Your first skydiving boogie can be pretty darn exciting! There are some preparations to take into consideration before showing up for your first boogie. Whether the boogie be at your home dropzone or one that you must travel to. We are here to offer some tips about registration, traveling with gear and what to bring to your first skydiving event.
Remembering back to my first boogie, I was so stoked. Our Canadian jumping season ended in October, and the dropzone that I learned at, would host a boogie every January at Skydive Arizona, called “Canadian Invasion”. (I still love that boogie name!) Everyone at my dropzone encouraged me to attend, and it was great advice! With a few months to prepare, and some advice from experienced jumpers, I ended up having an absolutely amazing first skydiving event!
Whenever you attend a skydiving boogie, it’s always best to read up on that specific boogies requirements. Most dropzones post their events on Facebook, and give instructions on how to register and give further information. Read what they post! For example, you do not want to register for an event that requires a minimum jump number that you don’t quite have yet!
Also, you want to make sure you have a sufficient license for the particular boogie as well. Keep in mind if you are traveling internationally, maybe your country’s license will not be accepted. It would be a good idea to reach out to the dropzone and verify this.
Perhaps the boogie is near a beach and you will be required to have a flotation device. This may also mean you will be required to have a B license with a canopy course which included water training. Once again, this information would most likely be included in the skydiving events information page, so do your research and read their provided information.
QUICK TIP – Save yourself some money. Often registration fee’s go up closer to the date of the boogie. If you are positive you are attending. Save some money and register ahead of time!
What to bring to a skydiving boogie
Not all skydivers are the same, and maybe not everyone is quite as prepared as the next. However, it is our suggestion that you bring the following items with you to your first skydiving boogie.
- Your skydiving license! Even if this is a dropzone you have jumped at before, bring along your skydiving license. Perhaps there will be a different waiver to fill out. Whatever the case, just have proof of your license available!
- Repack card. Like any dropzone you are new to, you will be asked to provide your repack card. It is important to have your reserve packed and in date to jump. The repack card should be with your rig anyway, but maybe just double check, especially if you are traveling far for the boogie.
- AAD airport X-ray card/PDF. If travelling by plane to attend your first boogie, consider your rig and when you take it through security. On my phone I have a Cypress X-ray Card saved. This way I can provide it to the security personnel, if needed. Check out the X-Ray card for downloading to your phone.
- All your gear! Make a list of all the gear you want to bring, and when you pack it, check it off your list. Even if just going to your home dropzone, it is so annoying to forget and end up realizing you have forgotten some gear at home! Rig, helmet, altimeter, audible, jumpsuits, proper footwear, cameras, camera chargers, etc.
Traveling by plane?
No pun intended here! Maybe you will be traveling by airplane to get to your first skydiving boogie. It is strongly suggested to arrive at the airport extra early when traveling with your gear. Personally, I always take my rig with me as carry on. I have had multiple friends have their checked luggage, with their rig in it, lost by the air lines. Not only is this a terrible, stressful situation. Now you also miss out on jumping during the beginning of your skydiving event! So if possible, I always bring as carry on.
Traveling with gear? – Read more on the subject in our past article!
Although I have never had any issues with security, I have spent a lot of time waiting for the security personnel to feel comfortable and let me pass through. Rightfully so, as many security personnel have never seen skydiving rigs before, it can be a new experience for them as well! Be patient, do not give attitude, smile, be pleasant and accommodating.
Recently, a friend of mine had a pretty grumpy airport security personnel. My friend had to pop his reserve, and then ask someone who passed security to go purchase a luggage container for him. Then he was abe to put his opened reserve and rig in it, and then finally pass through security. What a nightmare!! I truly hope this does not ever happen to anyone again. However, just follow the advice of arriving extra early to the airport. Because you really never know what you can encounter when traveling with gear.
Where you will stay?
If you are anything like me, you want to save your money for skydiving, so you rough it at the dropzone. I am not going to give you too much advice here on booking hotels. Other than, consider checking with the dropzones, as often nearby hotels will give discounts for skydivers. Also, I suggest picking one close to the dropzone, for those early mornings and late nights.
So for your first skydiving boogie, if you are roughing it at the DZ. Check out the rules ahead of time for camping. Only a few times have I encountered “no camping” rules at dropzones, so its a good idea to find this out before you arrive! Tenting or parking a trailer may also mean a few extra fee’s with the dropzone, but usually nothing to expensive.
Hopefully you will be lucky enough that your first boogie will be at a dropzone with shower facilities. Remember that there are going to be a lot of other people wanting to use the minimal facilities. Get up extra early to avoid line ups, and please don’t be that guy who spends way too long in the shower! Clean up after yourself, and respect the drozone and your friends. Pro tip, save water and shower together! Okay maybe I’m just kidding there…maybe.
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