Restrictions


USPA membership Required
AADs Not Required
Hook turns Allowed

No description available.

Aircraft


The fastest King Air

Facilities


Gear Rentals
Gear Sales
Rigging
Packing Area
Creeping Area
Video Rooms
Coaches
Load Org
Shops

Where we jump


Marina Municipal Airport
LAT: 36.6818783
LNG: -121.7623475

Contact Us


3261 Imjin Road, Marina, California, 93933, United States
1888-BAY-JUMP
Website
E-mail

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sheeks

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They added a 6% "fuel fee" to the price of a tandem with absolutely ZERO mention of it on their website. Their policy basically says, "we have the right to change prices on you with absolutely zero notice."

They also seem to do a great deal of time promoting how they have the "World's Highest Tandem" at 18,000 feet, even though that's a complete lie. There's countless other dropzones that offer 18,000 foot plus tandems everywhere. I'm not sure why they have to try and lie to people, when they can just run an honest business with integrity.


The actual jump was pretty breath-takingly amazing, with rainbows in the clouds from the ocean mist and everything.

But, it's a pretty hollow company with no real integrity behind their words.

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Nishu309

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Staff and Instructor are very knowledgeable and friendly. Loved the overall experience and the location for the dive is very scenic. The plane is a bit small but it's not a major hassle as you spend like 10 mins or less in the plane. You get to see the monterey bay during your dive. My instructor Eli was pretty cool and experienced. The jump and landing was very smooth and I didn't experienced any pain. A big thanks to Eli for creating this great first experience of skydiving

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Tarynbeth

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  • 5
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This was my first jump, my son’s second and we did 18,000 feet tandem. I was with Brent and did not have even a single apprehension. In fact, I felt zen and relaxed throughout the entire jump. From the front desk staff, to the pilot, to Cameron our videographer (loved him), to my instructor Brent it was one of the best experiences of my life. Wish I lived here I’d learn to do it solo! Only bad thing about doing it here my first time is I’m afraid nothing will ever measure up! Thank you so much, Skydive Monterey Bay!

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Lorainevm

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  • 5
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Skydive Monterey Bay is the BEST tandem and solo skydiving company I have ever jumped with. My two jumps were the best experiences ever with this same company and the only I would ever consider. Eli and Raff are the best skydive masters to tandem with. Customer service is top of the line and the process from beginning to end was smooth. Thank you so much for the best experience ever.

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nakshatra04

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The best part is the team, they will make you feel very comfortable will train you well and will make this a memorable experience.
I really liked the 18000 jump, the video editing is amazing.
Would Like to personally extend my thanks to "Mikhail", he is the BEST. Thank you again for making it a wonderful experience.

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zephyrzone

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  • 2
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Given my experience, I want to rate this DZ a 0. However, I want to be completely objective in my review. 2 stars is an honest rating.

The Good: The aircraft is fast and the tandem masters/camera flyers are very good. Of course there are many other DZs in northern California with the same attributes.

The Bad: The DZ claims to accept experienced/fun jumpers, and technically they do. In reality THEY DO NOT. Let me be absolutely clear on this, if you are a licensed skydiver, this dz will not treat you well and doesn't want you there. In fact, this review will probably help them because it will keep fun jumpers away (which is what they want).

I took my friend down to a tandem jump because of the high altitude, nice scenery and I got comped a jump ticket. His jump went well and he enjoyed it. I was 1 of 3 fun jumpers there all day on a Saturday. None of us were able to get on a load, even though we were manifested. As I was walking to the plane I was pulled from the line and told I couldn't board because of weight issues. This also happened to the one other fun jumper who actually volunteers at the DZ. Apparently our weight cost too much in gas (I'm 165lbs). My friend, who was on the plane, overheard the tandem instructors mocking me for coming to a "tandem only DZ" and that I "should know better". Awesome.

I was offered an IOU to come back and jump again, instead of a refund. Of course I'm not going to do this since I'll never get up on a load. I asked for a real refund (very nicely) and was refused. Then I offered to return the hoodie that I had bought a few hours ago to at least recoup some money. Nope. I was told I wore it and "excreted fluids into it" so it was not returnable.

