Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to schedule a jump?

Any time of day is beautiful over the West Michigan shoreline, but earlier in the day is a better bet in case there is a weather delay or cancellation. If you schedule in the morning and the weather is bad, you could still jump that day later in the afternoon or evening.  If you schedule your jump in the afternoon or evening and the weather is bad then, there is no going back that day.

Can my friends/family/pets come to watch?

Absolutely! The more, the merrier! So please invite as many friends and family as you want to watch you jump. Pets must either be on a leash or under an adults control at all times. You will be boarding the plane and landing only about 50 feet away from our spectating area. You will also most likely be jumping out of the plane right above the very same area! Feel free to bring your own camera for pre/after jump pics, binoculars, picnic blanket, lawn chairs, food (we have a grill that operates on the weekends during the summer), drinks, etc… and make a whole day out of your experience! Be sure to let your friends and family know they are also welcome to bring the same things. Skydive Grand Haven is a highly energetic and upbeat place to just hang out and have fun with some of the most awesome people you will ever meet!

Is there anything I need to bring when I jump?

First, you will need to bring a picture ID with you as proof of identity and age.  Second, you must bring a valid form of payment to pay any remaining balances or purchase any video or photo packages. As forms of payment, we accept Cash, and the following Credit/Debit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express.  We do not accept personal checks.  There are other things that you are welcome to bring, including friends and family, camera, sunglasses, binoculars, stereo, food, drinks, picnic blanket, etc… and make a whole day out of your experience! We have a wonderful green space with a perfect view of the skydivers that are landing. You can lay down and relax and enjoy the day while watching all of the skydiving activities. Of course, none of these items are permitted to be taken with you on your skydive and must be left on the ground.

What is the age requirement?

You must be 18 years of age and will need to show a picture ID to prove this when you check in and fill out a waiver.  According to the USPA basic safety requirements, no one under the age of 18 years old is permitted to skydive, regardless of parental consent.

What are the weight restrictions?

Up to 230lbs, no problem. 230lb to 250lbs, we may take you but will insist that you be in good shape, i.e. not a couch-potato**. You must recognize that there is a greater chance of injury, particularly if you are not somewhat athletic. Beyond 250 lbs, our reserve canopies are no longer legal for us to use with you. We do not perform tandems for students who weigh over 250 lbs.

**Our primary concern if you are going to be at the top-end of the safe weight range, are you in relatively good shape? An imperfect landing will be much less likely to injure an athletic person. If this is unclear, consider the difference between a 5’10” linebacker who weighs 240 lbs, and a 5’10” channel surfer of the same weight. If the former has a bad landing, he’ll probably brush himself off and get up. The latter may very well injure himself substantially, lacking both the strength to withstand landing and coordination to do a good Parachute Landing Fall (PLF).

Do I have to jump tandem for my first time?

Yes, at Skydive Grand Haven, you are required to do at least one tandem skydive with one of our instructors before being able to jump “solo”. Due to the overwhelming nature of making your first free fall skydive, most people find it difficult to focus and correctly perform all of the necessary tasks required to successfully pass their first IAD (Instructor Assisted Deployment) or AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) jump without any previous experience with free fall. This is why we require each of our students to perform at least one tandem skydive with one of our instructors before making their first IAD or AFF jump. After you have completed at least one tandem jump and are successfully signed off by one of our tandem instructors to advance, you may choose to attend one of our six to eight hour-long IAD or AFF First Jump Courses. We recommend that you go through this material before starting your course to make sure you get the most out of your time in the class.

Do I need to make a reservation?

It IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you make a reservation. We will try to accommodate you if you walk in without a reservation but please know that we can't guarantee jump slots will be available and you may have a long wait if we are busy. Also, we may not be at the dropzone if there aren't any jumps scheduled. If you would like to get a hold of us to do a walk in jump, give Tony a call at 616.662.1860.

If you would like to book an event or have a group, is IS NECESSARY to make a reservation/$50 deposit per person. The group leader making the reservation for the group can make a $50 deposit per person x the number of people in your group, or they can make a $50 deposit for themselves, and then have the rest of the people in their group call in to the number below to make their own deposits by giving us the group leader's name to put it under. All deposits for a group must be in no later than a week prior to your jump date.

To make a reservation for 1-4 jumpers, please click on our BOOK NOW reservation button above to do so online, or call us at 1-616-350-8020.  To make a reservation for more than 4 jumpers, you will not be able to reserve online and will have to call us at the above number.

You will need to have a credit card available to make a reservation HOWEVER you will NOT be charged for the deposit unless you cancel with less than 3 days notice.

What if the weather is bad?

SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY JUMP ON A DAY THAT IS PREDICTED TO HAVE GOOD WEATHER

Weather is so unpredictable and can change at the last minute, even if the weather forecasts for a certain way, so do not try to schedule your jump based on a weather forecast.  Just schedule your jump for the day/time your schedule allows.

WHAT IF THE DAY OF MY JUMP THE WEATHER IS QUESTIONABLE LOOKING

Unfortunately, like most outdoor activities, skydiving is completely weather dependent. We are affected by all aspects of the weather.  We will contact you one hour before your scheduled check in time to let you know the weather is not going to be suitable for jumping that whole day or at your scheduled time, and offer you the choice of jumping at a different time that day, or on another day your schedule allowsIf you do not hear from us and you would still like to check if we are jumping or not, you can call us at (616) 350-8020.  You will not lose your deposit due to a weather cancellation. If you are not able to reschedule your jump on a different day/time due to being canceled because of weather on your original jump day, you will receive a refund for your deposit.

