WHAT TO KNOW
Make sure the company you’re dealing with is indeed a skydiving company. There are many businesses advertising themselves as skydiving firms, but really they are essentially resellers earning commissions for directing customers to specific partners outside the city. You should deal directly with places that are group members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), the governing agency for skydivers.
Starting from 10,000 feet up at about 120 miles per hour, you’ll have less than a minute before landing. It’s going to go by quick, and you’ll want to relive it again and again later. Find out how much it costs to video your fall and in what format you’ll get the media for later duplication or sharing with friends via the Internet.
You must be 18 years old or older to skydive, no exceptions. Parental or guardian permission won’t release any liabilities regarding recreational sports, and hold harmless waivers are required by all skydivers. Bring your photo ID.
For tandem jumps, find out the company’s weight limit. Typically clocking in on the scale at 200 to 240 pounds or more will disqualify you for a tandem jump. Also call ahead to discuss any medical conditions that might put your risk factors too high.
Aim to schedule your jump as early in the day as possible in case there are weather issues or other delays. After training, orientation and paperwork, expect get airborne at least an hour after getting started.
With many reservations during the summer months, you may find yourself stuck with either an early slot (around 7 a.m.) or near dusk (around 7 p.m.), with weekdays more open than weekends. Call ahead for availability and keep tabs on that day’s weather forecast.
WHERE TO GO
The “Find A Dropzone” list on the USPA website — http://www.uspa.org — offers complete listings, descriptions of aircraft and details about on-site services from its various group members. Here’s a quick list of what’s near New York City.
Skydive Jersey Shore
Hwy. #34 Building #81-11 at Monmouth Executive Airport Farmingdale, NJ 07727 (about 45 miles south of New York City) 732.938.9002 http://www.skydivejerseyshore.com
Route 639 at Sussex Airport Sussex, NJ 07461 (about 40 miles northwest of New York City) 973.702.7000 http://jumpsussex.com
Skydive Long Island
4062 Grumman Blvd. at Grumman Peconic River Airport Calverton, NY 11933 (about 70 miles east of New York City) 631.208.3900 http://www.skydivelongisland.com
Long Island Skydiving Center
91 Montauk Highway, Long Island at Spardaro Airport East Moriches, NY 11940 (about 70 miles east of New York City) 631.235.9968 http://www.longislandskydiving.com
Skydive The Ranch
(for beginning jumpers) 55 Sandhill Road at Gardiner Airport Gardiner, NY 12525 (about 75 miles north of New York City) 845.255.4033 http://www.skydivetheranch.com
Blue Sky Ranch
(for experienced jumpers) 55 Sand Hill Road at the Gardiner Airport Gardiner, NY 12525 (about 75 miles north of New York City) 845.255.9538 http://www.theblueskyranch.com
Duanesburg Skydiving Club
Intersection of Rt. 7 and 20 at the Duanesburg Airport Duanesburg, NY 12056 (about 80 miles north of New York City) 518.895.8140 http://www.duanesburgskydiving.com
Connecticut Parachutists, Inc.
360 Somers Rd. at Ellington Airport Ellington, CT 06029 (about 130 miles northeast of New York City, near Hartford) 860.871.0021 http://www.skydivect.com
Boston-Hartford Fun Skydiving
41 Airport Rd. at Danielson Airport Danielson, CT 06239 (about 155 miles northeast of New York City, near Providence) 860.774.5867 http://www.funskydiving.com
Mohawk Valley Skydiving
4281 Amsterdam Rd. at the Mohawk Valley Airport Scotia, NY 12302 (about 160 miles north of New York City, near Albany) 518.372.4883 (518-37-CHUTE) http://www.mohawkvalleyskydiving.com
Finger Lakes Skydivers
2562 Parish Rd. at the Ovid Airport Ovid, NY 14521 (about 250 miles northwest of New York City, closer to Ithaca) 607.869.5601 http://www.skydivefingerlakes.com
4906 Pine Hill Rd. at Pine Hill Airport Albion, NY 14411 (about 380 miles northwest, near Rochester) 585.589.9340 or 585.494.1780 (information line) http://www.rochesterskydivers.com
End of John St., 9G3 at Akron Airport Akron, NY 14001 (about 380 miles northeast of New York City, near Buffalo) 716.909.2224 http://www.wnyskydiving.com
3316 Beebe Rd. at Holland’s International Airport Newfane, NY 14108(about 400 miles northwest of New York City, near Niagara Falls) 716.751.6170 http://www.frontierskydivers.com