Skydive Monterey Bay HATES fun jumpers and it shows. Why they even promote the DZ as a place where experienced jumpers are welcomed is a complete mystery. This DZ is an adequate tandem factory and nothing more. If you want to do a tandem skydive, this place is OK, but I wouldn't give them a single dime. The have no interest in customer service because they get more tandem jumpers than they can even handle as it is.

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ce2010

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I walked in, asked a few questions, and got short/rude answers. I took the initiative to find the shuttle to the landing area a mile away, and was not impressed.

I never saw another fun jumper the whole weekend which makes perfect sense now! They do not want your business and make that very clear.

It's a shame really that more people can't enjoy 18,000ft jumps and warm weather because of the horrible vibe at Skydive Monterey Bay. Only the tandems can who wouldn't notice the altitude difference anyway.

I will not be back!

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Mamoore399

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  • 4
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Excellent place to jump during week. 18k with a very conservative opening altitude was 81 seconds. Their King Air is a rocket, 4 turns and you are on jump run! Attentive office staff, great vibe, friendly locals. Got a coach and he made me work in the air, exactly what I asked for. The turns are fast so if you have the means bring two rigs. Landing area is clear, safe, with plenty of bailouts albeit small. I'll go back. Tandems determine load altitude- just get over it. Very happy with the crew there.

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fastguy

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I was on a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco and thought I would hit Skydive Santa Barbara and Skydive Monterey on the way north. After getting stumped at SSB with fog and low clouds, I arrived at Skydive Monterey the next morning with beautiful blue skies.

When I walked into the terminal, I noticed lots of tandem folks waiting around; that should have been my first clue. I asked around but no one knew if there was a local instructor or coach around to get me oriented (clue 2), so being an instructor myself observed how they did things for a little while, noticed the boarding and landing areas were on the far side of the airfield (you have to take vans to and from), and the nice packing and training areas.

Walked into the office and stood in line while watching the staff lose their minds trying to deal with the five tandems that where in there. After nearly 30 minutes of waiting and repeated questions that went ignored, I asked again to get started with the waiver, etc. After finishing with that I tried to manifest and was told that there would be a 2.5 hour wait. No apology or anything.

I am an instructor at a busy DZ myself, and I know how easy it is to get focused on taking care of the clients and forget that there are fun jumpers running around that are looking for a good time, often at a new and different DZ than their home. But making these folks welcome can pay dividends for your business over the long haul, and they might even bring in a tandem or two the next time they are in town.

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deltagearinc

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  • 3
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Marina Airport, 50 miles south of San Jose and just north of Monterey provides amazing views from the air. Gear sales range from some basics (i.e. goggles, glasses, log books, etc.) to some apparel. Jumps are mainly geared towards tandems and AFF students may feel like they are second priority. Great instructors, riggers, and videographers. The office staff can make your experience fun or stressful, depending on who you talk to. Prices are reasonable for the extra altitude and views.

Skydive Monterey Bay has a King Air that will take you to 18k in under 20min... a big plus! The facilities are fair, and the gear and plane are well maintained. Wireless internet is not provided, but is obtainable. Unfortunately, there is no bunk house, couch to crash on, or place to camp at the DZ. Overall, it is a fantastic DZ to experience but not a place to call home.

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cdcollura

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I wrote a review on this place in the good old days (around 2007 to 2009), when you can show up and they tried their best to get you in the air ... With 18k to 19k jump altitudes and a King Air rocket ship that got you up to that FL in 6 mins!

Now it's the dark days of 2014 ... I went there twice and was told there was no rental gear available for out of town (unless you are AFF or tandem), and was simply turned away on a busy Saturday under flawless blue skies.

In 2014 I made the smart decision of calling this time ahead and was told NO GEAR RENTALS to any visiting jumpers, regardless of experience. So if you are experienced, BRING your OWN gear!! I was told this was a "policy" they did since 2011.

What a way to ruin something that was so good and a must everytime I visited N California.

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monterey

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On my friend's birthday we went to Skydive Monterey Bay for a first jump. Early in the morning, my friend called to make reservations, and he was told that he did not need any, just to show up at noon, which we did. After signing in, he was told to just "wait" by some tables - four and a half hours later, we were told the jump would be canceled due to winds.

Somewhere around hour 3 of waiting, I asked the office is they could give us a general time line of waiting. They said that even after 17 years of experience, they had NO idea when he would jump as timing was impossible in this business. When I asked if they could tell me whether it would be one hour or five, they said it they could not say.

