I went because my ex said we should and I had no intention of ever going again but after that I was completely hooked and never looked back.
If you have significant other... well hopefully they are into the sport too and won't mind if you spend all your money on it because there's a pretty good chance of that happening after your first jump.
Oh, and it was everything I thought it would be and more if that wasn't obvious and still is now.
Did AFF: Excited during ground school. A little nervous on the ride up. A great big "WTF am I doing?!" when the door opened and people started falling out like lemmings. Super surreal during freefall (but awesome). And 100% hooked ever since.
Before I made my first jump I thought I might like to take it up as a regular sport. I knew it would be scary, but I dedided to do it anyway, and I promised myself I would make 10 jumps before deciding whether or not I would stay with it.
So after my first jump I was so nervous about it that when I'd be driving to the Drop Zone I'd look at flags along the way, thinking, "Maybe it'll be too windy and I won't have to jump today."
But I stuck to my promise and made the 10 jumps, nervous the whole time.
And now, 41 years and 4200 jumps later, I'll say that was one of my best promises. I've had a great time in a great sport with great people, some of whom have become my lifelong best friends.
By the way, anyone who tells you they weren't scared on thier first jump is either lying or really dumb. Good luck.
I just did my AFF 1 jump and it's absolutely incredible. I did a tandem jump last year to see if id enjoy the sport and it seemed to really help in the AFF 1 solo jump with fear and what to expect in the air. Students in my class that did not do tandem prior seemed to have more sensory overload (not that it wasnt terrifying anyway hehe). But yeah, there's something wrong with you if you're not scared looking at the ground 13,000 feet down knowing your about to jump out toward it (At the door: "What was I thinking!?!?"). Tandem jumps you can do anywhere at any time as far as I know but for AFF training Id pick a DZ close to home to do training and get your license then eventually you can start going to other DZs. The first few times you're falling at 120mph going through circle of awareness and practice pulls, the last thing you're worried about is the view (unless its your altimeter) but it will still be the most memorable thing you've done in your life ;)
First: You should give us your general location so people can help you out to where you should jump with the best instructors in your region.
2nd: My first time (after tandem) was during my solo certification class. I did the 11 jumps slow progression program (the name of that escape my mind at the moment). It starts with a Instructor Assisted Deployment (IAD), this first solo jump is from 3,500 feet. Now I did that out of a C-182. On Cessna planes have a bar that goes to the wing. Remember, first solo jump, on tandem, you get "pushed" out... Now they were asking me to go up the bar, let my feet go from the wheel and hang in there... at (what seems to be super high) 3500'. I was scared sh!tless!!!! Plus I was the first one to do it (curse of being the heaviest). When I got the head signal and had to let go, It seems to take all the energy from me! But everything went well ... till the 6th jump. That all happen in one day... new students (me included) want to get tru their solo in 1 weekend... Except, adrenaline rushes (when not used to it) take a lot of energy! I wanted to get tru it, with each jump I was more confident, everything went well... after jump #5 (first self opening) I wanted to call it quit for the day and get much needed rest. Sadly enough, they needed one more student to go up on that last load of the day... I've been there for 12 hrs now, tired and still in shock about the whole thing. I cave in and said yes. This was my first freefall jump, count to 3 and open. Easy enough. So here I am, hanging on the bar, getting the okay. I let go, annndddd looked down, instead of up. which made me de-arch (big no no when you are starting). That made me flip .... lost total control and in panic I open anyway ... I guess I did it at the perfect timing since the opening was good and landed carefully. Now that scare the shit out of me. I couldn't sleep that night... all I could see everytime I close my eyes were the flipping combination of sky and ground. It took me 8 days to get back to it. I didn't want to go back. But I decided to conquer my fear. And I went. Since then ... hooked and have a little smirk everytime I think about that jump. I learned a lot from it ... since then, before each jump, in the plane as the jump run approach, I take 3 deep breath and relax, and everything always goes well ... and I'm prepare with all the outcomes that come with a jump. Just like my first malfunction this past week where I had to cut away (BEEERRR!!!!)
Don't let fear stop you... you'll miss out on the greatest thing in life.
All I'm going to say is, the first time you stand in the door of a plane at 13,500 feet with your toes at the edge, looking down at the world below, you will never forget it. There is a momentary switch you flip in the back of your mind, then it is out the door for the experience that will forever keep you looking up into the sky.
I remember what my AFF instructor told me before my first jump. "so it's going to be noisy and cold and other skydivers might tell dirty jokes, but just keep focused on the routine and everything will be great! " And so it was! I was scared but that rig pressing me tight and the firm grip of the AFF instructors on the door felt comforting. Wasn't even too bad even when I forgot to breath during freefall. They talked about sensory overload. Cold, wind.., noise..etc. Now it's really a big part of my life. Friends.. Fun.. Stories.. Memories.
Just don't expect the fear go away after first jump but for me it felt so good that I thought I could walk in the air for next three days! But the excitement is part of the fun so exceeding yourself makes student jumps very special. It's like they said "if you're not scared there is something wrong with you"
I was so well drilled on the exit and dive that when the instructor said, “Take your position at the door”, I was on autopilot. I was very determined to do well on the jump and I did. But all I saw was the hand signals, my altimeter, and the sky around me. Even at the door, the focus of my vision never went beyond the door frame (hand position) or the outside instructor.
The wind and noise from sticking your head out on a Caravan was a bit of a shock.
If you want a thrill, a tandem might be better for a first jump. You get to look around more and your are not tasked like you are on an AFF jump.
First want to say I admire all of you who have jumped I want to do it so badly but I get sweaty palms just watching the videos on youtube.
Those videos used to freak me out too! And until recently, seeing others exit before me pushed some kind of unconscious alarm button. I still get a bit nervous when the door opens, but it's not the horror show it once was. Thoughts like "This is fun!" seem to be slowly overriding the "Jump out of the plane? What was I thinking!?" thoughts.