For my best friend and partner-in-crime's birthday, I decided to get her thrown out of a perfectly good plane. That’s what best friends are for!
No matter what I am purchasing, I usually like to look around for the best deals so when I found three potential skydiving locations near Philly that I liked I started to make phone calls. My first and only phone call was to Skydive Philadelphia. I called the number on their website at about 8:50 PM to get a price quote when I immediately got sucked in to purchasing on the spot by Charlie Awesome - “First name Charlie, last name Awesome.”
He told me that the usual price is $271 but because it is Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer, there was a special for $189. The final price with taxes and fees was $217.50 per person. I’m glad I didn’t have to go through all the booking problems I later read in reviews online.
Charlie Awesome asked all the right questions, was very friendly and fun to talk to that I had to purchase from him. I explained to him that Trixie might not want to do it so he said to call her and say the following, “We’re going skydiving Saturday. I already bought your ticket. It’s nonrefundable.” He finds it that if you ask people to go with you everyone hesitates but if you tell them you already bought the ticket, they cannot say no. It’s true!
I ended up calling back the next day to see if there was a spot to add my brother to our jump. He was driving when I asked him if he wanted to do it. He said yes but in a bit of a hesitant tone so I called immediately with him there and once confirmed, he couldn’t back out. I’m glad because both of them had an awesome time!
It’s funny how spots and times are suddenly available when you are willing to purchase right away.
Important: So after making the reservation over the phone, you will be emailed a confirm that you need to electronically sign before the day of your jump.
So I couple of things we Googled before our jump:
- How to skydive
- How to do turns
- What to wear
- What could go wrong
- I don’t like rollercoasters, will I like skydiving
Don’t bother looking that stuff up. Just go with it. If you are doing a tandem jump, you don’t have to know anything but to cross your arms and arch your back when you are at the door. And at landing, pick up your feet how the instructor tells you. Other than those two things, you’re good. You won’t even get a chance to back out when you up and already in the plane because when they count 1, 2, 3 they jump out and you are just along for the ride. You cannot control this unless you greatly outweigh them and sit or something but they probably already planned for that and will get you out of the plane.
The instructor will do the turns for you, dress for the weather for that day and you only get the rollercoaster feeling for a second right when you jumped out of the plane or if your instructor does sharp turns while you are drifting.
Arrive a bit earlier than schedule and expect to wait at least 45 minutes. You will need to sign your life away then wait for your group's turn. While you wait, you can watch how the divers put the parachute back in the backpacks and watch people landing outside.
There were four photo packages you could purchase but basically it was two styles of pictures: selfies style or "professional." The selfie one would be a GoPro strapped to your tandem instructor's wrist. The professional one is GoPros attached to another diver's helmet. You can also get the deluxe package with both.
We just got the professional package with my awesome photographer, Reese, for $129 per person. You will receive a photo form to fill out your contact information - be sure to write your email legible. Your photos and video will be sent to your through an email with a link to Dropbox.
But no matter how nice the pictures are, my dad still thinks they are fake LOL
Our original jump was for 10,000 ft but for $15 more you can Go Big and go up to 14,000 ft. We decided to Go Big since it was our first and possibly only time doing this. At 14,000 ft, you are said to get 60 seconds of free fall time and 6-7 minutes of drifting.
Although I do not have an urge to jump again, I definitely think it is something to experience at least once. I think we probably hyped/scared outside too much before the jump that when it happened, it was kind of like 'that's it?' I do have "skydive in Dubai" on my bucket list though so I will have to do it again some day.
Thank you, Matt & Reese for jumping with me! And thank you to Trixie and my brother for conquering their fears and taking the jump!
If you've jumped before, share your experience below. I would love to hear about it!