If you are driving more than one hour to get to the dropzone, please call before leaving if weather looks questionable in Grand Haven. Please keep in mind that the weather in Grand Haven could easily be completely different than your current location.

You can find all of our weather restrictions listed below.

Strong Winds:
We will not jump if the steady winds reach the respective maximum wind limits over 20mph or the gusts exceed more than a seven-knot difference between the steady winds and the gusts.

Clouds and Fog:
We will not jump if the Minimum Legal Visibility is below 7,500 feet.

Rain, Lightning, Thunder, Storms:
We will not jump when it is raining.  It hurts to hit the rain at 120 MPH in free fall. This is like getting repeatedly shot in the neck multiple times with a weak spring-loaded pistol firing .12g/6mm BBs. It also prevents our parachutes from being repacked and jumped again until they are dry.

We do not jump when storm cells are reported within a 20-mile radius.  Jumping will be suspended for 30 minutes after any time lightning is seen, heard, or reported within a 20-mile radius.

WHAT IF A WEATHER DELAY HAPPENS DURING MY EXPERIENCE
If you have waited for at least two hours after your scheduled check-in time and we still have not been able to jump due to the weather, then you may reschedule for another date during the same season at no additional cost. If you are unable to reschedule for another date during the same season, you will be issued a full refund.

Should I eat or drink before my jump?

Easily, one of the biggest misconceptions about skydiving is that it's going to make your stomach drop, and subsequently make you drop your stomach contents (I.E. get sick). This misconception causes one out of every four tandem students to fast on the morning of their jump. So go ahead and eat!

What should I wear?

We always recommend that everyone wears athletic clothing that fits comfortably under a harness and is appropriate for the weather on the ground at the time of your jump. This includes comfortable general athletic activity shoes with good shock-absorption, such as tennis shoes, gym shoes, or sneakers. Sandals, flip-flops, toe-shoes, high-heels, dress shoes, and boots of any kind are not permitted. Any footwear that contains any of the following is also not permitted: bungee straps, Velcro straps, hooks, or buckles.  We do have jumpsuits to wear over your clothing during your skydive if you choose to do so. This jumpsuit will help prevent your clothes from getting dirty and help protect them from becoming damaged during your skydive. It will also help keep you a little bit warmer on colder days. When deciding what to wear, please keep in mind the temperature at jump altitude is often about 20° F to 30° F colder than the temperature on the ground.

You should also wear clothing that you don’t mind possibly getting wet, dirty, damaged, and/or even completely lost or destroyed. You may wear your eyeglasses as we have googles to wear over them that will keep them from falling off during your jump but we strongly advise that you do not wear anything else that could be torn off your body, such as piercings, watches, bracelets, and other forms of jewelry. We also recommend that you do not wear anything that you consider to be irreplaceable if lost forever, such as a wedding ring. We are not responsible for any items lost or injuries that occur during your visit with us here at Start Skydiving.

What if our parachute doesn't open?

By law (FAA regulations), all intentional parachute jumps must be made with a single harness, dual parachute system with both a main canopy *AND* a reserve canopy. In other words, you have a second (or spare) canopy in case the first one fails to open properly.

However, it must be noted that the technology utilized in today’s sport parachuting equipment is light years ahead of the old military surplus gear used in the ’60s and ’70s. The canopies are DRASTICALLY different from the classic G.I. Joe round parachutes. The materials are stronger, lighter and last longer, the packing procedures are simpler, the deployment sequence is much more refined, etc.

The reserve canopies are even more carefully designed and packed. The reserve parachute must be inspected and repacked every 180 days by an FAA rated parachute Rigger – even if it has not been used during that time.

The student’s main canopy is always packed either by a Rigger or under a Rigger’s direct supervision by experienced packers.

There are also additional safety features employed to ensure canopy deployment such as Automatic Activation Devices (AAD).

Can I skydive with a physical disability?

Don't let your disabilities hold you back from skydiving!  We have several types of specialized equipment as well as experienced tandem instructors that have jumped with customers with disabilities in the past, to accommodate many types of disabilities – missing limb (prosthetic can be worn if securely attached or left on ground), paralyzation,  cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, to name a few.

How high do you jump from and how fast do you fall?

After a 20 minute scenic ride to altitude over the beautiful West Michigan shoreline, you'll exit the plane at 10,000 feet - nearly 2 miles above the ground!  During your free fall, you could reach speeds in excess of 120 mph, (free fall is not the “roller coaster drop” feeling most people expect it would be) before deploying the parachute and enjoying a 5-10 minute canopy ride.

Can my friends and I jump together?

We can accommodate two tandem jumpers at a time in each one of our fleet of three aircraft and each aircraft can fly two jump loads every hour. In our ongoing effort to provide you with the best possible experience, we will always ask your group who wants to be together on the same plane load and which part of your group wants to jump first.

If you have a larger group of people jumping you may not jump with all of your group together on one plane, but we can accommodate to take more jumpers at one time on separate planes to make things move along faster.

What is your cancellation policy?

Deposits are refundable IF you reschedule, change the number in your group, or cancel at least 3 days prior to your reserved jump date/time. Deposits are not refundable if you cancel less than 3 days prior to your reserved jump date/time. No exceptions.

Do you sell gift certificates?

Yes! You can either purchase here on our website, or you can call us at 616.350.8020 and purchase over the phone using a credit/debit card.  Your gift certificate will be emailed to you. We do not have physical copies of gift certificates.

You can also purchase a gift certificate in person at the drop zone on Saturdays and Sundays only during our season (mid-April through mid-October).

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