So we continued to wait in the FREEZING hanger...and I am guessing the uncomfortable temperature is a common thing as the staff had a tiny spaceheater. So once the jump was canceled due to winds, we were told that the Company does NOT give refunds. After haggling with the owner, and getting unprofessionally yelled at by her, my friend finally received a partial refund - the Company kept a $50 nonrefundable fee. Though there is no argument that the office's policy is no refunds, and my friend signed the contract, there was a question of customer service.

As absolutely NO services had been rendered, (my friend never even got to leave the hanger), it seemed not to much to ask for a refund. No such luck. Though the Company did not LEGALLY have to give a refund (as it is stipulated in their jump contract) it would seem that customer service, or human decency, would dictate that one should. Instead, my friend basically paid $50 to wait all day in a freezing hanger - on his birthday.

I would NEVER EVER recommend Skydive Monterey. The wait time is ridiculous (and the owner reassured me several time that on any given day, they can NEVER offer time predictions), the waiting area is freezing cold and uncomfortable (and this all happened in spring - I could not imagine winter!), and the staff was unfriendly and had no concept of customer service skills or what is right.

Save your money and go to the Hollister skydiving place.

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Larhsw

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  • 4
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Just stopped by on a short trip to CA on business. Super friendly people, super fast plane, great scenery and easy access. Facilities do need an upgrade. though.

A positive experience, and I'd recommend it to anyone!

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Kiki32

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I did a jump here and was treated like a regular. This dz has an awesome vibe, the people are very nice and despite their reputation of being a tandem factory, they catered to us fun jumpers without any problems. The king air 200 series they have is the fastest plane Ive ever been on, and the heater inside the plane isnt too bad either!

Landing area is a bit far from the packing area but there were plenty of vans to come pick us up. The view is gorgeous too. I cant think of anything bad about this dropzone, if I lived closer Id make it my home dz.

I highly recommend this place.

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Viking

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Was Doing a roadtrip to from San Diego to San Jose and stopped in at Monterey for a quick jump. As I'm waivering I realize my reserve is a month out of date!! I smack myself and go see the rigger Macko. He Got my reserve repacked in a little under two hours BETWEEN LOADS!! and he didn't charge me a huge amount. One of the jumpers there loaned me one of there rigs to jump!! We just walked in and they treated us like family. It was great!! We were able to get a 6-way track jump going and the New King Air 200 they have got us to 18,000 AGL in 8 minutes!!! Unreal experience and I will be making the drive up the coast and make a point of visiting again!!

The only con I can think of is the Weather. It is the Bay Area after all.

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jamiem

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I went to this DZ for my first two tandems. Both times the instructors were very helpful and fun, and the jumps were amazing...but both times the wait was excrusiatingly long. They take reservations for tandems starting at 9am..but if the fog doesn't burn off then the entire day is delayed. For my second tandem I went and waited 8 hours and still didn't get to jump and had to come back another day and wait another 6 hours to jump. The girl at the front desk is often rude and misleading on wait times just so she can get your money and then you're locked in. I have never jumped there as a solo jump and I am interested to try it, but for a tandem be prepared for a very long wait to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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SeanJuan

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  • 4
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Just an update to my below post cause I got a new username...
I've been jumping here for a while now. Tourettes Tami, Gay Dan, and Happy the Genius have left to go work in Texas and they are very much missed.
The King Air is still the fastest plane ever. Takes like 6 minutes to altitude with good turnaround times. You don't have a big ass doorway to jump out of. One tandem takes up the entire door, but you can work it out; the art of the exit has been perfected quite well.
I am probably NEVER gonna get tired of the view; especially on sunset loads. There's no where else you'll get a view like here. The people that are still here are still cool people. Everybody is welcoming, warm and laid back. Just make sure that you land on the west side of the LZ cause there are little pricklys everywhere on the east side of it. I hate those damn things.
Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

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SeanSolo

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did second tandem and complete AFF school in two weekends. the people there are cool and laid back. the rigger is very detailed and knows his shit. the scenery is absolutely amazing. they like to do sunset jumps during the week, which work out perfect for people who work on weekdays. needs more funjumpers and weather holds suck. they have a really good balance on funjumper-to-tandem ratios and i have never felt that they cater to one or the other. they wont let you go out alone cause they always want to do a 2,3,4-way. i have to beat them away and use profanity to do jumps by myself. all in all, a great place to jump.

the people: tami jo has tourettes so watch out for her. laura will make u buy video with her boobs. tony trys to get people in fights and will flip tandems until they dont know up from green. mako thinks he's the shit cause he has a million cameras, a million rigs, and a million jumps (he's a great instructor, great video, and lives to jump). dan is gay. dail shows her boobs at bars. happy is a self-declared genius (verdict is still out on that one). no one there sucks, but apparently raff doesn't like my shirts...

