tandem skydiving student geared up for a jump

How You Can Go From Rookie to Pro at Perris

September 2, 2018 8:03 pm Published by

Photo credit (above): Dennis Sattler

Not everyone has what it takes to become a professional skydiver.

However, not everyone has the opportunity to find out if they have what it takes to be a professional skydiver. At small, underpowered dropzones without the resources to develop jumpers from soup to nuts, it’s pretty easy to lose the fire in your belly; to peter out somewhere along the path.

At Perris, that ain’t a thing.

At Perris, we can get you from a starry-eyed “whuffo” to a stone-cold competitor, all in one place. We’re built for it, really. There is literally nothing you can do in skydiving that you can’t train for right here, and we’d be happy to get you to the greatness you hunger for. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: That First Tandem Skydive

Every successful skydiving career started right here: In the hot seat of a skydiving ground-school classroom, learning the very first things you’ll ever learn about the sport of skydiving. Almost every skydiving student starts as a tandem student, jumping harnessed to an experienced instructor who’s responsible for the operation of the parachuting equipment.

At Perris, our tandem instructors aren’t just exhaustively selected and ultra-rigorously trained. Perris’ Skydiving School team is pretty legendary in the sport for being detail-oriented, exacting and super-duper pro. We love knowing that our very own team of professional skydivers provides a shining example for the folks who jump with us that see professional skydiving as a potential lifestyle choice. You’ll have a rockstar mentor from jump #1! Find out more about tandem skydiving here.

first time tandem skydiving student in freefall

Step #2: Earn Your Skydiving License

If you’re reading this, you’re certainly not going to be satisfied with a tandem jump. You’re going to march right back into the office from the landing area and sign up to earn your skydiving license. And we’re gonna shake your hand.

We teach new skydivers using the Accelerated Freefall Method. (We know it by the acronym “AFF.”) During your AFF program, our staff of world-class instructors will progress you through a series of skill-building skydiving lessons. Each one is tailored to add to the lessons before it, so you’ll emerge from the program confidently controlling your body, your parachute and your mind.  The skydiving license you earn at the conclusion of the program will allow you to jump without an instructor at any USPA (United States Parachute Association) drop zone in the entire world. Find out more about skydiving lessons here.

female aff skydiving student in freefall with 2 instructors

Step #3: Progress In the Sport

Here’s where it starts to get really interesting–when the rudimentary, fundamental skills you learned from our AFF instructors really begin to take shape. You’ll do your first jumps with friends, coming together in the sky in brief, ecstatic moments of connection. You’ll get a taste for what’s possible. And then you’ll pursue it.

There are about a dozen disciplines within skydiving that you can start to tackle once you have your initial skydiving license. There’s truly something for everyone in this sport–and every single discipline is represented, somehow, here at Skydive Perris. (Very few dropzones in the world can say that.) Our team of skydiving coaches can work with you one-on-one to develop your talents; our Load Organizers can help you grow and excel on custom-planned skydives with other jumpers of a similar skill level; our competition coaches can tune you up for a gold-medal bid earlier than you ever thought possible. The sky isn’t the limit; the sky is limitless, out here.

XRW at Perris

photo credit: Dan Dupuis

Step #4: Progress Without a Plane

Here’s where Skydive Perris has a total ace-in-the-hole: the vertical “indoor skydiving” wind tunnel that sits right here on the dropzone campus.

It’s only through physical, in-context practice that you can refine your bodyflight skills. Since freefall time on a skydive is, depending on your chosen discipline, just about a minute, it can be challenging to work on the subtle details in the sky. At Perris, you can set down your parachute, grab a snack, walk across the parking lot and put your skills to the drills for as many minutes as your muscles can handle. (That’s just another reason so many skydiving teams and pros choose Perris to train.)

The wind tunnel is, in essence, a skydiving simulator. It’s a large, glassed-in tube that encloses the freefall-speed airflow directed into it by enormous fans. In practice, its existence means that we can progress much faster, using the wind tunnel as the training ground to learn and practice the skills we then take into the sky. Find out more about our wind tunnel here.

exterior of wind tunnel at Skydive Perris

Step #5: Get Your Ratings and Help Others

Chances are, by the time you get to step #5, you’re hooked. You’ve loved learning to skydive and you want to help other people tackle the same challenging, joyful path.

You’ll start at just a hundred jumps by getting your USPA Coach Rating. You won’t be a very experienced jumper by this point; the Coach Rating lays the foundations–by teaching you how to teach. From there, you’ll rack up the jump numbers you need to progress through your licensing levels, coach in specific disciplines, demonstrate skydiving to “civilians”…then put on the sacred tandem rig and teach fresh-faced, starry-eyed newbies–just like you were, that fine first day–all about the sky. At Perris, you can check off every single one of these goals without so much as leaving our beautiful campus. Find out more about experienced skydiving here.

Five steps, one dropzone–one brave adventurer up for the challenge of a lifetime. Are you ready to make skydiving your everything, just like it is for us? We’d love to have you in our skyfamily.

experienced skydivers smile at the camera as they wait to jump

What are you waiting for? Start your journey by booking a skydive today!

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This post was written by Skydive Perris