How much does skydiving cost?

Tandem and solo skydive prices in the UK, plus payment options and things to consider when booking.

Tandem skydive prices

A tandem skydive is the safest and most popular choice for first time skydivers.

Tandem skydive from 15,000 ft

Tandem skydiving from up to 15,000ft generally costs £250 – £350 (weekend/bank holiday/peak days). Some centres operate during the week and offer lower prices on quieter weekdays or at specific times on certain days. Purchasing through an agent or third party booking service usually costs more than booking direct.

Skydive Northwest operates on Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays with one straightforward price:

Tandem Skydiving Experience
£250 inc. VAT or just £50 deposit today

A 15,000ft skydive is often referred to as “highest”, “full” or “ultimate” skydive experience.

Basic parachute jump from lower altitudes

Some locations offer basic jumps from up to 7,000ft or 10,000ft. This gives a shorter experience, with much less time freefalling before the parachute opens. These basic jump options are usually between 10% and 35% cheaper than the full tandem skydive at a given location.

Skydive Northwest purely provide full tandem skydives (up to 15,000ft), giving everyone the best possible experience based on the conditions. No discounted, lesser options or confusing packages – just one Tandem Skydive.

Other price considerations

As well as the actual skydive price, there’s also payment options and additional service costs to consider.

Deposit option

Deposit amounts range from £50 to £100 at different skydive centres. Some sites require full payment upfront or take booking deposits but require the final payment before the skydive date.

When you book direct at Skydive Northwest, you can pay just £50 deposit, with the balance payable on the day.

Video and photos

Due to British Skydiving regulations, Go-Pro cameras and wearable recording devices are not permitted. If you want to capture your skydive, costs for video/picture packages vary by airfield. Some operators charge up to £150 or £180+ for camera packages.

At Skydive Northwest, a professional camera flyer can film your whole skydive experience for £95, payable on the day.

Solo skydiving costs

Learn to fly and land your own parachute and become a qualified skydiver.

Learning to solo skydive

A static line training course generally costs £200 – £270. Agents and third party booking services are usually at the upper end of the price range.

Skydive Northwest ‘static line’ course price:

Solo Jump Course
£210 inc. VAT or just £50 deposit and the balance on the day

Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) course prices vary by level, airfield and number of skydives, with the full course costing from £1,400 – £1,800.

Progression in the sport

Once you are a qualified skydiver – that is you have completed training and done your compulsory consolidation jumps to get your Cat 8 certificate (“A licence”) – you can skydive at a number of dropzones in the UK. Flight tickets cost around £22-£30, if you have your own parachute equipment.

If you don’t have your own equipment, you can rent everything you need for each jump. Most new skydivers buy used equipment from experienced skydivers with changing needs due to a gain in experience. Skydiving is certainly not a cheap hobby, but it’s not extremely expensive either.

You will need to maintain membership of British Skydiving (the British Parachute Association, “BPA”) each year at £110.11 per annum or the current prevailing membership price.

How safe is skydiving?

Although skydiving is a high risk sport when compared to say, snooker or football – and like any fast adventure sport it is of course possible to twist an ankle, hurt yourself in some other way or yes – you could in theory even die, it’s not anywhere near as risky as many people would believe.

You can sustain exactly the same injuries in an accident walking across the street, driving to work, horse riding – in fact doing just about anything! Lots of other adventure sports are just as or even more dangerous than skydiving and modern parachute systems and teaching methods are extremely reliable.

How fast do you fall?

The average skydiver falls at somewhere between 110 and 130 miles per hour in the “standard” face to earth position.

It takes very roughly 10 seconds to fall the first 1,000 feet and then about 5 seconds for every subsequent 1,000 feet – so if an experienced skydiver falls for about 10,000 feet before deploying their parachute they will have had roughly 60 seconds of freefall.

Different people fall at slightly different rates because different sizes and shapes of people create more or less air-resistance. As you fall through the air you create air-resistance and have air passing around your body at high speeds. This is referred to in the sport as the “relative wind”.

Essentially you feel a great deal of wind as you fall through the air at high speed. A less air-resistant – more aero dynamic shape (such as small person with a pot belly) will generally fall faster than someone with a similar mass – but who is tall with long arms and legs. As you become a more experienced skydiver you will learn how to alter your fall rate by making changes to your body position. By altering your body position you effect your air resistance and subsequently the rate at which you fall. It is a common MYTH that all objects fall at the same rate, this rule only applies in an absolute vacuum, where there is no resistance – here on earth we have air!

Who, how and where

Anyone over the age of 16 can skydive in the UK, so long as you are fit, healthy and alert. Note that if you are under 18 years old you will need to get parental consent.

