Frequently Asked Questions

First Jump

Temperatures At Jump Altitude

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.

Prejump Nerves Are Common

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.

Tandem Skydiving Freefall Speeds

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.

Tandem Skydive Harness Connection Safety

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.

Typical Freefall Sensations

It’s difficult to imagine what freefall will feel like prior to doing your first jump. 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 how freefall feels.

From a technical or scientific 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. Physics proves it!

An undisputed freefall sensation is wind speed strength. We’ll be traveling through time and space at 120mph so you should also expect it to be very windy. You most likely already have a sense of this feeling. You can simulate it by putting your arm out the window while cruising down the highway. But wait until you go skydiving to feel the full effect of freefall wind speeds; it’s a lot safer than in your vehicle!

What you will not experience during freefall is, surprisingly, fear. While it is common for first-time skydivers to feel nervous prior to the skydive. For most people, it culminates at that epic moment at the door just prior to the skydive. Almost every single person (we’re talking 99.99%) leaves any nervousness inside the airplane. Once you leave the airplane, you’re fully present and focused on the moment. And those moments are blissful.   

Some describe the feeling as liberating and empowering. Many people that come to do try skydiving are doing to overcome the fear so sensations of strength and freedom are common.  Others experience happy and zen-like feelings, while some perceive the adrenaline rush similar to the sensory experience of falling in love and achieving a significant goal. Ultimately, words do not do the experience justice. It truly is one of those few things in life that you simply need to experience for yourself to understand.

Expected Time To Complete Your Skydive

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.

Recommended Skydiving Clothing

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.

Statistic Prove Skydiving is Safe

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.

Parachute Malfunctions Are Rare

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.

Parachute Landing Technique

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.

Typical Parachute Opening Sensations

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.

Breathing in Freefall Is Easy

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.

Required Documentation You Need to Bring to Skydive

Skydive Monterey Bay requires a valid government-issued form of identification (i.e. driver’s license, passport) to validate your age and identity. Presenting a valid ID is required before you can participate in skydiving activities. If you do not have a valid form of identification you will not be allowed to skydive.

Please also ensure you bring an accepted method of payment (Visa, MasterCard, cash). Please bring any gift card, voucher, or coupon you intend on using as partial or full payment.

Recommended Clothing
Generally speaking, we recommend medium fit, comfortable, athletic type clothing in multiple layers. It sometimes gets cold in the hangar during the winter so recommend hoodies, jackets and blankets just in case its an unusually cool day.

The complete, detailed description on the dos and don’ts of tandem skydiving attire and everything you would want to know about tandem skydiving should help you properly prepare for your jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tandem Skydiving Is The Best First Jump Method

Tandem skydiving is the most common type of first jump. Attached to a highly experienced, United States Parachute Association certified instructor, tandem skydiving provides safe and easy access for almost anyone to try skydiving.

During a tandem jump, the student is attached to one of our professional instructors by a four point harness. The tandem pair exit, freefall, fly the parachute and land while connected to each other. It is the safest method to perform a first jump, and also allow you to experience every part of a skydive.

Anyone in reasonable physical condition can experience skydiving in a safe environment in a minimal amount of time (a few hours total) via this method.

Tandem skydiving freefall position over Monterey Bay

One of the most unique aspects of Skydive Monterey Bay is that we offer the world’s highest skydives every day we fly, on your very first jump. Our 18,000 foot tandem jumps are almost double the freefall of most skydiving centers in the country. And we fly to 18,000 feet every day, on more than 95% of our total flights. The unique opportunity to skydive from 18,000 feet with this 👆incredible view makes Skydive Monterey Bay one of the world’s best tandem skydiving locations.

Approximately 500,000 people in the United States try skydiving for the first time every year using this jump method. In the United States, jumpers must be a minimum of 18 years old to skydive while there is no maximum age requirement. Fun fact: at 103 years and 181 days, Alfred Blaschke is the oldest person to ever have completed a tandem jump.

