Skydiving—a symbol of pure, unbridled courage for many, a mark of no fear. Soaring through the skies, fully exposed to the elements, is like the ultimate daredevil’s dream, and it’s the picture of the ultimate adventure that we’re craving right now.
As we gear up for this wild ride, we want to share with you what we’ve found out about skydiving in Vancouver.
So, if you’re as stoked as we are, take the plunge with us now!
Introducing Skydive Vancouver
Skydive Vancouver is a well-established skydiving center offering both tandem skydiving experiences and solo skydiving courses. While they have a Parachute Shop in downtown Vancouver, their skydiving operations occur at the drop zone in Abbotsford, BC.
Situated in the beautiful Fraser Valley, the drop zone is a privately owned airpark that offers skydivers breathtaking views of Vancouver, Mt. Baker in the USA, and Vancouver Island. This scenic backdrop adds to the allure and popularity of Skydive Vancouver.
Skydive Vancouver has been operating for over 40 years now. The drop zone is one of the longest-standing skydive centres in North America, with a history dating back to the 1950s.
Today, Skydive Vancouver boasts a fleet of three turbine aircraft, allowing them to accommodate up to 35 skydivers in the air at the same time.
They also hold licenses from Transport Canada and maintain affiliations with both the Canadian Association of Professional Skydivers and the United States Parachute Association.
One of the key factors contributing to their success is their team of highly skilled instructors, some of whom have earned recognition not only within Canada but also internationally.
This expertise provides a reassuring and enjoyable experience, particularly for first-time thrill-seeking skydivers.
What does Skydive Vancouver offer?
First Jump Tandem Skydive
The First Jump Tandem Skydive is their most popular and beginner-friendly option.
During this incredible experience, you’ll soar into the skies on a 15-minute flight alongside your expert instructor. Then, brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping freefall at speeds exceeding 200 kph.
As you descend, you’ll even have the chance to take the reins and steer the parachute, all while relishing the breathtaking scenery from a bird’s-eye perspective.
And, of course, you’ll have the peace of mind of sharing this thrilling adventure with a highly-trained instructor by your side every step of the way.
First Jump Accelerated Freefall (AFF) Course
With three tandem skydives through Skydive Vancouver, you’ll acquire essential skills such as knowing when to deploy the parachute at the correct altitude and mastering the optimal freefall body position.
Upon completing these initial dives, you have the option to take it up a notch and attend the AFF Ground School, a comprehensive 5-hour course that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skydiving techniques.
Following your classroom learning, you’ll embark on your first solo skydive (Level 1) with the guidance of two experienced instructors.
Subsequently, you’ll advance through three additional levels. Level 2 will still involve two instructors, while Levels 3 and 4 will leave you with just one instructor to support your skydive.
By the time you finish Level 4, you’ll have honed your skills to the point where you can perform a backflip and execute a soft, on-target landing. Amazing, right?
For a fee of CAD 229, you can also opt for coach jumps, which provide an opportunity to refine your skills and even learn how to pack your own parachute.
After completing the coach jumps, your coach will grant you the freedom to experience your first solo freefall, which is currently priced at CAD 139. It’s an amazing adventure that’s both thrilling and empowering.
Things to Know about Skydive Vancouver
Address: 5112 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford, BC V4X 1X8, Canada
Fees: The First Jump Tandem Skydiving experience is typically priced at CAD 350 + tax. But if you book your reservation on a weekday, you can take advantage of a special rate of CAD 329 + tax.
On the other hand, walk-in guests who haven’t made reservations will be charged CAD 379 + tax for this thrilling adventure.
For those looking to take the plunge into solo skydiving, the First Jump AFF Course is available at a cost of CAD 2100. Note that this price does not include the coach jumps or the first solo freefall experience, which may have additional costs.
Videos and Photos: Skydive Vancouver offers three exciting video packages to capture your experience.
Bronze Package includes a video recorded from a camera attached to your instructor’s wrist and is priced at CAD 115 + tax.
The Gold Package ( CAD 189 + tax) offers an even more immersive experience. It involves another person flying on a separate parachute to capture your adventure. After your jump, you’ll receive an edited video and an impressive collection of over 50 photos.
The premium package is the Platinum, which is basically a combination of the first two. This is priced at CAD 249 + tax.
Gear: For skydiving, you have to dress comfortably (nothing too bulky or flappy) and for the weather. Make sure that you’re wearing tie-up shoes.
The goggles will be supplied by Skydive Vancouver.
Dogs: Dogs are unfortunately not permitted in the drop zone. It’s safe to assume they aren’t welcome on flight too.
Restrictions: Skydivers under 18 should bring written parent’s consent, while those under 16 should be accompanied by their parents at the drop zone. In terms of weight, tandem skydivers should be within 90 to 220 lbs only.
Best Time to Go Skydiving
In ideal weather conditions, any time of the day should be good for skydiving. However, since skydiving is weather-dependent, and unfavorable conditions like rain, strong winds, or fog can affect operations.
Summer months, especially during the weekends, are quite busy for Skydive Vancouver. They recommend booking in advance during the summer months, and especially weekends, to secure your preferred time and day.
When it comes to the time of day, some may prefer the morning, relishing the fresh air, while others may opt for afternoons for the warm air or evenings for cooler temperatures.
How to Get There
Car: The most convenient way to reach Skydive Vancouver’s drop zone in Abbotsford is by car. Take the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E and head towards Fraser Hwy in Abbotsford. From there, take Exit 83 and follow the route to Gladwin Road.
The drive typically takes about an hour to go from downtown Vancouver to Abbotsford.
Public Transit: While an option, using public transit to reach the drop zone can be considerably longer and more complex, involving multiple modes of transportation. Take for example this route from Gastown.
Tips for Skydiving
- Follow instructions: Listen attentively to your instructors and follow their guidance meticulously. They are there to ensure your safety and provide you with the knowledge needed for a successful jump.
- Stay relaxed: While it’s natural to feel excited and nervous, try to remain as relaxed as possible during your jump. Tension can affect your body position and overall experience, so focus on deep breaths and enjoying the moment.
- Trust your gear: Skydiving equipment is rigorously maintained and inspected. Trust in the gear, and understand that it’s designed to keep you safe.
Double-check all buckles and straps before the jump, but rest assured that you’re equipped with reliable equipment.
- Embrace the view: Skydiving offers breathtaking vistas. Take a moment to soak in the incredible scenery during your freefall. It’s a unique opportunity to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
- Stay hydrated and eat light: Ensure you’re well-hydrated and have a light, nutritious meal before your jump. This will help you maintain energy and focus during the experience.
- Stay informed: Stay attuned to weather conditions and any safety instructions provided. Skydive Vancouver suggests that you call in the morning of your schedule to get a weather check before leaving your house.
- Communicate: Effective communication is key, especially if you’re doing tandem jumps or skydiving with a group. Clearly convey any concerns or questions to your instructors or fellow jumpers.
- Know the drop zone: Familiarize yourself with the drop zone, its layout, and designated landing areas. Understanding the specifics of the location can contribute to a smoother and safer landing.