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FAQ

Most people have lots of questions they can't wait to ask us. Here are answers to the most common ones....


  • What are the age requirements?
  • What are the physical requirements?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Will I have to sign a waiver?
  • What if the weather is bad?
  • How long does it take?
  • What should I wear?
  • What if I wear contacts or glasses?
  • Will I get sick?
  • What if I chicken out?
  • What if my parachute doesn't open?
  • How fast do you fall?
  • Is the landing hard?
  • Should  I tip my instructor?
  • Related Info
    How do I tell a good Drop Zone from poor one?
    Where can I try Skysurfing or BASE jumping?
    "How do you breathe in freefall?" and other Whuffo questions
    Movie Myths
    Appendix of skydiving terms


    What are the age requirements?
        You must be at least 18 years of age to make a skydive at Skydive Jersey Shore. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
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    What are the physical requirements?
         We evaluate each student on an individual basis.In general, you should be in reasonably good physical shape, this *is* a sport after all. Problems may arise where a prospect is too heavy (over ~220lbs) or if they have medical conditions which may impair them during the activity. Very few people have medical or physical conditions which actually preclude jumping. If you have a question, ask your doctor. You may be surprised at the relatively few physical constraints involved.
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    How much does it cost?

      Skydive Jersey Shore's prices are as follows:

    • Tandem (Monday - Friday) - $205.00 / $195.00 (cash)
    • Tandem (Saturday/Sunday) - $215.00 / $205.00 (cash)
    • AFF Level 1-7 Skydives - Class $85.00 / Jumps $190.00
      *Pease call for further details.
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    Will I have to sign a waiver?
        Yes. Everyone at Skydive Jersey Shore is required to sign a waiver. Tandem students sign an additional waiver releasing Tandem equipment manufacturers from liability. Skydiving is not an amusement park ride. Nothing can guarantee that if you jump from a plane you won't get hurt. Skydiving can seriously injure or kill you. On the bright side, Accidents are extremely rare in skydiving (about 1 in 80,000 jumps, and we do everything possible to ensure your safety. See our safety page and ask us about our safety record.
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    What if the weather is bad?
         High winds, low clouds, or rain may prevent us from jumping, but classes are held regardless of the weather. This way you'll be prepared to jump right away if we have to reschedule you.
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    How long does it take?
        The tandem class is under an hour. After your class you will get on the first available skydive. Waiting times can vary greatly depending on business and weather. We'll try to get you on your way as soon as possible, but we ask that you  be prepared to spend the whole day with us. Feel free to bring Frisbees, soccer balls, etc. We appreciate your patience and work hard to get everyone in the air as fast as possible.
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    What should I wear?
         Dress comfortably for the weather on the day of your skydive. Shorts and T-Shirts are fine for warm weather. We provide jumpsuits to protect your clothing. Please wear sneakers, no boots allowed.
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    What If I wear contacts or glasses?
         No problem, we have goggles that will fit over your glasses.
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    Will I get sick?
         If you don't suffer from motion sickness normally, it is unlikely that skydiving will make you nauseous. Be sure to be well rested and eat a healthy breakfast. You'll be much more likely to get sick if your stomach is empty.
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    What if I chicken out?
        It doesn't happen very often, but it's your decision to jump or not to. Nobody will ever force you to jump, and we'll gladly land the plane with you inside it. If you decide not to jump before you are geared up, we'll be happy to give you a refund.
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    What if your parachute doesn't open?
         Clearly, this is the most Frequently-Asked-Question posed by all prospective jumpers. By law (FAA regulations), all intentional parachute jumps must be made with a single harness, dual parachute system with both a main canopy *AND* a reserve canopy. In other words, you have a second (or spare) canopy in case the first one fails to open properly. However, it must be noted that the technology utilized in today's sport parachuting equipment is light years ahead of the old military surplus gear used in the '60s and '70s. The canopies are DRASTICALLY different from the classic G.I. Joe round parachutes. The materials are stronger, lighter and last longer, the packing procedures are simpler, the deployment sequence is much more refined, etc. The reserve canopies are even more carefully designed and packed. The reserve parachute must be inspected and repacked every 180 days by an FAA rated parachute Rigger - even if it has not been used during that time. The student's main canopy is always packed either by a rigger or under a rigger's direct supervision by experienced packers. There are also additional safety features employed to ensure canopy deployment such as Automatic Activation Devices (AAD) and Reserve Static Lines (RSL) which add still more layers of safety. Check out our Safety Page
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    How fast do you fall?
         When you leave the aircraft, you are moving horizontally at the same speed as the aircraft, typically 90-110MPH. During the first 10 seconds, a skydiver accelerates up to about 115-130MPH straight down. (A tandem pair uses a drogue chute to keep them from falling much faster than this). It is possible to change your body position to vary your rate of fall. In a standard face-to-earth position, you can change your fall rate up or down a few (10-20) miles per hour. However, by diving or "standing up" in freefall, any experienced skydiver can learn to reach speeds of over 160-180MPH. Speeds of over 200MPH require significant practice to achieve. The record freefall speed, done without any special equipment, is 321MPH. Obviously, it is desirable to slow back down to 110MPH before parachute opening. Once under parachute, decent rates of 1000ft./min. are typical. A lighter student with a bigger canopy may come down much more slowly, and, obviously, a heavier person may have a somewhat faster decent. Experienced jumper's canopies descend (in normal glide) at up to 1500ft./min. During radical turns, the decent rate can go well over 2000ft./min.
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    How hard is the landing?
         The canopies used today bear little resemblance to the classic round canopies of years gone by. Today, nearly all jumpers and jump schools use "square" canopies for parachuting. These canopies are actually rectangular in shape, and when open, act like an airplane wing (or an airfoil). They are more like gliders than umbrellas. The aerodynamics of the square canopy provide it with exceptional maneuverability, allowing the jumpers to land almost anywhere they wish. This wing shape also provides tippy-toe soft landings for even the novice jumper. The days of landing like a sack of flour are history. Most students land standing up on their first jump.
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    Should  I tip my instructor?
        Tipping is not expected, but is always greatly appreciated. If you feel your instructor or pilot has done an especially good job, let them know about  it. Everyone at Skydive Jersey Shore works hard to help make your first jump safe and enjoyable.
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    Related Information