In most cases, a person can completed a tandem jump in just a few hours (provided there are no weather or operational delays) without any previous training.

For more details on your first jump adventure, we also have a comprehensive guide that covers everything you want to know about tandem skydiving.

World’s Highest First Jump

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!

Top 3 Reasons We Can Do The World’s Highest Skydives Every Day

Skydiving Rarely Causes Ear Discomfort

Most first-time skydivers will not experience any ear or sinus discomfort. However, a small percentage of first time or new skydivers may experience some temporary or minor, ear or sinus discomfort. It is our observation that only about 1 out of 10 jumpers report any ear or sinus sensations from their jump.

These ear or sinus sensations occur when the Eustachian Tube is unable to regulate air pressure between the inner and outer ear due to the rapid rate of air pressure changes in freefall. The resulting symptoms manifest as short-term “stuffy ears” or “muffled hearing”. Such sensations are typically minor and temporary, usually subsiding before landing or shortly afterward.

There are several techniques to prevent or resolve these sensations. If you have a history of inner ear issues, or just general concerns about potential ear discomfort, please advise our staff and your instructor as we can advise on techniques to prevent and resolve the sensations. For information on the physiology, resolution techniques, potential conditions that might predispose someone to experience ear or sinus sensations during their jump, read our in-depth review of the affect on ears from skydiving.

Jumpers that are experiencing illness, or symptoms, that cause congestion are at a risk of more severe discomfort. In extreme and very rare cases, skydiving while experiencing these conditions could cause a ruptured eardrum. Skydive Monterey Bay will not allow those experiencing illness or malaise to jump for your safety and that of our crew. We do not know of anyone that has experienced severe or lasting issues.

If you are experiencing any cold, congestion, flu, Covid-19, or any other illness related symptoms, please call us to reschedule your skydive.  

Ultimately, it is rare to experience these symptoms, and even so, the sensations are typically very minor and temporary. We also have techniques to prevent and resolve these sensations. Unless you are ill, or historically have had ear or sinus related symptoms when flying commercially or driving in the mountains, you should not have any concerns about your ears for skydiving. If so, please call us to discuss your situation.

 

 

Skydive Video & Pictures Are Available.

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. Photos only packages start at $99, and video and photos packages start at $139. They are shot by a professional aerial photographer who captures the entire jump, from nervous gear up moments until you’re kissing the ground upon your return.

Operations

Hours of Operation

We are open 365 days/year.

Office: Everyday: 8am-8pm

Jumping Operations: Everyday: 10am-5pm

Winter Skydiving Information: Skydiving in Winter over Monterey Bay is Wonderful

Getting The Best Skydive Price. 

Skydive Monterey Bay offers the best price on high altitude skydiving in the Bay Area. We guarantee the best skydiving price on high altitude jumps (15,000 feet and 18,000 feet skydives), or we’ll match the price of any same altitude jump.

Skydive Monterey Bay skydiving costs for our skydiving packages are competitive with industry standards, while providing a significantly more premium experience with the world’s highest jumps and California’s closest ocean landings.

Accepted Forms of Payment

We accept Visa, MasterCard, debit cards, and cash. Of course, we also accept Skydive Monterey Bay gift cards

To make a reservation, we do require a $50 deposit per person. You can book your jump online using Visa or MasterCard. Or you can call the office at 831-384-3483.

You can select which jump option and video and pictures package you’d like when you check-in on the day of the jump. The remaining balance must be paid in full by credit card, debit card, or cash, prior to jumping.

 

Requirements/Restrictions

Minimum Age To Skydive in California

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.

Weather That Can Cause Skydiving Delays

Skydiving weather delays or cancelations may be caused by turbulent winds, low clouds and/or fog. We understand that no one wants to wait to make their jump but we will only skydive in safe conditions. Your safety and that of our crew will never be compromised in any weather or unsafe conditions.

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.