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3hawk

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We called at 8am on a Friday to see if anything was happening. The girl on the phone said we could get on a load at 11am. We got to the DZ a little early to waiver and gear up. We were in the air by 12:30 in their King Air. The ride to 18k was amazing with great views of Monterey bay and the Pacific Ocean. It took all of 7 minutes to get to altitude.

The staff was helpful and friendly. It seems like they cater mostly to tandems but they try to accomidate fun jumpers as well.

I'll gladly recommend Skydive Monterey Bay to anyone. I look forward to going back!

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ffdmedic

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This is a great place to jump. The views are fantastic and the staff is very friendly. I did my first few jumps here. The staff not only made me feel comfortable, but they kept the excitment level up the whole time.

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377

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UPDATE MARCH 09
9 minutes to 18K for $28. The King Air 200 is a rocket ship, seriously. Nice folks, spectacular views, hazard free landing area. Lots of tandems, but with the plane making such quick turnarounds you will get to jump. First time I ever had my reserve packing card checked at SMB. New boss! Even checked to see if my USPA membership was current. Thankfully, it all was cool. Reserve was still in date by a few days, whew!

UPDATE OCT 07
Still a great DZ. I can be absent for a long time but the staff remembers my name and treats me really well. I have to laugh at SMB's website pitch for the scenic aerial tour included with tandems at "no extra charge". You better look really quick because that Nardi's King Kong King Air will have you on jump run in less than seven minutes. I hear the new King Air 200 is even a faster climber. The incredible climb abilty of the new plane should cut down wait times for tandems, a source of frequent SMB blog grumbling on Yelp and other sites. SMB ought to consider some new ways to deal with impatient tandem jumpers, maybe let them roam in town subject to a 30 minute cell call to show up at the DZ. Up jumpers know that waiting to load is just sometimes part of the game, but tandem customers get really torqued and then gripe on various review blogs.
UPDATE MAY 07
Showed up after a long absence and was warmly greeted by Dail, the DZ mgr. Dropped of some gear for Mako (DZ rigger) to work on and suited up for a late afternoon jump. This DZ does great job of integrating tandems and up jumpers. You aren't made to feel like you are excess $22 baggage standing in the way of profitable $200 tandems. The modified (higher HP engines) King Air climbs unbelievably fast so even though only one plane is flying, it feels like they have a couple operating. Not much waiting. View of the ocean from 15.3K was incredible (they are always generous with altitude here). Great location and friendly helpful staff. Sunset always packs smooth openings for me. Treating up jumpers well has its benefits for the DZ. I have sent quite a few people there for tandems and even a few AFFs because I like the staff and the whole operation. I know my friends will have a good experience here. Be careful on the road to the DZ (Reservation road). Radar cops were nailing speeders the day I went.
UPDATE JULY 06
Greg Nardi and his wife now apparently own and run SMB. The Twin Otter went to Taft, but before you get upset by that departure, it has been replaced by a King Air that is an Absolutely Spectacular climber. I have been in Mike Mullins rocket ship King Air, but believe me, this one actually climbs faster. Seemed like about six minutes from lift off to exit. When I visited last weekend it was a hummin tandem scene, but the staff was friendly and accomodating to me and another couple of fun jumpers who showed up. Dayle is now the DZ manager and she was a pleasure to deal with. The same old local climate situation exists which means if the coast looks fogged out don't dispair, there may be a clear area over the SMB DZ as there was the day I visited. I had a great time. With Nardi's hot rod King Air flying, loads cycle really fast so I didnt have to wait long at all even though the place was full of tandem passengers. The landing area is hazard free and big. Winds were about 15 kts out of the NW, but steady so it wasnt a problem. Even though it's primarily a tandem operation, SMB provides a good value for up jumpers. They are sure not stingy with altitude. I read 15,400 ft on exit! Give it a visit. I am sure coming back.
UPDATE Sept 05
SMB now has added Greg Nardi's King Air to its fleet. This plane reportedly is the fastest climbing King Air jumpship anywhere, even faster than Mike Mullins' rocket. Gotta check this out. The Twin Otter is not used much any more although it is still on site. I recently dealt with the SMB rigger Tom and he is first rate. Really knows gear A-Z, not just a reserve packer.
Old review: This is a first rate DZ which is run by seasoned skydiving pros. Their Twin Otter is a fast climber and seems to be very well maintained. They also have a big Cessna (206?) for weekday use. The views from altitude are unbelievable, just flat out spectacular. The landing area is about 1/4 mile from the DZ HQ and is hazard free. A very good place to learn skydiving from real pros. They make their living off tandems, of course, but they also pay attention to keeping fun jumpers happy. I have seen them send as few as six jumpers up in the Twin Otter on a slow day just so they wouldn't have to wait for more tandem cutomers to jump. They often give substantial extra altitude and also run specials on holidays (like $15 to 15K). There is a very good cafe within walking distance and the town of Marina is a 5 minute drive. They really emphasize safety and have occasionally kicked out jumpers who repeatedly do stupid things. They religiously check reserve dates so be sure yours is current. The rigger is top notch and is very reliable. If he says your reserve will be ready on a certain date it will. SMB is one of my favorite DZs. The weather is better than typical coastal stuff. Last Sunday it was foggy north and south of the DZ but beautiful clear blue skies above it. That happens a lot, so call. Even if you see fog along the coast, SMB is often clear and sunny. Summer afternoons can bring winds, but they die down towards evenings and rarely exceed 18 mph. Sunset views are superb, great photos can be taken with the coast in the background and the sunset out to the West. This is a great DZ, give it a visit.

