do arise.
What if I Panic/Pass Out/Get Hurt and Can’t Pull the Ripcord?
All of Skydive Hollister’s rigs are equipped with a device called an Automatic Activation Device (A.A.D.). This device constantly measures your speed and altitude during a skydive and — if you are going too fast too low — it will deploy your parachute for you.
What if the Parachute Doesn’t Open?
Every skydiving rig is equipped with both a main and a reserve parachute. As a tandem skydiver, you are with a trained professional who knows how to handle a malfunction and deploy the reserve chute if it’s necessary. Skydive Hollister takes your safety very seriously.
As an AFF student, you are taught how to deploy your main chute on time and stable, and to recognize what a malfunction looks like as well as how to deal with the malfunction in a timely manner. If the malfunction is the type that cannot be dealt with, you are taught how to cut-away your main parachute and deploy your reserve parachute, which is extremely unlikely to have a malfunction.
What is the minimum Age Requirement?
All participants must be at least 18 years old. No exceptions. We will require to see your government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or license upon your arrival at our location.
What is the maximum weight limit?
We charge $2 per pound over 200 lbs. The maximum weight for a tandem skydiving student is dependent on each student’s heigh and weight proportions. For your reference, we’ll stick to a 250-lb. limit. Call us if you have any concerns.
How Do you Videotape/Photograph a Skydive?
When you leave the plane, we throw a video camera out with you. It’s really expensive to video
Just kidding. A highly trained skydiver leaves the plane with you (a little before, actually) and follows you down. You will be recorded throughout free fall and through chute deployment. Your landing will also be recorded for posterity. Try to smile a lot.
Can I Have My Jump Photographed?
Yes. Stills and video services are available. You will receive your photos and videos in raw digital format via USB flash drive.
Can I Train and Jump in the Same Day?
Do you really have to? Your performance during the class will help your instructor evaluate your progress. It’s possible to take the 6 to maybe 8-hour ground school and jump the same day (if the weather permits), but your instructor makes the call. This will have to be scheduled properly with our reservations department prior to your first session.