If this is your first time skydiving, you might be curious about how long the entire skydiving process will take. A good rule of thumb is to plan for about 90 minutes from start to finish but sometimes it can take a bit longer due to logistics and weather considerations. The skydiving process can take up to 4 hours, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring a little snackage to eat and water just in case your wait ends up being longer than expected.
Dropzone logistics are centered around when the airplane takes off and when the airplane lands back on the ground (about every 20 minutes). We also have to consider how many slots are available on each airplane load. In addition to time and space management, though, is safety and stellar customer experience, of course. With all of these factors in consideration, the length of time a skydive takes can vary.
Each ‘checkpoint’ in your skydiving experience takes about a certain amount of time to fulfill – let’s break it down now, y’all! Here are the timeframes, step-by-step, for the entire skydiving process, broken into each section of your journey. We hope this will help you prepare for your first skydive!
CHECK-IN: 15 MINUTES
If you already made an online reservation, you will arrive at Skydive STL at the time of your reservation.
Checking in at Skydive STL will be your first step in the skydiving process. Say hello to our friendly office staff (manifest).
If you haven’t made your skydiving booking in advance, the manifest office will check to see what is available for the day, secure your slot on an airplane load, and get you prepped for your tandem skydive.
Next, you’ll fill out the waiver and tandem parachute jumper agreement.
Once your waiver is completed, the manifest office will check over everything and complete your check-in!
GROUND TRAINING: 15 MINUTES
Next up, a little training for your big leap! You’ll receive about 15 minutes of classroom instruction before getting kitted out for go time!
GET GEARED UP: 10 MINUTES
TIme to meet your new best friend, your licensed and highly-experienced tandem skydiving instructor! Your tandem instructor will get you harnessed up and equipped with all the necessary gear for your epic skydive. (Make sure you use the restroom before this step!)
RIDE THE AIRPLANE TO ALTITUDE: 10-15 MINUTES
At Skydive STL, the plane ride to 10,000 ft takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Some people say that this part of the skydiving process is actually the scariest because the anticipation hits no-turning-back mode and challenges you to overcome your fear. Take slow, deep breaths – you’ve got this!
FREEFALL: 45 SECONDS
To some first timers’ surprise, the freefall portion of your skydive only lasts about 45 seconds(the longest, most incredible 45 seconds of your life!). This is because you are falling at speeds of 120+ mph. Also surprising – it actually doesn’t even feel like you’re falling – more like floating. No roller coaster stomach drop feeling here! Blissful!
PARACHUTE RIDE: 5-7 MINUTES
Once your instructor deploys the parachute, it’ll take about 5 to 7 minutes to land back on the ground. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the beautiful scenery of the Mississippi River and practice your best skydiving pose for your photos and videos. Tell your instructor how you want to fly down – some like it mild; some like it wild!
After you land, you will be in a time warp of pure euphoria. Once you’re reunited with your friends and family, you’ll eagerly share the story of your epic adventure! Upon return to the hangar, you’ll turn in your gear and then be free to go – no doubt on cloud 9!
If you added on a photo or video package(which we highly recommend), the content will be professionally edited and sent directly to your email after your skydive. No need to wait around for your media!
At Skydive STL, we pride ourselves on our commitment to serve you in the most efficient and safe way possible. However, there are factors that are out of our control and may cause possible delays – please practice patience!