FAQs

Who packs the parachutes?

At Skydive Houston, all main parachutes are packed by our instructors or our staff FAA certificated parachute riggers. Auxiliary or reserve parachutes are inspected and repacked every 180 days, per FAA regulations, by our staff FAA certificated parachute riggers.

How far in advance should I make my reservation?

We recommend a few days notice during the week and about a week's notice for a weekend appointment. Also, you'll have a better chance at getting a prime time slot the earlier you make your reservation. Larger groups should also give consideration to the fact there may not be a large enough time block available for your group on the day you are requesting. Make your reservations as early as possible, and feel free to call or email anytime for availability.

How hard does the parachute open?

Most students would say the parachute opening was not nearly as hard as they anticipated it to be. On occasion, the parachute will open harder than normally expected. Although possible, it is unlikely you would sustain any injuries from an opening. Please consult your physician if you feel you may have a condition where you should refrain from skydiving.

Can we be in the airplane together?

Yes, our jump planes can take two students at time. We will make every effort for you to jump with your friends, however, this is not always possible. Student's size and weight directly affect the aircraft capabilities.

What’s the best time to skydive?

There are a couple of factors to consider when answering this question: weather, scheduling, and video/photo images. For weather reasons, it's best to schedule as early in the day as possible. In the event we have inclement weather, we have all day for conditions to improve. Also, when the weather does break, we start with the students with the earliest appointments and work our way down pushing everybody's scheduled appointment time back. We are much like a doctor's office and the fewer students there are in front of you the less delays you'll encounter. For video and photo images, most professional photographers prefer soft morning and late afternoon light. While our professional photographers prefer these times, we make nice images all day long. Keep in mind, you'll probably be making your jump about one hour after your scheduled reservation time.

What if I am over the weight limit?

Maximum weight is 250lbs (male) and 220lbs (female). There is an additional fee for anyone over 200lbs. There can be special arrangements made for people over 220lbs, but it will depend on the weather and instructor, so we cannot guarantee you will jump on the day you reserved. Parachutes, like other tools used in aviation, have strict weight ranges under which they operate. If you exceed those weight ranges, you end up with a potentially dangerous situation on your hands. In skydiving, exceeding the weight range can result in dangerous deployments (eek!), broken parachute lines (double eek!) and unacceptably fast landings (triple eek!). And larger parachutes, are, of course, heavier, which adds even more weight. Past that seemingly-arbitrary-but-actually-not-arbitrary-at-all 225 mark, it's a self-exaggerating problem, and we refuse to put any of our students or instructors in harm's way.

Tandem instructors have a very challenging job, balancing caring about each individual student with personally seeing to a long list of safety items along the way. Students over the weight limit make a great landing near-impossible to pull off, which puts our beloved instructors in a compromising position with the ground. We've pledged to take care of our people, and that just doesn't work for us. Feathers don't fall as fast as anvils. If you did manage to make a skydive that exceeded the weight limit, not only would it be way less comfortable and way more dangerous--but your skydive would be over faster, deployment would be harder, and the landing would be, um, uncomfortable. That's not the way you want to experience your first time meeting the sky face-to-face, is it? We thought not.

There's the matter of the harness, too. Tandem harnesses only adjust to a certain point, at which they become a trial to put on and to wear during a skydive. It's not cool. You don't wanna face that. If you can make it under that 255 limit, we're here to welcome you with open arms! Make a project of it. You'll come out of it healthier and way inspired--with lots of great skydiving photos, to boot. It's within your reach, we promise; we've known one tandem student who lost four hundred pounds to make a skydive.

If he can pull it off, so can you!

If I am under 18 can I still jump if my parents sign for me?

Unfortunately no. The age requirement of 18 is set forth due to the hold harmless waivers every skydiver must agree to and sign. These waivers are only binding if the person signing is at the age or consent, 18, or older. Parental or guardian permission holds no validity when signing legal documents directly related to release of liability regarding recreational sports. No ID, No JUMP!! We accept DLs, State/Military IDs and Passports only.

What if I don't like my media footage?

Skydiving is a very fast paced sport. We can not pause in freefall to remind you to look at the cameras and smile! Our cameras are rolling as fast as we are falling. We don't offer a refund on your media if you don't like it, unless the freefall portion of your footage is missing due to our camera malfunction.

