How to Become a Certified Skydiver

By Contributor

Skydiving is an expensive hobby -- expect to pay as much as $2,000 for training and twice that for gear -- and only certified divers are allowed to take the plunge alone. Skydivers must have a license from the United States Parachute Association, and the license is only available to those who complete several training requirements.

Step 1

Go on a tandem skydive where you are attached to an instructor via a harness. Find a USPA affiliated dropzone near you and set up an appointment through dropzone.com. You must sign a waiver to do this dive.

Step 2

Complete a "First Jump Course" through the USPA. This ground school course teaches jumpers about potential malfunctions, proper gear, emergency procedures and hand signals.

Step 3

Sign up for the Accelerated FreeFall (AFF) course. Course requirements change from dropzone to dropzone, but typically the AFF course has seven levels. Each level will require you prove your knowledge of skydiving safety procedures and certain maneuvers for a jump. The early levels include jumps with two instructors. The later levels have one instructor and will require the completion of several maneuvers such as flips in the air.

Step 4

Apply for a license at the conclusion of the class.

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