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electricfox

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I went to SDMB last October and had a horrible experience. Frankly, I promised myself I would never go back. Thanks to the reviews on this site and the beauty of the location, I decided to try it again. I'm glad I did.

They are under new management and the employees are really friendly. They're upgrading their video equipment, have a new plane, and overall make sure you have a good experience. The jump masters in particular are all really funny and helpful - my jump master (Randy) was really encouraging and professional.

The plane was amazing - you could feel the power of the turbines and it took like 3 minutes at most to get to 15k. Just enough to strap in, look around and jump off. Not like the older otter, which while fast, isn't as so.

The location is easy to get to, and is quite near to Monterey, which has lots of after-jump activies to offer.

I highly recommend this DZ for any inexperienced jumpers - the views afforded from free-fall are easily worth the extra cost. All my 12 brave friends had a blast.

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seanstill

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The good, very friendly people, good enviorment and a great view of the bay.

The Bad, very small packing area, the Otter was down for repairs so the only other plane running was the Cessna that had a broken door, took a little long to get manifested and a little long to get up to altitude.

The ugly, bad landing area, located far from the hanger. A van picks you from the landing area and takes you back to the hanger but waiting for everyone to get down and get in the van is a little time consuming. The worst thing though is the landing area itself, kind of bowl shaped and far too many potholes.

I did enjoy it over all though.

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micbaker

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I did my AFF 1 with a friend at SMB. In the air, everything was great. The instructors were clueful and the superotter got you to 15k quickly.

On the ground SMB was a disaster. They cancelled our first AFF jump after taking our money because they decided they could make more on tandems at another location. They made it very clear that AFFs were their last priority. They also made it clear that we weren't getting our money back. The girl running the phones was annoyed at our request to call us later in the day to see if we could get a jump in. She didn't call. In fact the 3 separate times that SMB promised to call for updates, they never called once. When we called them their phone attitude was terse, unprofessional, and disinterested. You get the feeling that they'd really enjoy their work if it weren't for all the damned customers. I won't be going back anytime soon.

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didone

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Vibe:


Aircraft:
I showed up last sunday just because I wanted to make my first jumps after moving to the US from Europe. I am not a long time jumper, and I really apreciated when the DZO took care of the safety briefing and followed my first landing.
By the second load I had already befriended with other fellow jumpers and I was in for a 2 way. I had a lot of fun. Recommended.

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