Frequently Asked Questions

First Jump

You’ll be fitted with a special tandem harness during your jump. The harnesses are advanced equipment designed to provide maximum safety and comfort.

Your Tandem Instructor will securely connect to you at four attachment points; two at the shoulders and two near the hips. You’ll both face forward when connected.

There has never been an incident, in the history of tandem skydiving, of a failed attachment point. Furthermore, each attachment point is stress tested to withstand more than 5000 pounds of tensile force, which is more than eight times the weight of any tandem pair.

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You will probably experience a range of emotions including: euphoria, excitement, happiness, nervousness, freedom, overwhelming confidence and strength. We’re not sure there are enough positive adjectives to describe it.

From a technical perspective, you won’t experience a falling sensation. Falling is a sensation that requires gravity, and to a lesser extent, relative objects for your brain to produce that sensation. Although forces of gravity are at play, you’re technically weightless from the moment you leave the airplane until the parachute begins to open. This is why you feel a floating, as opposed to a falling, sensation. We’ll be traveling through time and space at 120mph so you should also expect it to be very windy.

Ultimately, words do not do the experience justice and it truly is one of those few things in life that you simply need to experience for yourself to understand.

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Modern parachutes are designed to provide smooth and soft openings. As it opens, you’ll gradually shift from a belly to earth to an upright/standing, position. Tandem parachutes generally require 600-1000 feet and 5-10 seconds to open. That translates into a smooth and comfortable parachute opening.

The parachute has a surprisingly wide range of controls. It is fully steerable. If you want to have an exciting, roller coaster type of ride, we can do high-speed spirals. When doing spirals, g-forces will start to build up and you’ll feel heavy in harness as speed increases. Or if you just want to soak up the rest of experience the parachute ride can be a very calm and chill experience that gives you an opportunity to take in the incredible views at a slower pace. It’s your skydive, so either way is cool with us.

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A tandem parachute landing is similar to stepping off a curb or gliding down a slide. Tandem jumpers lift up their knees and legs, allowing the tandem instructor to touch down first and the tandem pair smoothly slide across the ground on their butts.

Given our highly experienced instructors and our sandy soft landing area, landings are generally very gentle in most conditions. Essentially, anyone in reasonable physical condition is fit enough for a parachute landing.

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Every skydiving system comes equipped with a main and reserve parachute. The reserve is maintained and packed by a certified FAA skydive rigger. Our tandem systems are equipped with an automatic activation device (AAD). It is an enclosed computer that automatically opens the reserve parachute if no other parachute is activated by the set altitude.

Industry statistics indicated that main parachutes malfunction roughly one in every 1000 jumps. Our numbers at Skydive Monterey Bay are about one per 3000 skydives. That being said, it does sometimes happen. For our experienced team, such an instance is merely a minor inconvenience.

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To the surprise of many, tandem skydiving is the one of the safest action sports. Skydiving has been proven repeatedly to be safer than horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking and other adventure activities.

More than 500,000 Americans safely make their first jump every year. Today’s gear, training and operational procedures have almost eliminated major incidents from tandem skydives.

Our record proves that you’re in good hands. Skydive Monterey Bay has one of the best safety records in the industry. We use the very best gear in the industry and have extremely experienced instructors and staff. We strictly follow all protocols, rules and best practices set forth by the United States Parachute Association.

While extremely infrequent, injuries can occur just as they can from playing baseball, football, skateboarding or any other sporting activity.

Category: First Jump
  • Andrea Brown says:
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    I am cosidering doing this! Sorta a thrill seeker, but are lessons needed? Never done anything like tis before.

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    Yes, you will be able to breathe during your skydive.

    That being said, we will be flying through the air at about 120mph so it will be fairly windy. If you’ve ever ridden on a motorcycle or stuck your head out of a car window while traveling down the freeway you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Simply forcing exhalation with an adrenaline filled shout inevitably forces the cycle of inhalation.

    The altitude that we reach will not make it difficult to breathe. Since we’ll only spend a few minutes above 10,000 feet, you will not experience any symptoms of hypoxia. It generally takes about 10 minutes above 10,000 feet to start experiencing these symptoms. We do have oxygen available in the rare case that anyone does start to experience these symptoms even though it hasn’t been required in our entire history of operations.

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    Not usually. It is typically very comfortable if you’re wearing a layer of warm clothing.

    The temperature on the ground and at full altitude can vary significantly. Much like in the mountains, the higher you go, the cooler it is. Our best advice is to prepare like you’re going hiking in the mountains. Bring extra layers for warm and cool weather.

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    You may be nervous during your first jump.

    Mostly everyone that jumps out of an airplane for the first time has some feelings of apprehension and nervousness. These feelings typically stem from a fear of the unknown and melt away almost immediately after you exit the airplane.

    Our instructors are well trained and experienced in this area. We’re very empathetic regarding first skydive emotions. Part of our job is making you feel comfortable and reducing your anxiety. You’ll be surprised at how at ease we can make you during this incredible adventure.

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    Skydive Monterey Bay requires a valid government issued form of identification (driver’s license, passport) to validate age and your identity. Valid ID is required before you can participate in skydiving activities.

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    Skydiving is a super fun activity but we do need to take care of some business before we can jump from a perfectly good airplane. Check in, wavering, gear up and training (this part is kind of important) and video editing does take some time.

    You should budget three to five hours here at Skydive Monterey Bay. We’re respectful of your time and try to get you on your extremely stoked way as soon as possible. Often, especially on weekdays, the whole process only takes a couple of hours. On the other hand it may take longer on the weekend or if we encounter weather issues.