    How do I tell a good Drop Zone from poor one?
      Most Drop Zones that provide regular student training are "USPA Affiliated". The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is the representative body for sport parachuting within the US, and a member of the FAI (the international equivalent). The USPA defends the sport's interests before the FAA and other regulating/lawmaking bodies at all levels of government. It also develops and monitors safety and training doctrine for the sport. Other benefits include liability insurance for students and DZs in the case of damage to property, the monthly magazine "Parachutist", etc. The USPA has had tremendous success instituting rating programs for Jumpmasters, Instructors, and Instructor-Examiners to ensure that only properly trained and qualified personnel work with students. You should insist on USPA Instructors and Jumpmasters. Do not be afraid to ask to see your Instructor or Jumpmaster's rating card. It should show the appropriate rating and expiration date.  USPA affiliation is not required, and does not *guarantee* a DZ to be a "good" DZ, and non-affiliation does not mean the DZ is "bad". However, the USPA, through their diligence and caution, has compiled an excellent safety record over the years. Skydive Jersey Shore is proud to be a USPA Group Member. Check out our Safety Page
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    Where can I try Skysurfing or BASE jumping?
        You can't -- unless you're already a very experienced skydiver. "Skysurfing" or "Skyboarding" refers to skydiving with a small board, similar to snowboard, attached to your feet. This allows for some radical maneuvers in freefall. However, such jumps should only be attempted by expert skydivers,and preferably after long discussion with one of many skysurfers who have experience. Some board manufacturers and experienced sky surfers offer instructional classes or videotapes. BASE jumping involves jumping off of fixed objects (like Buildings, Antennas,Spans (bridges), or Earth (cliffs)), and landing under a parachute. While being an expert skydiver isn't an absolute requirement, you need a great deal of experience in parachute packing, canopy control, quick reflexes, and body position awareness before this can be attempted with any real safety. Start with skydiving, and then go from there. Furthermore, there are very few places where one may BASE jump legally, as most locations are private property.
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    "How do you breathe in freefall?" and other Whuffo Questions

    "How do you breath in freefall?" 
        Through genetically developed gills. This falls into the realm of urban folklore. One CAN breathe in freefall - if it were necessary. However, due to the high speed of terminal freefall (and much higher speeds in vertical freefall dives), the jumper's body is exposed to O2 molecules at a much higher rate than someone walking around on the ground. The body is able to absorb the necessary O2 through the skin. This is why jumpers flap their cheeks in freefall, it presents a larger surface area to the air stream for oxygen osmosis. Once under canopy, the jumper resumes breathing normally. This is also why jumpers do not jump on cloudy days or when they might risk going through clouds. The moisture in the clouds can condense on their exposed skin surfaces preventing the absorption of the necessary oxygen resulting in suffocation. AADs are recommended for jumpers in climates where weather is a factor.

    • "Don't your ears pop on the way down?" 
          "Yes, we're not ignoring you, we're deaf."
    • What if you have to go the bathroom in the plane?"
          "Go ahead!"
    • "Can you steer your parachute?"
          "No, one time I landed in Jamaica."
    • "Does it hurt?"
          "Yes, that's why we jump all the time! Masochism!"
    • "What if your parachute doesn't open?"
          "Gee, I never thought of that..."
    • "Why do you jump?"
          "Why do  *you*  breathe?"
    • "Where do you jump?"
          "O'Hare, Midway, LAX, Dulles, where ever I happen to be."
    • "How many times can you jump in one day?"
           "I'll be happy to answer that for $18."
    • "Who packs your parachute?"
           "My ex-wife."
    • "What's the longest amount of time you can free fall?"
      "Until the ground stops you."
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    Movie Myths

    • Myth #1: Freefall conversation.
      Talking in Freefall is virtually impossible. The wind is too loud.
              
