If you're thinking of taking up skydiving, or at
least doing a single jump for fun, there are many resources available to help you make a
decision as to which form of skydive to undertake (Tandem, Static Line or Accellerated
Free Fall) and these resources will also give you valuable information on how to progress
in the sport. This section has information on Drop Zones and the
best books, magazines, and CD-ROMS available (I'll be adding videos in later, when I have more
time!). Also check out the Links section of this site for many
valuable Internet reference sites (but be aware that not all Drop Zones have an Internet
|Many people forget that a visit to the nearest
Drop Zone (DZ) is probably the best first source of information. By visiting your local DZ
you'll get the best feel for what skydiving is all about and find many people happy to
help answer your queries. If you can't make it to your local DZ then the next best thing
is to phone the DZ and ask if they can send you a brochure. How do you find out where the
local DZ is? In the UK check out the BPA web site.
The BPA (British Parachute Association) are the UK's governing body on parachuting and
their web site has contact addresses and phone numbers for all its affiliated DZs. In the
USA the equivalent organisation is the USPA (United States Parachuting Association) and
they to have a web site with a list of all affiliated
|If you decide to go to the States be aware that there are
some differences between the US and UK qualifications. Ideally you should try and register
at a DZ that has a BPA-registered instructor to avoid problems on return to the UK. I can
highly recommend Skydive Sebastian in Florida for
student jumpers - this is a British-owned DZ and is BPA-affiliated. The CCI (Club Chief
Instructor) at Sebastian, Mick Hall, runs his own skydiving holiday company Freefall Adventures which specialises in bookings
for Brits wanting to skydive at Sebastian.
Two books come up again and again when new skydivers ask for
a recommendation. "Skydiving in 8 Days" by Miles Clarke (a Brit) and
"Parchuting, The Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Most
British DZ stores have copies of these books or, alternatively, they can be ordered from
their US publishers over the net.
||"Skydiving in 8 Days"
by Miles Clarke. Published by Aerographics (USA). ISBN 0-9607814-0-4. 128 pages.
Paperback. Cost: approx £8.50
This is a diary
of Miles' progress through an AFF course. If you're considering skydiving via the AFF
route this is absolutely essential reading to find out what it's like. As well as
answering every question you could have about the AFF route (with brief coverage of the
alternative methods of training), you follow the highs and lows of Miles' progress in what
is a very gripping read (I couldn't put the book down!). Although 10 years old now, very
little has changed and the book can be regarded as "current". If you choose to
train at Headcorn (as the author did) you have the added thrill of being able to laugh at
photo's of your instructors taken 10 years ago! If you're wondering if Miles is still
skydiving at Headcorn the answer is sadly not. He was killed in a plane crash in India a
few years ago. He has left behind a wonderful legacy and tribute to the sport in this
The Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Published by Para Publishing (USA). ISBN 1-56860-045-3. 398
pages. Paperback. Cost: US $19.95
skydiver's "bible" with information on the history of skydiving, different
training methods, equipment, emergency procedures etc. If you've started your student
training this book should be regarded as a "must have" since it contains tons of
useful advice and you'll find yourself coming back to it again and again. It has clearly
been put together by the authors as a work of love. If you haven't started training yet
you might find the contents a little "dry" or overwhelming, especially after the
Miles Clarke book, and thus might want to consider the CD-ROM version
of the book (see below) which adds some video clips explaining the different training
methods and articles from back copies of the USA "Parachutist" magazine too. The
book is now in its SEVENTH edition - that's how popular it is! The book can be ordered
direct from the publisher over the internet (see Para Publishing hyperlink above).
Newcomers to the sport are often surprised that they cannot
find copies of skydiving magazines at their local newsagents or magazine store. Skydiving
is still a minority sport and, as a result, the magazines that are available tend to be
available by direct subscription only.
||Sports Parachutist - The
Journal of the British Parachute Association. Free to BPA members. £24 year (UK) or £30
(International). Published bi-monthly. 60 pages approx.
Printed in glossy magazine format with plenty of colour, this is an
outstanding publication with news and gossip from all the UK drop zones, as well as
equipment reviews, skydiver interviews and everything else you could think of. AFF
students in the UK automatically get full BPA membership (and hence this magazine) once
they've successfully passed their Level I skydive. Static Line students (who will normally
only have temporary BPA membership) should seriously consider taking out a subscription
while they're training. For subscription details (credit cards accepted) contact the BPA
at Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF. Tel: (01162) 785271 Fax: (01162) 47762.
For more information email the magazine's editor Lesley Gale at email@example.com
|Parachutist - Official
Publication of the United States Parachute Association. Free to USPA members (US $55 year)
or available on subscription for US $39. Published monthly. 110 pages approx.
Very similar in format/layout/content to the BPA "Sports
Parachutist" magazine - but fatter, and more frequent! Many British skydivers take
out full membership to the USPA when visiting the States just to get this magazine. Yup,
it's that good! For subscription details (credit cards accepted) contact the USPA at 1440
Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. Tel: 00-1-703-836-2843 Fax:
00-1-703-836-2843. For more information email the magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org
||Skydiving. Available on
subscription for US $42/year (UK). Published monthly. 60 large-format pages approx.
The "independent" newspaper for skydivers has rightly won a
reputation for carrying the best skydiving news. You can subscribe via the web site at www.skydivingmagazine.com. Subscriptions can
be paid for by credit card or a cheque paid in UK pounds. Contact the publishers at
Skydiving, 1725 N. Lexington Avenue, DeLand, FL 32724, USA. Tel: 00-1-904-736-4793
A Multimedia Reference" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Published by Para Publishing (USA). ISBN 1-56860-045-3. Cost:
This is the CD-ROM edition of "Parachuting, The Skydiver's Handbook". It contains
additional references and 56 minutes of video (of very low resolutiion). The book text is
fully searchable with useful hyperlinks throughout. The CD-ROM also contains a selection
of the best articles from "Parachutist" magazine in 1995. The book can be
ordered direct from the publisher over the internet (see hyperlink above).