Not all skydiving centers offer instruction in all of the training methods, and this could be for any number of reasons. The availability of instructors and equipment, the type of aircraft, etc. None of the instructional methods are substantially safer or better than any of the others. It depends mostly on how they are applied and how well they suit a particular student.

Skydivers must be at least 18 years old, no exceptions. Weight limits are 200 to 230 pounds depending on the type of skydive.

What will this cost?

The cost of completing a course of instruction will vary greatly, and will depend on the instructional method you use, the skydiving center(s) you go to, your personal rate of learning, and how often you can skydive.

Assuming that you are a good student and that no jumps need to be repeated, the approximate prices to get your license are $1400 to $1700 for Static line or IAD, and $2400-$2600 for AFF or Hybrid Tandem/AFF.

How to Become Certified (Get a License)

  1. Choose a first jump training method
  2. Contact us about scheduling
  3. Make your first skydive (and get a logbook)
  4. Talk to your instructors about subseqent jumps
  5. Choose an instructional program that fits your schedule and your budget
  6. Become a United States Parachute Association member
  7. Purchase the USPA Skydivers Information Manual (SIM)
  8. Continue scheduling and making skydives
  9. Study the SIM before coming to the skydiving center to be prepared for your jump, and to save time

United States Parachute Association
Our national skydiving organization

Skydivers Information Manual
SIM and other Documents

Although instruction will vary among skydiving centers, reading about the Integrated Student Program (ISP) ahead of time will give you an idea of how your training will progress.

Your Skydiving Progression

Your instructors will train you before each jump, monitor your progress as you make your jump, and debrief you after the jump. They will then document your progression in your logbook and will allow you to advance to the next jump category when you have attained the knowledge and skill required.

Your training will consist of not only a variety of freefall maneuvers, but will also include important training that will allow you to steer and land your parachute safety by yourself.

And to complete your training you will learn about the government regulations related to skydiving, and about how to safely utilize the aircraft you will be jumping from.

Training Tips from the Experts

Becoming a licensed skydiver takes time and money, but by taking our advice on some of these things we can help you minimize the time and costs.

After your first jump, and when you decide to continue your skydiving training:

  • Choose a training method that fits your schedule and your budget. (Call us if you have questions about how to do this.)
  • Set aside enough money so that you can make multiple jumps in a day. This is by far the most important advice we can give you.
  • Your second and third jumps of the day will be more relaxed, and you will learn much more than on your first skydive of the day because learning any physical skill like skydiving requires a certain amount of repetition.
  • Skydive often enough to stay current. This will eliminate the costs of retraining which will be neccessary if you have not jumped for a while.
  • Do your homework. Prepare for your skydive by studying the SIM at home. This will save a lot of time.
  • Don't forget to bring important documentation with you, like your logbook and SIM.


One of the most frustrating things that skydivers have to deal with is the weather, and there is not a thing we can do about it. Depending on the training method, certain types of bad weather can prevent us from skydiving.

Sometimes the only thing we can do is to educate ourselves about the weather so that we can schedule our skydives when the chance of good weather are the greatest.

However, sometimes a period of bad weather that happens when we are already at the skydiving center can be used to study and to learn things that would be unlikely to be learned at home, like how to pack your parachute.

St. Louis Area Weather Links

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