Upon arrival at the jump center, all jumpers will be required to fill out a registration form and sign a liability release before jumping. This release will verify that the person understands that there are risks involved in skydiving and that the participant freely agrees to accept those risks. The legal release will usually contain a contract or covenant by which the participant agrees not to sue the skydiving school or anyone else if the participant is injured.


Upon completion of ground school (for AFF, IAD and SL) and before the first jump, it is common practice and good teaching procedure for all students to be required to pass written, oral and practical tests.

Written tests are designed to have the student explain his knowledge and understanding. Oral tests should be used to develop decision-making ability. Practical tests are designed so the student can demonstrate reactions and skills.

Tests will not only assure the instructor that the student has learned but will also give the student confidence that he has learned how to safely make a skydive.

Medical Fitness

All participants in skydiving must meet the USPA's Basic Safety Requirements for medical fitness. A person should be in good health and physical condition to skydive and should not be on medication which could affect judgement or performance. Some medical conditions can be properly managed if the instructor knows about them. People who have recently gone SCUBA diving or donated blood should wait a period of time before skydiving.


In the US, Schools require all participants to be at least 18.


Approach the aircraft, whether the engine is running or not, ONLY under the direct supervision of a USPA instructional rating holder.

Always approach a fixed-wing aircraft from behind the wing.

The Ride Up

This photo was taken by J.J. Johnson above Skydive Oregon. Visit his website at

You'll sit on the floor or a bench, very close to the other skydivers, likely between their legs, and with the next jumper between yours. Get as comfortable as you can.

Follow your instructor's instructions on buckling and unbuckling your seatbelt.

Enjoy the view!

Pre-Exit Rituals

Tradition varies from DZ to DZ, but skydivers usually give each other a handshake of some kind just before exiting. This is to wish each other a good, safe and fun skydive.

>> Hot Tip! << Whatever the tradition is, the pre-exit handshake is usually not a traditional boardroom handshake. Don't shake the other jumpers' hands like you're running for Congress—follow their lead.