Tandem Skydiving Explained
You've booked yourself in for a skydive, but now you're wondering what your day at the dropzone will involve? No problem, because we've created an informative step by step guide outlining the process from the moment you arrive at the dropzone all the way through until you've completed your skydive.
Arriving at the dropzone
When you select a booking time, this is the time that we require you to show up to the dropzone and is not necessarily an indication of when your jump will be. The first thing you will do when you arrive is check in with manifest and ensure all the documents and requirements have been met. Once this is completed, the manifest staff will inform you of the current wait time before you progress to the next stage of the process.
While you wait
This is a good time to relax, have some water and get those pre-jump nerves out with a final visit to the bathroom. We strive to run as efficiently as possible, but due to weather and other factors out of our control, we may be running behind schedule in which case we may require you to wait up to 2 hrs for your skydive. If we are aware of any delays, we will try to contact you before you arrive and notify you of any possible changes to your scheduled booking. If you are on the dropzone and are required to wait for a prolonged time, our staff can suggest some things you can do in the area like going for a walk along the beach, which is less than 50 meters away.
Meeting your instructor
Once it’s your turn to get ready, you will meet with your instructor and they will begin preparing you for your skydive. The first thing they will do is fit you into your harness. Do not worry if at first the harness feels a little loose, this is for your comfort while on the ground and will be tightened in the plane before you exit. Once you have been harnessed, your instructor will give you the safety briefing and inform you of what to expect and what you are required to do throughout your skydive. Feel free to use this time to ask your instructor any other questions that you may have about your experience.
Boarding the plane
If the weather conditions are suitable and once your instructor is satisfied with your training, it’s now time to board the aircraft. Wave goodbye to your friends and family and then listen closely to your tandem masters instructions as you walk to and board the aircraft. You will then sit on the floor in front of your tandem master, facing the back of the plane.
Plane ride to altitude
No turning back now! The door is shut and the pilot will begin the climb to 10’000ft. The plane ride will take about 20mins, in which time try to relax and enjoy those amazing views of the Seychelles.
Getting ready and exit
About 5 mins before you jump, your instructor will start to get you ready by connecting themselves to you, tightening your harness and going over the brief one last time. When the aircraft is at altitude, the door will open, you will feel a nice blast of wind fill the plane and you instructor will move you into position. It is important that you listen to any further instructions as you may be required to assist in moving towards the door as it can be quite awkward once you are both strapped together. Try not to close your eyes! This is the most exciting part of the skydive and while it may be a little scary, you are not going to want to miss a single second of it. While holding your exit position, try your best to just breathe and relax, it will feel better for you and also make it easier for your instructor. Before you know it, your tandem master will count you down and then out you go.
Freedom! Freefall will last approximately 45 seconds, even though it may only feel about 15 seconds due to your brain being in overdrive. Everybody experiences freefall a little differently on their first time. Don’t worry about the ‘stomach drop’ feeling, you may only feel that for a second as you leave the plane. Once you’re in freefall, it actually just feels like you’re floating with a lot of wind on your face. Look around, enjoy the view and be sure to give a big smile and thumbs up to your camera. (pro tip: If you’re worried about ‘flappy face’ in your video, just smile! Smiling tightens all of the muscles in your face and reduces any wobbles you may get from the wind rushing past at over 200kph). Feel free to look around and enjoy that view but if you want to help out your tandem master, please keep you movements smooth and to a minimum as it makes their job a whole lot easier. The easier you make it for them, the more fun they can have with you and more effort they can put into making your video awesome.
Opening the Parachute
At approximately 5000ft your instructor will deploy your parachute. It only takes about 5 seconds for your parachute to slow you down from 200kph to around 20kph. It’s a painless process and you will be under an open and flying canopy before you even realise what’s happened. A common question we get it is “what happens if your parachute doesn’t open?” For these very rare cases, your instructor will simply release the initial/main parachute and then deploy the back up ‘reserve’ parachute. For a situation like this, your instructor is trained to act so quickly that it is unlikely that you would have even suspected there was any issue at all.
Flying under canopy
The flight down to the landing area will take approximately 5 mins. During this time your instructor will make a few adjustments to your harness to make you a bit more comfortable and then go over what will happen when it’s time to land. Once that is done, there’s nothing else to do other than look around and enjoy the view. For a lot of people, this is their favorite part of the skydive. As the wind and noise fades away and is replaced by a calm silence, and with amazing uninterrupted 360 degree views of the Praslin and the surrounding islands, this is one of the most peaceful ways to truly experience the present moment. On the way down, your instructor will also give you a chance to steer the parachute. All the while, your instructor will be capturing the moment on their wrist mounted camera.
Before you know it, it will be time to land. The primary plan is to land sliding in on your bum but if the wind conditions require your instructor may ask you to stand up, so be sure to listen out for their commands. This is one of the reasons why we have a minimum physical fitness ability, as you are required to lift your legs up and support them long enough for your instructor to be the one that meets the ground first.