Monterey Bay does create some very localized weather. Sometimes it may not look very promising at your home but the weather may be jumpable at the skydiving center, or may likely be clearing by the time of your scheduled jumps. With more than 25 years of skydiving out of the Marina Airport, we are extremely well versed in the weather patterns. Our decision to jump or reschedule jumps is based on aviation weather forecasts and our extensive experience with local weather conditions.

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. We very much want to take you on your first jump (and we really want to jump too) but if the conditions or forecast changes rapidly or unexpectedly please understand that any changes are made with everyone’s safety as the first priority. We can always try to jump on another day with more favorable weather conditions.

The ideal weather conditions for skydiving are clear blue skies, light winds and warm temperatures.

Even though Monterey has moderate, consistent weather providing good skydiving conditions year round, every season offers something unique.

9 Reasons to Skydive in Winter Less Skydiving Weather Delays

Skydiving Is No Substance Zero Tolerance Activity

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

Absolutely no drugs or alcohol may be consumed within twelve (12) 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.

When booking a jump, and in order to participate in skydiving activities with Skydive Monterey Bay, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.  Please note both “4.0 Skydiving Participation Conditions” which also outlines that any alcohol or drug consumption within 12 hours prior to your jump will result in you not being permit to jump. Per “5.0 Reservation Policy”, we also reserve the right to refuse service and not refund anyone that does not comply with our terms or general safety advice.

This requirement is also a Basic Safety Requirement set forth by the United States Parachute Association which is the governing body for skydiving in the United States.

Skydiving Weight Limits

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 200 LBs may be subject to additional restrictions. In this case, please give us a call at 831-384-3483 to discuss.

Skydiving Progression/License

 

Get Your Skydive License

Your adventure in becoming a licensed skydiver can begin after you’ve completed a tandem skydive at Skydive Monterey Bay. A tandem skydive is the safest, easiest, and widely the most popular method to do your first jump. However, it is an introduction to the sport of skydiving. There’s much more to discover and learn. In fact, once you get your skydive license and acquire even basic human flight skills you’ll be amazed at the range of capabilities in this three-dimensional world where we bend the rules of physics for moments at a time.

To get started, you can 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.

Skydive Monterey Bay Learn to Skydive Program Get Your Skydive License

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. Once you’ve graduated from AFF, you’ll only need to achieve a handful of additional requirements (e.g. 25 jumps total, some additional freefall and parachute skills, and “A” license written exam) to get your “A” license. Your “A” license enables you to jump all over the world, and in small groups with other certified skydivers.

As an advanced solo skydiver, you can learn to fly your body in any orientation, at a variety of speeds, and in formations with large groups of your new flying friends. That freedom, adrenalin rush, in the present moment feeling, being able to do things with your body that mostly no one else on this planet gets to experience are the reasons Why We Jump.

 

Visit Skydive Monterey Bay’s AFF Program to get your skydive license or for more information about Accelerated Freefall.

Videography & Photography

 

Only Experienced Skydivers Can Jump With Cameras

The United States Parachute Association mandates that skydivers must have at least a “C” License, 200 skydives, and have adequate skydiving skills 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/on our airplane, or on your jump.

You can still get that perfect Instagram shot over Monterey Bay, or the most intense moment when you take that big step off the airplane at 18,000 feet. We offer a variety of video and picture packages that offer more perspective beyond what you could even possibly capture (or even imagine) with your own handheld camera.  You can get an inside, selfie-style, perspective from an instructor’s hand that captures all of the freefall and parachute flight, an outside, “broader” perspective from an additional outside video flyer that will provide the best freefall shots of the bay by flying in multiple orientations, or both.

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

 

Video & Pictures Packages With Options to Capture Both Freefall and Parachute Flight

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. Photos only packages start at $99, and video and photos packages start at $139. They are shot by a professional aerial photographer who captures the entire jump, from nervous gear up moments until you’re kissing the ground upon your return.