    • Myth #2: 4 minute freefalls.
      Without taking Oxygen on the plane with you, freefall time is limited to about 80 seconds on a single jump.
    • Myth #3: First-jump freefall acrobatics
      Learning to fall stable and to fly while in freefall takes practice -- it's not realistic to do this on your first jump.
    • Myth #4: Low-pull contests
      This virtually never happens. Everyone tends to deploy around 2000-2500. Skydivers fall at about 5.5 sec/thousand feet.
    • Myth #5: Diving out and catching someone without a parachute
      Stunts similar to this have been done, however, it almost impossible to hold onto someone during the opening shock of the parachute when at terminal velocity.
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    Appendix of Skydiving Abbreviations, Terms, and Colloquialisms

    AAD Abbr. n, "Automatic Activation Device". A altitude sensing device used to automatically activate the opening sequence for a parachute. Most commonly refers to their application to sport reserve parachutes, but also used in other non-sport scenarios such as ejection seats, etc.

    AFF Abbr. n, "Accelerated FreeFall". A training program for first jump students where the skydiving skills development rate is accelerated over that of the older static line program.

    Boogie n, A gathering of jumpers for the purposes of jumping and socializing. Typically, boogies will have large aircraft, unusual aircraft (balloons, helicopters), special events (record attempts), or some sort of competition as a focal point to attract jumpers from widely diverse regions.

    Bounce Colloquialism v, term for landing, after freefall, without the aid of a parachute. Also: hammer in, frappe, go in, burn in.

    Canopy n, parachute.

    Chop v, see "cut away"

    CFS Abbr., "Canopy Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a discipline of skydiving in which jumpers *under canopy* fly their parachutes together to form various formations. However, most skydivers still refer to it as "CRW". (See CRW.)

    CRW Abbr., "Canopy Relative Work". Describes the maneuvering done by jumpers *under canopy* to fly their parachutes together to form various formations. Sometimes referred to as CReW (Crew). See CFS.

    Cut away v, To release an improperly functioning parachute, before deploying a backup parachute. From the dark ages when parachute lines had to be literally cut in order to release them.

    DZ Abbr. n, "Drop Zone". A place where parachuting operations take place. This is may be a designated area, or frequently, a commercial business which supplies aircraft, instruction, gear sales and services.

    Flare v, to pull down on both of the canopy's steering toggles in order to lower decent rate and forward speed just prior to landing. The forward speed is traded-off for lift. A flare performed too late has no effect, a flare performed too early can result in a stall in which the canopy looses forward speed and drops straight down. A correctly performed flare results in an exceptionally soft landing.

    FS Abbr., "Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a discipline of skydiving in which two or more jumpers fly relative to each other *in freefall* in order to form various formations. However, most skydivers refer to it as Relative Work, or "RW." (See RW.)

    Free Fly v. A discipline of skydiving in which the jumper falls sitting, standing, or on their head (also known as "head down")

    Hook turn n, A high-speed turn with either the steering toggles or the front risers performed at very low altitude in order to build up speed before landing. See "turf surf."

    JM Abbr. n, "JumpMaster". A jumper trained and certified to supervise students and/or novices during their jump.main n, the primary parachute.

    Main n, The primary parachute. This parachute is the one all skydivers intend to use.

    Mal n, Short for "malfunction", hopefully referring only to the main parachute.

    Malvina n, Also short for "malfunction" - "whoaa!"

    Opening shock n, The force experienced by the jumper due to the sudden deceleration from terminal velocity due to the deployment of a parachute. Also what many skydivers experience when the window shade is opened before 8 am.

    Parachute n, An aerodynamic deceleration device. (Federal Aviation Administration)

    RW Abbr., "Relative Work". Describes the freefall maneuvering whereby two or more jumpers fly relative to each other *in freefall* in order to form various formations. See FS.

    Reserve n, the secondary, or backup, parachute.

    Round n, a class of parachutes designed to simply decelerate a body in a fluid medium. The classic parachute. Square n, a class of parachutes designed to inflate and take the shape of an airfoil. These are more accurately rectangular in shape and are semi-rigid wings.

    SkyGod n, We've heard about these, but have never actually seen one. We're not sure how to identify one properly.

    Turf surf v, (also, to "surf it") a high-speed style of landing. The jumper builds up speed (see Hook Turn) and then flares mere moments before touchdown, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper skims mere inches above the ground at 30-40mph, for up to 100 yards. Or, if the jumper flares too late, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper impacts the ground, leading to medical bills, orthopedic surgery, and/or death. Attempt this maneuver at your own risk!

    USPA Abbr. n, "United States Parachute Association".

    Whuffo Colloquialism, n, A person who is not a skydiver (from the often-asked phrase "Whuffo you jump out of them airplanes?").
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