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AFF/Learn to Skydive

Skydive Perris Posted by: Skydive Perris 2 years ago

skydiving license california

Do you dream of shredding up the sky with your homies, jumping from hot air balloons, or even becoming a skydiving instructor? It all starts with tackling prescribed solo skydiving requirements, and we’re here to give you the 101 on how it’s done.

How Many Skydives Do You Need to Jump Solo?

None! At Skydive Perris, we do not require tandem jumps before solo skydiving. The curriculum we cover in our highly-respected student progression program – Perris Skydiving Program (PSP) – is robust and extensive, and provides the most coached freefall time possible for students. 

So, how many jumps do you need to skydive alone? Say it with us: zero! Can you skydive alone the first time? Heck to the YEAHHH! 
But … before you decide to jump into a skydive solo course, we do suggest that you first make a tandem. Completing a tandem skydive allows you to experience the sensations of freefall for the first time while attached to a professional skydiving instructor. This affords you the opportunity to get a feel for skydiving without all the added responsibility that comes with skydiving solo. Mandatory: no. Wise: yes. Up to you: totally.

Solo Skydiving Requirements


Your age is a top solo skydiving requirement. To skydive solo (or to skydive in the US, period), you must be at least 18 years old. We require a valid, government-issued photo ID to verify age. No exceptions.


The maximum weight limit for skydiving solo is 240 lbs, and to ensure the equipment fits correctly, you must be height-weight proportionate. This restriction is in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration as well as the recommendations and restrictions issued by the manufacturers of the gear we use. Skydiving aims to be inclusive, and the only time that restrictions like this are in place is to keep you and our instructors safe. 


You need to be in generally good shape to skydive solo. For certain medical conditions and health issues, a doctor’s note may be required prior to jumping. For example, at Skydive Perris, a history of shoulder dislocations requires written permission from your doctor.


At Skydive Perris, our course materials and skydiving instruction are in English. You need to have a good understanding of the English language (both written and spoken) in order to enroll in PSP and to complete subsequent solo skydives.

solo skydiving requirements

I’m Eligible! What’s Next?

If you meet the solo skydiving requirements, the next step is to enroll in the Perris Skydiving Program

PSP encompasses 18 levels of indoor and outdoor skydiving training in order to produce the best, most competent and confident skydivers. Our program is much more comprehensive than the classic AFF (Accelerated Freefall) curriculum that you’ll find at most skydiving centers, and offers a minimum of three times more coached freefall time (36 minutes!). PSP graduates are equipped to serve as responsible members of the international skydiving community and to advance the sport of skydiving. 

PSP Level 1 is our first jump course. After completing a four to six-hour ground school, you will begin to gain practical freefall and canopy experience. By the conclusion of Level 1, you will have learned all that you need to know to successfully complete your first solo skydive, including the hand signals we use to communicate in freefall; proper body position for exiting the aircraft and for a stable freefall; flying and landing the parachute; and proper emergency procedures.

From here, you will progress through 17 additional curricular levels and complete your packing class. You’ll then make a series of hop ’n pops and solo skydives. Then you are ready to apply for your USPA (United States Parachute Association) A License! WOOOHOOO!

How Long Does It Take To Skydive Solo?

How many hours do you need to skydive alone? Only about six hours! These hours account for the ground school portion of the PSP; learning how you safely complete the skydive, from exiting the aircraft to landing your canopy; and effectively overcoming any potential emergencies. 

From here, it’s practice, practice, practice until you gain mastery of the required skills. It is our goal to make sure you are 100% comfortable and confident when skydiving alone for the first time! 

The time it takes to complete all 18 PSP levels varies from person to person. The rate at which you progress through PSP will depend on your availability of time and resources, the weather, instructor capacity, and personal performance. For some, PSP takes a matter of weeks; for others, more than a year. As long as you stay current by making a jump at least every 30 days, you can continue your progression.

How Much Does It Cost To Learn To Skydive?

