Tandem Skydiving: the Best First Parachute Jump

The enormous sensory overload felt by mind, body and soul during a tandem freefall can be life shaping. The only barrier to enjoyment is the mind itself.

To Tandem Skydive

Jumping out of a plane whilst attached via a harness to an experienced skydiver is the easiest way to achieve accelerated freefall without hours of pre-training and parachute instruction. The tandem method was developed as an easier way of instructing first time skydivers but has also become the ultimate thrill seeking adventure sport for adrenaline junkies the world over.

What to Expect on a 12,000 ft Tandem Skydive Jump

  • A short briefing whilst putting on an aerodynamic jump-suit, harness, helmet and goggles.
  • Nervous anticipation on the 15 minute flight to 12,000 feet.
  • Safety checks in the aircraft as the tandem master tightens all straps to ensure the client’s harness is well and truly attached to his own.
  • A last look at the altimeter as the red light in the aircraft changes to green and you edge towards the exit to stare briefly into the abyss.
  • Sensory overload on exiting the plane head-first, followed by a swift somersault just before the drogue chute opens to rebalance both tandem pupil and instructor in the traditional freefall position.
  • An immense rush as the mind either completely lets go to fully enjoy the exhilaration of accelerated freefall or terrorises itself into fearful submission.
  • A heavy jolt when the main canopy opens, dragging both skydivers upwards for a spilt second, before a serene, effortless five minute glide back to terra firma and the softest of landings.
  • After landing, either total relief on surviving or an incredible desire to just do it all over again.

Tandem Skydiving Safety

  • Since the first tandem jump in 1977, harness systems used for tandem skydiving have become sophisticated and accidents are extremely rare.
  • Tandem masters have to complete an instructor certification course and do a minimum of 500 jumps before they qualify.
  • The drogue chute deployed on exiting the plane slows the descent of two persons to that of one individual. It also allows other solo skydivers to descend at the same speed for photography and/or videography.
  • The main canopy automatically opens at around 2,000 ft if the tandem master has not already opened the parachute for some reason.

Where to Do a Tandem Parachute Jump

Popular places in the world to do a tandem parachute jump include those with favourable weather patterns like Florida and Australia.

New Zealand is also one of the most spectacular and popular locations for a first time tandem jump with Queenstown, the adventure capital of the South Island, high on many lists due to the awesome surroundings and subsequent stunning video footage. The professional crew at NZone in Queenstown certainly knows how to get their clients to “embrace the fear.”

Cost of Tandem Skydiving

Tandem skydiving does not come cheap, especially when adding videos and photos to a package.Expect to pay $200 for the skydive and $100-$150 for the extras.

Jumping out a plane is an immense personal challenge. Letting go of all inhibitions and life preserving instincts will allow anyone to fully enjoy the adventure thrill of a lifetime.