    While you’re in the area, we highly recommend you spend the rest of your day in the Marina and Monterey area. It’s absolutely beautiful and there’s almost always something going on. We can provide recommendations for a day or entire weekend itinerary, or you can check out http://www.seemonterey.com/ to plan your epic weekend.

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    Generally speaking, several layers of comfortable clothing are best suited for our weather conditions and ocean climate.

    Recommended:

    • Sneakers or runners
    • T-shirt, long sleeve shirt or hoodie
    • Jeans, track pants, yoga tights
    • Shorts

    Not Recommended:

    • Sandals, flip flops, loafers, high heels or any other open toe or heel footwear
    • Golf shirt, dress shirt or any shirt with a collar
    • Anything that prohibits movement
    • Jewelry (rings, necklaces, earrings, watches)
    • Cameras and cell/mobile phones (strictly prohibited)
    • Anything valuable and/or anything that is droppable or breakable as these items may cause damage to property or bystanders.
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    Absolutely! You definitely should. With our amazing scenery you’ll have poster quality pictures, or at least the best Facebook cover photo of all of your friends.

    We offer a variety of epic picture and video packages, starting at $95. They are shot by a professional aerial photographer who captures the entire jump, from nervous gear up moments until your kissing the ground upon your return.

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    A tandem skydiving pair will fall anywhere between 100-140 mph. Most skydivers fall directly at the midpoint with the normal average freefall speed of 120 mph.

    Freefall speeds are essentially a function of mass to surface area. Generally speaking, heavier skydivers tend to fall a little bit faster than lighter skydivers. A difference of 10-20 mph in freefall is almost impossible to notice.

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    Absolutely! We highly recommend it!

    Skydive Monterey Bay offers the World’s Highest Tandem Skydive. Not only are we the only skydive center to offer this option, we also offer it every day, on every flight.

    The additional altitude is as safe as a regular tandem skydive but gives you the opportunity to experience twice the freefall time. So, of course you want to jump from 18,000 feet on your first jump!

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    During a tandem skydive the tandem student is attached to one of our professional Tandem Instructors by a four point harness. The pair exit, freefall, fly the parachute and land while connected to each other.

    Tandem Skydiving allows anyone in reasonable physical condition to experience skydiving in a safe environment in a minimal amount of time (a few hours total).

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    Operations

    We accept Visa, MasterCard and cash.

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    We do offer a variety of group and other special discounts*.

    Group Discounts

    Groups 4-12: Save $10/person (or a free T-shirt/person)

    Groups 13+: Save $20/person (or save $10 + free T-shirt/person)

    Special Discounts

    Active Military**: Save $10/person

    Student**: Save $10/person

    Pay Cash: Save $10/person

    * Discounts can be combined to a maximum of two discounts

    ** Current and valid proof/ID required

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    We are open 365 days/year.

    Office: Everyday: 8am-8pm

    Jumping Operations: Everyday: 10am-5pm

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    Requirements/Restrictions

    If you meet the weight limitations and you are in reasonable physical condition, you can probably participate in skydiving.

    Any potential jumper weighing more than 220 LBs may be subject to additional restrictions. In this case, please give us a call at 831-384-3483 to discuss.

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    Yes. You must be at least 18 years old to skydive. There is no maximum age limit. We don’t believe you’re ever too old to have this much fun.

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    No, absolutely not! Skydiving is a 100% sober sport.

    Absolutely no drugs or alcohol may be consumed within eight hours prior to your skydive. Anyone that does not adhere to this rule will not be permitted to skydive and will be asked to leave the premises.

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    Turbulent winds, low clouds and fog are weather conditions that may delay skydiving. We understand that no one wants to wait but we will only skydive in safe conditions. Your safety and ours will never be compromised.

    Skydive Monterey Bay monitors weather closely using satellite, radar and visual observation tools. If there is a high probability that the weather will not be conducive for jumping we will call you and reschedule your jump for another day of your choice.

    Please be advised that weather changes rapidly, without notice and is unfortunately beyond our control. If unfavorable weather moves in unexpectedly, we may encounter delays, or perhaps, may be required to reschedule jumps.

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    Skydiving Progression/License

    Your adventure in becoming a licensed skydiver can begin after you’ve completed a tandem skydive at Skydive Monterey Bay. You can then enroll in our Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program. AFF is a seven (7) level, learn to skydive solo program that utilizes in-air freefall coaching. It is the most progressive and safest way to learn how to become a skydiver.

    During the first three levels, two instructors jump with the student while holding their harness. In subsequent levels, the student jumps with a single instructor. Each level provides an opportunity to learn new freefall and canopy piloting skills that will help progress you to the ultimate goal of being an epic solo licensed skydiver.

    Check out more information about Skydive Monterey Bay’s AFF Program.

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    Videography & Photography

    The United States Parachute Association mandates that skydivers must have at least 200 skydives before wearing a camera on a jump. Due to risk and regulations, you are NOT allowed to take your own camera or mobile device in the airplane or on your jump.

    Skydive Monterey Bay operates in proximity to residential and commercial areas, in addition to public infrastructure. Without the proper skydiving gear, you run the risk of dropping these devices into occupied areas. This could cause serious injury or damage.

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    Absolutely! You definitely should. With our amazing scenery you’ll have poster quality pictures, or at least the best Facebook cover photo of all of your friends.

    We offer a variety of epic picture and video packages, starting at $95. They are shot by a professional aerial photographer who captures the entire jump, from nervous gear up moments until your kissing the ground upon your return.

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