We could go on and on about how skydiving is a truly priceless activity and how the experiences are lifelong and worth every penny, BUT we know that cost is a factor for most everyone.

Currently, PSP Level 1 is $379. After this, you can opt to pay as you go or, if you are able to pre-purchase the full program – which will get you all the way up to earning your USPA A License – it’s $4,031.91. That’s a savings of $251.10! A level-by-level cost breakdown if you pay as you go can be found in the PSP syllabus.

In total, PSP includes 15 single-instructor skydives, two 10-minute sessions in the indoor wind tunnel, 7 solo jumps and optional coaching free of charge, 2 low-altitude skydives, a packing class, and your USPA membership registration and license fees. 

How to Become A Certified Skydiver

To become a certified skydiver and earn your USPA A License, you will need to have satisfied all the requirements on the A-license proficiency card, demonstrating your skill in both freefall and canopy flight, as well as displaying familiarity with all required safety competencies. You must also accrue a minimum of 25 jumps, learn to pack a parachute, and pass both a written and oral exam.

How Do I Get My Skydiving A-license?

Step 1: Become a USPA member.

The USPA is the organization that oversees skydiving in the US (and for members abroad) and will eventually issue your A-license!

Step 2: Complete the USPA-required skills.

These are all covered in your PSP coursework. With every jump, you will advance your freefall and canopy piloting skills, altitude awareness, body awareness, and directional awareness. Skydive Perris has world-class instructors and coaches who enjoy helping others advance in the sport–we will be with you every step (or jump!) of the way! 

Step 3: Pack a main parachute, unassisted.

Spooky! Nah … a proper packing class is included in the PSP package and is designed to make sure you can competently handle the gear you’re jumping. 

Step 4: Accrue a minimum of 25 skydives.

Step 5: Pass the exam! 

The A-license is achieved through an application, written examination, and check-dive. The check-dive is typically your final skydive as a student skydiver (although we are all students and constantly learning) and encompasses all of the skills previously learned. Yay! 

Why Should You Learn to Skydive Solo?

After learning about the required commitment of time and resources, you may be wondering about the return on investment. It’s not just about checking the “I learned to skydive” box and moving on with your life. It’s an out-of-this-world accomplishment that will challenge, nourish, and empower you all of your days! If you meet the requirements to skydive solo, then you should go for it!

There are a multitude of benefits to skydiving solo. Some of the biggest being:

Gaining Self Confidence

Learning a new skill, passing a PSP level, standing up a landing (yee haw!!), and making new friends allow us to grow in self-assurance! See you later, comfort zone! 

Becoming a Part of the SkyFam 

The skydiving community (aka the best community EVER) boasts an unrivaled level of welcome, diversity, and support. On and off the dropzone – we’ve got your back! From manifest and pilots to packers and instructors, we all work together to spend as much time in the sky as possible. Despite our individual differences, we all share a united love for the sky, and this shines through on every single jump. 

The friendships you make in the sky very often last a lifetime and follow you even out of the skydiving center. You will meet so many people from so many places that you will always have a skydiver friend ready to host you wherever you go on vacation.

Genuinely Discovering Who You Are

Skydiving ushers in a new perspective on life! There is something euphoric and empowering about literally being above your earthly worries while pursuing something that requires an unmatched level of self-trust. 

The Freedom of a Skydiving A License

The USPA A License is proof that you are ready to skydive without supervision. Once you have an A License, you are allowed to skydive with other licensed skydivers. Skydiving solo is awesome, but just wait until you’re sharing smiles with your best buds in the air! Earning your USPA A License is the key you need to open the door to a whole new realm of possibility. 

Ready to crush the solo skydiving requirements, gain a community like no other, and learn more about yourself than you thought possible? Learn to skydive TODAY! Have questions about PSP –  reach out! We’re here to support you. Blue skies!

Related Article: How Does Skydiving Solo Compare to Tandem Skydiving?

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