Can we share a video?

Two people can appear in one video on the ground preparing for the sky dive and possibly for landing, but in freefall, one student can only be filmed by one camera.

What if I’m afraid of heights?

Many people are hesitant to skydive due to their personal fear or discomfort of heights. A skydiving experience does not equate to being, for example, at the top of a ladder, bridge, or building. You are simply too high up to have any height induced vertigo or dizziness. We are literally over two miles up when we skydive. An individual would no more encounter a fear of heights during skydiving than when flying in a jet airliner.

What’s the landing like?

Several factors come into play when we land a parachute. Most tandem parachute landings are very soft, often times standing up nicely. However this soft stand up style landing cannot be guaranteed and students must be physically fit enough to perform a harder falling down or sliding style landing. Generally, a person is fit to tandem skydive if they can perform some other rigorous sport such as tennis, basketball or racquetball and not injure themselves. Please consult your physician if you have doubts about your physical condition or strength.

Will I see my friend in freefall?

You can certainly try to see your friend in freefall. However with the fast paced environment of freefall, spotting your friend several hundred feet away is unlikely. After one tandem skydiving pair leaves the airplane, it will take several seconds for the next pair to leave. During this slight delay, the plane has traveled several hundred or even thousands of feet away horizontally from the first pair.

What height do we jump from?

Our typical jump altitude is between 8,000 and 13,500 feet providing a typical 30-60 second freefall, depending on your purchased package, weather, student's weight and air traffic. The FAA also forbids us to jump through clouds. If there is a cloud layer which prevents us from climbing to peak jump altitude, we offer skydivers the option of a slightly lower skydive under the clouds or to reschedule their skydive to another day.

How fast will we be falling?

Typical free fall speeds are approximately 120 MPH although this can increase or decrease slightly with body size and position. The freefall speed record is 833.9 mph!! An experienced skydiver using specialized equipment achieved this speed record.

Can you breathe in freefall?

The freefall and parachute environments do not cause any difficulty in breathing; however, some students have commented that it was awkward to breathe during the first few seconds. This is caused not by lack of oxygen but by the surge of adrenaline and excitement of first jumping out of the aircraft. Sometimes when a person is startled they draw in a breath of air and hold it. When you exit the airplane you must continue to breathe in and breathe out.

How’s your safety record?

While skydiving is definitely an extreme sport carrying an obvious risk of serious injury or death on every jump, we are proud to say that we have an impeccable safety record at the Skydive Houston.

Statistics have shown that skydiving injuries typically occur during a poorly executed landing. The tandem skydiving method employed by The Skydive Houston greatly minimizes this risk by the direct supervision of our highly experienced USPA rated tandem instructors. The equipment used at The Skydive Houston is also the most advanced tandem skydiving equipment available on the planet. Safety is our primary objective. Please keep in mind that accidents are still possible.

Who is USPA and are you rated through them?

The United States Parachute Association or USPA is the regulatory or governing agency-serving skydivers. They are the only such agency in the United States and have set forth standards in skydiving safety and training. Skydiving centers that have pledged to abide by these safety standards are called Group Members. The Skydive Houston is a USPA Group Member, and all of our Instructors possess instructional ratings recognized by USPA.

What if my skydiving question was not answered here?

Please give us a call or drop us an email. We're eager to answer any questions you have.

Can I wear my own GoPro or camera during the skydive?

The United States Parachute Association (USPA) mandates that all skydivers must have a minimum of 200 jumps prior to taking a camera into freefall. No outside cameras are permitted on your skydive due to safety reasons. There are no exceptions.

Is it Refundable if I'm not able to jump?

We have different options for you jump that has different cancellation policies. With our $199 tandem, the jump is NON-REFUNDABLE, along with a 48 hour notice before changing or moving your reservation. With our $229 tandem, the jump is refundable, minus a $25 office fee, with 24 hour notice before cancelling, and our $249 VIP Jump is FULLY Refundable with 12 hours’ notice before cancelling. In cases of non-jumpable weather, we will move your reservation to which every day you choose with no charge, as no one can control Mother Nature!

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