on 2012-05-10 DT-Cobra
1st time jumping
Pros: Nice professional people, atmosphere, and operation.
Cons: Being scared of heights!
I went with some friends this past weekend to celebrate their birthdays. I did not know anything about skydiving beyond jumping and falling. Oh yeah, and I was scared to do it! :O
When we arrived we saw a couple dozen people coming in for landing. It looks amazing and it got our adrenaline running. A person would land about every 30 seconds to a minute. There would be a break for about 20 minutes and it would happen again....all day long! Despite the place being quite busy, everything felt like it moved pretty smooth.
We checked in and waited about 20 minutes, then watched the video, and signed the papers (about 20 minutes). We weighed in and paid our fees. About 20 minutes later our instructors came out to greet us. They were very professional and polite (always smiling). They answered any questions you had and offered info on things you may not have thought to ask. My friends and I felt pretty confident with these people.
We geared up and I was even fitted with an altimeter, which I really appreciated having! My instructor recognized my feelings about being strapped to another guy...lets say...was not on my bucket list of things to do. He was very cool and did not make me feel uncomfortable at all. As a matter of fact, his professionalism completely put me at ease and I forgot about it entirely.
We made our ascent aboard a DC-3 (I believe) to 14,000 ft. The plane was quite fast and it felt like it was standing on it tail getting us up there. During the flight my instructor went over my responsibilities a second time and instructed me on the procedures on getting ready to exit the plane. It made things smooth and I did not feel apprehensive or clumsy about anything going on.
When we exited the plane I did exactly as he instructed. During the free fall I checked my altimeter every couple 1000 ft. or so. He even gave me the thumbs up for doing things right....which made me feel more at ease...and I even started to enjoy the trip. He didn't do anything stupid during the dive or while parachuting to freak me out. I could tell he knew I was scared. My friends all thought I was the coolest one of the bunch(BUT I DON'T LIKE HEIGHTS OR AIRPLANES), and I could tell he did everything by the book procedurally. (as it was very fluid and smooth)
My landing was a textbook "butt slide" on the lawn. I was actually "shocked" at how smooth it was. No jolt or bumps....just a 10 foot slide on some grass.
I could not believe how safe the whole experience had been. I was still scared....but not by the plane or the personel. It was because of them I was able to get through it and ENJOY the whole experience. As a matter of fact....I got the bug from it all and I'm going again in 3 weeks with half a dozen other people. (thx alot you skydiving junkies!) :P
As a side note....the video/camera crews did an excellent job. The vids and pictures came out beautiful and the people where very charismatic and energetic.
The facility was very clean and the place seemed very organized. There is a swimming pool, school/training facility, wind tunnel for fun or more training, resturaunt/bar, equipment store, lodging, showers, etc. It is located about 25 minutes from Casa Grande and about an hour from Downtown Phoenix.
I understand that I am a newbie, and some people who might read this are experienced or professional divers. I wrote this review for people who are thinking about making a jump. I don't personally know anyone who works for Skydive Arizona and I don't even live in the same county. I'm sure there are some other good places to go out there....but this happened to be my first. It basically turned out to be everything I and my friends (also 1st time jumpers) had ever hoped it would be. I hope other first timers might read this and find my experience helpful.
3 of 19 people found this review helpful:
Was this review helpful to you?