What is Tandem skydiving? First-timer advice, tips, and safety guidelines!

Conquer your fears and embrace Tandem skydiving!

Love watching professional skydivers zoom out of a plane, fly around over lush landscapes and make a perfect landing? Well, you can do all that too! With tandem skydives, even a beginner can get a taste of the adrenaline-spiking, heart-pounding adventure sport.

In tandem skydiving, professional instructors known as tandem masters attach themselves to the participant and jump out of the plane with them. Therefore, during tandem skydives, you can focus on enjoying your skydiving experience to the fullest and leave the hardest parts to your instructor. It is a safe and exciting way to try out skydiving, even if you’re doing it for the first time. Read on to know more!

What is tandem skydiving?

  • Tandem skydives are a type of skydive in which two people, an instructor and a participant, are strapped together via a harness and jump out of a plane together. They are connected in such a way that the instructor floats above the participant, their front to the participant’s back. 
  • The tandem instructor is attached to the participant right from the moment of the jump, through the free fall, till the landing. The instructor guides the participant, pilots the canopy and directs the landing, with minimal effort put in by the participant. This is why tandem skydives are best for those who are trying skydiving out for the first time.
  • Participants need to register at the Australian Parachute Federation online before taking the leap. They are given a brief training and a health check to ensure that they are fit to fly. After that, there are thorough gear checks for both participants and instructors. What makes tandem skydives even safer is that all instructors need a Instructor “T” (Tandem-Master) endorsement, and  experience of a few hundred jumps!
  • Finally, participants get onto the plane where the instructors attach themselves to their students and rise up from anywhere between 8000 ft to 15,000 ft. Then off you go!

About your tandem skydive instructor

When doing tandem skydives, you are trusting your life with your instructor or your Tandem Master. Therefore, here are a few things you should know to be well-informed as well as to abet any anxieties:

  • Tandem Masters are extremely well-trained and are certified to work as a jumpmaster. They need to acquire the Instructor “T” (Tandem-Master) endorsement from the Australian Parachute Federation.
  • Skydivers need to do at least 500 jumps before they’re allowed to do the course to become tandem instructors. 
  • Instructors also do buddy checks on each other to make sure that all their own gear is packed right.
  • The instructors train, guide and gear up the participants and they pilot the entire dive, right from the plane jump to the landing.

Preparing for your tandem skydive

  • Food: Even if you think food will make you queasy, make sure that you have a light meal before your dive. An empty stomach can make you feel even more uncomfortable.
  • Attire: It is best to be dressed in loose comfortable clothes, casual wear or athletic clothes. You may also want to leave the heels and hiking boots at home. Covered shoes are mandatory.
  • Health check: Even though most places will let you give your own health statement and not need a doctor’s note, you should be sure to report any and all conditions, even if it’s something small like a cold.
  • Instructions: Pay very close attention to instructions during the training as well as during the jump. Make sure that you understand all commands and talk to your instructor in case you have any doubts.
  • Risks: Remember, all adventure sports have a certain degree of risk involved. Do not go skydiving within 24 hours of going scuba-diving. Also refrain from consuming any alcohol or drugs at least 8 hours prior to your jump.

FAQs on tandem skydive

Is it safe for even a first timer to go on a tandem skydive?

Tandem skydiving is the safest choice for those who are trying out skydiving for the first time. Here, the Tandem Master will look after most of the processes so you don’t have to stress about them!

Can I get my own GoPro?

Unfortunately, personal recording devices like the GoPro are not allowed during tandem skydives. Most experiences have a photos and videos package available so you can still capture the most memorable parts of your experience!

Can I go on a group tandem skydive?

Every average skydiving plane takes 5-9 tandems on board during each turn. So, you and your friends can get on board together. However, when you jump, each of you will be attached to an experienced instructor.

Can someone watch me perform the skydive?

Yes, usually there is a spectator’s area at the dropzone from where your friends and family can watch you skydive.

What if I change my mind, will I get a refund?

You cannot cancel most skydiving tickets. However, you can reschedule most tickets up to 24 hours before your jump. The period within which you have to choose another date is 12 months from the date of your original jump.

How much training do I need to do a tandem skydive?

You need minimal training to go on a tandem skydive. You’ll just have to pay attention during basic training and you’re good to go!

How long will skydiving take?

Reserve at least 3-4 hours for the activity, more if the dropzone is far from where you’re staying. The journey upwards on the plane takes about 15 or 20 minutes, the freefall lasts around 60 seconds and you fall for another 5-7 minutes after the parachute is deployed. But, it is the transfers, training and health check that take up a lot of time.

Can I go skydiving in spite of a disability?

There are many persons with disabilities who skydive. However, not all disabilities are the same, so you’ll have to consult the staff behind the experience.