Skydiving in the St. Louis Area

Skydiving Instruction in the St. Louis area

Everything you need to know about learning how and where to skydive near St. Louis. Save it as your reference to help you find the best place to make your first skydive. It can be used as a reminder of the questions you will want to ask when you contact skydiving operations about their instructional programs.

If you have any questions before or after you receive information from a skydiving operation feel free to contact Gary Peek at, or by phone at (636) 946-5272 or (800) 435-1975.

Links to areas on this page

General information (some things you might not realize)

Skydiving training methods

(Static Line, "IAD", "AFF", Tandem)

You are not required to do a Tandem jump for your first jump. (However, some skydiving centers may require that you do a Tandem jump or a Static Line/IAD jump before doing an AFF jump so that you are familiar with the skydiving environment and will perform better on your first AFF jump.)

Tandem jumps have, for the most part, become carnival rides, with little if any instruction. (Even very good Tandem instructors are sometimes limited in how much instruction they can give you due to time constraints placed on them by a schedule created to do a great deal of Tandem jumps.)

Tandem students are often not called "students" but instead called "passengers", and are often not treated as students, like not being given skydiving instruction, being told to assume a passive role as a "rider", and not being given normal student equipment.

Not all skydiving centers and clubs offer instruction in all of the training methods, and this could be for any number of reasons. The availability of instructors and equipment, (or the unwillingness of instructors to teach in a less profitable instructional method), the type of aircraft, the profit margin on a particular method of instruction, 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.

Do not believe any statement that indicates that one method of instruction is better than another.

Pick a method of instruction that fits you and your resources, not a method that you have been talked into (or out of), by your friends or by the skydiving center.

Keep in mind that if you do a Tandem jump, subsequent jumps will cost nearly as much as the first one. Doing a Static Line or AFF jump will allow you to more easily afford to jump again, perhaps the same day!

Skydiving training will include any or all of the following, depending on the training method, the instructor, the aircraft, and optional charges:

  • Equipment and aircraft procedures
  • Exiting the aircraft
  • Freefall manuvers
  • Pulling the ripcord
  • Emergency procedures
  • Steering the parachute
  • Landing the parachute
  • Debrief and logbook
  • Viewing video of the jump

Training method descriptions

How to find the best place to learn to skydive

Do not judge whether a skydiving center is "professional" or not based on their web site or brochure, and do not assume that because a skydiving center or skydiving instructor is "full-time", that they are "professional". (The most professional people in skydiving are those who bring their experience and professionalism from their "regular jobs".)

The sport of skydiving has matured to the point where it is now commercialized to a great degree. Unless the skydiving operation is a "club" with dues paying members, the operation exists to make money providing skydiving instruction, and their attitude will focus on their business, not on providing the best training.

Commercial skydiving centers now market their services like most other businesses, including all of the things that businesses do to convince potential customers to choose their business over a "competitors" business. This means that you may need to interpret the information you are given to distinguish the "marketing" of the product from the actual product.

You have the right (and we suggest that you exercise it) to ask any skydiving operation to prove any claims it makes if they refer to their products, services, or training as superior.

The following are some of the things to consider when choosing a place to learn how to skydive. You have the right to ask any and all questions you have about your skydiving training.

Important things to do

Important things to not do

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