T Nation

Skydiving as a Hobby

Do we have any skydiving enthusiasts here? I’ve only done one 14,000ft tandem jump about a decade ago, but it planted the seed. I have some cash saved up and want to do the AFF and go for my A licence. Any general advice or tips on getting everything right the first time? Having to repeat AFF stages would wipe out my savings pretty quickly. I’m in Australia for reference.

Skydiving is definitely something you have to get right first time!

I did one solo jump on a static line - hell of an adrenaline rush but I’m not planning on doing it again, the risk/reward just doesn’t stack up for me.

1 Like

the title of this thread should read

“potential death while screaming as a hobby”


I keep looking at AFF & A license (honestly I really love the idea of wingsuit flying, but that’s probably where the risk Vs reward stops being worth it, but you did have A license and 200 jumps before wingsuit stuff, in theory) there’s a place nearby me that does it fairly reasonably - problem is there’s always a better use for the money than jumping out of a plane…one day!

In the US there’s 1 fatality per 167,000 jumps, so the most dangerous part is the drive to the airfield

1 Like

I remember watching the following video years ago and just being in awe. I’ve always wanted to try wingsuiting since, but damn is it expensive to get into.

1 Like

Yeah. It’s definitely a big boys/big toys type hobby.

Some friends of mine had a pretty good skydiving habit going for a while and wanted me to join. The thing was, it was like a mandatory beginners course, plane fee, chute rental, etc.

All that to strap some dude to my back and jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

Nah. Took up fly fishing instead. Much lower entry point and no dudes strapped to me for the first 10 fish. :joy:


It’s expensive to get into, but (from what I’ve read anyway) not so bad long-term once you get past the high initial costs. For example, at the places near me one tandem jump would cost AU$300-400. If you do the training course, it’ll be about AU$3-$3.5k all up, which would have full training and about 15 solo jumps (instructor is near you but you’re not strapped to them). After you have your licence you can jump for AU$50 + AU$30 gear hire. If you invest in your own gear, and buy jumps in bulk, it goes down to AU$45 per jump.

Still, not exactly cheap, but it’s all relative. More expensive than crochet, less expensive than owning a boat or collecting high-end Swiss watches.

Yeah. That entry point probably gets a lot of people.

On the other hand, for the one dude that was really into it (and also quite wealthy) it was like a vacation/travel enhancement. Going to the Rocky mountains-schedule a day of sky diving. Florida/beaches-also sky diving, European travel etc.

So there’s that part of it too. Seeing the world from a different view.

Yea similar levels to round here, I don’t think it’s that expensive as a hobby at that cost, people pay far more for bikes, golf clubs, gym memberships etc. Like you say initial outlay is the biggie, after that I’d say for the activity your doing (well the private fight) is actually cheap.

That wingsuit video is fantastic, some really close proximity stuff there. I think my favourite, just for pure insanities sake is:

1 Like

Incredible video. I looked him up and apparently he died in a wingsuit crash about a year after that video was posted, which just goes to show how insanely dangerous these stunts are.

Starting my AFF course tomorrow. Hoping the weather will be good all week so I can hang around the DZ do as much as I can this week, before my uni work ramps up. My biggest fear is not the jumping part itself, but the parachute coming loose in the plane and killing everyone.

1 Like

I’m sure this will be great fun… Not for me, like seriously fuck that, I hate flying but I worked with a guy who did sky diving all the time and he loved it. He was also terrified of heights, go figure.

Legend, let me know how it goes!

Got back today, a bit earlier than planned because there’s a cyclone coming in and the winds are too high to jump. In the 3 days I was there I did the first 5 stages of AFF - ground school, 1 training tandem, 3 jumps with 2 instructors, 2 jumps with 1 instructor. I’m at the point now where the instructor is releasing me and I can fly stable (more or less) and do some 360 degree turns. I’ll come back probably next weekend to finish it off. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s a lot of fun man. I highly recommend going for it if you have some spare cash.

This actually seems to be pretty common. For me the scariest part is being at the open door of the plane and looking down, but during freefall you don’t really get the same sensation of height. You’re just kind of “in it” rather than being at some fixed reference point, looking at another fixed reference point way beneath you. It’s hard to explain.