credit: John Medina/Getty Images

What to Know

Make sure the company you’re dealing with is indeed a skydiving company. There are many businesses advertising themselves as skydiving firms, but really they are essentially resellers earning commissions for directing customers to specific partners outside the city. You should deal directly with places that are group members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), the governing agency for skydivers.

Starting from 10,000 feet up at about 120 miles per hour, you’ll have less than a minute before landing. It’s going to go by quick, and you’ll want to relive it again and again later. Find out how much it costs to video your fall and in what format you’ll get the media for later duplication or sharing with friends via the Internet.

You must be 18 years old or older to skydive, no exceptions. Parental or guardian permission won’t release any liabilities regarding recreational sports, and hold harmless waivers are required by all skydivers. Bring your photo ID.

For tandem jumps, find out the company’s weight limit. Typically clocking in on the scale at 200 to 240 pounds or more will disqualify you for a tandem jump. Also call ahead to discuss any medical conditions that might put your risk factors too high.

Aim to schedule your jump as early in the day as possible in case there are weather issues or other delays. After training, orientation and paperwork, expect get airborne at least an hour after getting started.

With many reservations during the summer months, you may find yourself stuck with either an early slot (around 7 a.m.) or near dusk (around 7 p.m.), with weekdays more open than weekends. Call ahead for availability and keep tabs on that day’s weather forecast.

Bay Area Skydiving

6901 Armstrong Rd. at Byron Airport
Byron, CA 94514

Madera Parachute Center

4130-D Aviation Dr. at Madera Municipal Airport
Madera, CA 93637
(559) 674-1278 or (559) 673-2688 (weekday)

NorCal Skydiving

220 Airport Rd. at Cloverdale Municipal Airport
Cloverdale, CA 95425
(707) 478-8382

Santa Cruz Skydiving / Skydive Surf City

120 Aviation Way
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 435-5169

SkyDance SkyDiving

24390 Aviation Ave. at Yolo County Airport
Davis, CA 95616
(800) SKYDIVE (Northern California only) or (530) 753-2651 (weekday)

Skydive Hollister

30B Airport Dr. at Hollister Airport
Hollister, CA 95023
(831) 636-0117 or (800) FUN-JUMP

Skydive Monterey Bay

721 Neeson Road at Marina Airport
Marina, CA 93933
(831) 384-3483 or (888) BAY-JUMP

Skydive Sacramento

1020 Airport Rd at Lincoln Regional Airport
Lincoln, CA 95648
(916) 434-7700