Solo Skydiving Requirements

We get asked all the time about the solo skydiving requirements. Specifically, how many jumps you need to skydive solo. The answer to that question has multiple layers. In order to skydive solo, you’ll need to complete an approved training program. At Skydive Taft, we utilize the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) course. While it’s not the only skydiving training program out there, it’s certainly the most popular and arguably the most effective means of developing your skills and getting you soaring solo. In fact, you don’t even need prior tandem jumping experience to qualify for this course.

To participate in this program, you simply need to be at least 18 years of age with a valid photo I.D. and you cannot weigh over 230 pounds. However, most students feel more comfortable with doing a few tandem jumps before beginning the journey to meet their solo skydiving requirements.

How it Works

The AFF course comprises seven levels of training. At each level, students are expected to demonstrate increasing competence in body flight and canopy control. To start off the training, you will receive four to six hours of ground school and membership to the United States Parachute Association (USPA), followed by your first accelerated freefall skydive. This first jump is actually your first “solo” jump because, while you’ll be accompanied by two supervising instructors, you will not be physically connected through your equipment. However, they will hold on to you until you deploy your own parachute. At this point, each instructor will let go and you will be responsible for getting back to earth safely on your own.

The AFF Levels

For the first three levels of the AFF course, the student will be accompanied by two instructors on each jump who will teach them proper body position and parachute deployment. You must demonstrate competence in deploying your own parachute before being allowed to progress beyond level three. At level three and beyond, you will begin “release” dives, in which the instructor will release their hold on you at a certain point but stay close by to instruct and assist.

During levels 4-8, the student is accompanied by only one instructor. In theory, you can complete the AFF course in a minimum of eight jumps. However, it’s important to note that mastery of each level is required for progression to the next level so, the number of jumps required for the course varies with the individual.

Completing the AFF Course

Your solo skydiving requirements are met only upon completion of the entire AFF course. You will then be free to go solo, but under supervision. You will continue to jump under supervision until you’ve accumulated at least 25 jumps, at which point you can apply for a USPA “A” license, which requires passing a written test and practical skydiving proficiency evaluation. The “A” license will allow you to skydive at all USPA member dropzones and most dropzones worldwide.

The Taft Skydiving Experience

For over twenty years, Skydive Taft has been giving people the thrill of their lives in a safe and professional environment. Located just two hours outside of Los Angeles, our drop zone is celebrated for its friendly vibe and the most jumpable days in Southern California.

Come to see for yourself why professionals and amateurs alike choose Skydive Taft over and over again. For more information on solo skydiving requirements and our community, or to schedule your own jump, contact us at 661.765.5867 today!

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