When you’re first starting out solo skydiving, you have your eyes set on one big skydiving goal: Earning Your Skydiving License. Many early mornings, waiting on weather holds, meeting newbies like yourself, obsessively checking the Weather Channel app, and living for nothing else but to earn your A-license. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in that goal to forget that earning your A-license – which is the first license in skydiving – is really only the beginning.
Goals are a powerful and meaningful tool that begin as a vision, a dream or an idea. A verbalized goal and knowing your why for that goal, helps keep you accountable. Then, when you have a clear goal – like earning your skydiving license – it helps you achieve your mission. According to Positive Psychology:
We all know that setting goals is important, but we often don’t realize how important they are as we continue to move through life. Setting new goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guides your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Goals help align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery.
But what is there after the A-License?
Oh my friend, you landed (pun intended) on the right spot! Many people do not realize that skydiving is not only an incredible hobby, it is also a sport and a profession. If you’re like us and watched dozens of YouTube videos on skydiving or those squirrel suits (aka wingsuits) – those skydivers were once like YOU! Yes, that’s right! They had a dream, put in the work, and made it happen and YOU can too! There is an amazing world of people and adventure waiting for you as there’s so much more beyond the A-license!
Setting More Goals
The next logical step is earning the next license which is the B-license. This requires a bit more freefall and canopy requirements such as landing near a target for a handful of jumps, a canopy course and a simulated water training. This license is clutch because it levels up the A and allows you to jump at exotic boogies (yup, landing on the beach), jump out of a helicopter, hot air balloon, night jumps and high altitude jumps! The B-license is also your ticket to taking on an instructional role as to become a Coach, you need 100 jumps, a few requirements and a B-license.
This is the next MacDaddy license as it’s THE ONE that allows experienced jumpers to wear a camera like a GoPro AND also jump a wingsuit. Ok, probably not all on the same jump, but this license offers you the privilege of doing either! This license also allows you to do off dropzone landings called, “demonstration jumps” or “demos” into certain areas. To do higher level demos, you’ll need a D-license and a Pro Rating. You need to log more freefall and canopy landing requirements and have at least 200 jumps to earn this one.
This is the Master License. The license that gives you all the privileges of the A-C licenses, allows you to earn your Pro Rating and/or Instructional Ratings that allow you to teach newbies how to skydive via a tandem jump, AFF, or IAD. To earn this license you need a myriad of freefall and canopy requirements and a whopping 500 jumps!
Here’s the Ultimate Skydiving List Post A-License:
- Attend an Exotic Boogie and jump on the beach (sometimes you can even do this nationally on the East or West coasts)
- Jump a hot air balloon
- Jump at night
- Jump a wingsuit
- Try the disciplines: freeflying, angle flying, big ways or canopy relative work
- Jump a Camera
- Jump in a costume
- Become a coach or instructor
- Jump a novelty plane like a helicopter, biplane, tailgate plane or warbird
- Attend a boogie
- Jump naked [or at least partake in the tradition of jumping in your undies for your hundie (aka 100th jump)]
- Attend a Competition
- Jump in a different country
There’s so many different paths to pursue in this sport and since skydiving is still relatively young, there’s still so much to explore. All the famous skydivers and stunts you may have seen, all those athletes started with a dream, perhaps just like you. They put in the time, money and effort and made some history as well as many great friends along the way.
How about you? Are you ready to learn to skydive?