There are approximately 5,000 active skydivers in the UK from a wide range of social backgrounds, there is a hugely rich social scene associated with the sport, which presents its participants with many opportunities to make friends and travel. If you have any medical conditions you must declare them to us and discuss them with our instructors.

Most of our skydives are made from a minimum of 12,000 feet above ground level or higher – normally 13,500 feet. If you wish to make a static line parachute jump, this is normally made from 3,500 to 4,000 feet. If you wish to make more static line jumps you can progress on to higher and higher altitudes.

On tandem skydives and AFF skydives your parachute is deployed between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet. This gives you about 45 seconds of freefall. This deployment altitude is higher than most qualified skydivers would normally deploy and gives plenty of time for a beautiful and enjoyable parachute ride back down to earth. When you are a qualified skydiver you can choose to deploy your parachute at any altitude above about 2,500 feet – although most skydivers deploy at between 3,000 and 3,500 feet.

Is skydiving scary?

The more you skydive the less scary it becomes and in fact after a few jumps what started off as fear, will probably become nervous apprehension and then nervous excitement! There is no doubt that some people find learning to skydive stressful. In fact most people, especially on their first few jumps find that they are scared to some extent and this is completely and absolutely normal.

However, most students find that their fears quickly subside after a few jumps and that instead of being scary – it becomes exciting, addictive and appealing on many different levels. With skydiving the old saying ‘there is nothing to fear but fear itself’ has some merit. The fact is people wouldn’t continue to skydive and take it up as their main pastime and hobby if it was that scary.

It’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive about skydiving even if you are considering learning. You will almost certainly have not been exposed to anything like it in your life and like anything completely new, the idea will of course feel strange.

It’s normal to be scared or to have apprehension of something so completely alien to you, but don’t worry, you will probably get used to skydiving very quickly! Many people become so used to skydiving that leaving the plane feels completely normal to them. If you feel nervous, practically everyone you speak to in skydiving will know what you’re going through and sympathise with you.

Are skydivers risk junkies?

People skydive for a number of different reasons but by and large most skydivers are just regular people. Skydivers come from a wide variety of different backgrounds and have a number of different ‘day jobs’.

Many skydivers are professional people with highly responsible vocations, many are parents and grandparents. Although there is a risk associatiated with any sport like skydiving that risk is often a lot less than the public believes it to be.

Many skydivers make thousands of jumps without so much as a twisted ankle, because of training and equipment. Skydivers are people who by definition are comfortable actively manage risks through knowledge and careful equipment decisions. If skydivers were all inherently risk takers they wouldn’t wear sophisticated parachute equipment and undergo extensive training.

Skydiving is a beautiful exhilarating sport for people who want to experience something that most people do not, who feel comfortable managing risks and taking charge of their own destiny.

Why do people skydive?

People choose to skydive for many different reasons. Certain aspects of the skydiving, such as the feeling of free fall, are universally appealing to participants, but ultimately the reason why people skydive tends to be quite personal.

Some people try skydiving as a new experience or casual activity, while others vigorously pursue skydiving as a sport.

Skydivers experience things that others miss – the view of the earth from 2 miles up and the sensation flying though the air. Skydiving is visually stunning. Flying in formation with friends you’ve formed an hour before, the plane disappearing above you, the thrill of the parachute ride, the smile that just stepping out of a plane puts across your face – all are reasons to skydive.

The “scene” is extremely friendly, it is an incredibly social sport and a great way to meet interesting people. For some, the perception of risk is a buzz in itself. Many people sum it up by saying “it’s the best fun you can have with your clothes on”. Ultimately, there is something magical about skydiving.

Skydiving is a sport with a number of different progression paths from the moment you are qualified, you can be assured that there will always be something to keep you interested and new skills to learn.

What’s the difference between a skydive and a parachute jump?

The terms skydive, parachute jump and just ‘jump’ are often used interchangeably with each other although there are some subtle differences between some of the terms.

Skydives are by definition parachute jumps, that is because at the end of each skydive a parachute is used to land back on earth. However, where someone leaves an aircraft and immediately deploys their parachute without any freefall, it’s debatable whether that is technically a skydive but it’s definately a parachute jump.

In any case, there is no need to get strung up over terminology everyone at a dropzone (what skydivers call a skydiving centre) will understand what you mean if you use either term.

What actually is a skydive?

A skydive is the name given to the act of leaving an aircraft at altitude and falling for a short while before opening a parachute and returning to earth. That falling or “freefall” as it’s known is what defines a skydive.

Skydiving is a popular sport enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. A qualified skydiver can develop their skills to skydive with other people for fun, or competitively using a number of different flying techniques.

Skydiving is not a stunt, it’s a skilled sport that offers almost an almost unlimited progression path for those that want it, it’s highly sociable sport with a wide range of different participants. Many people liken the experience of skydiving to that of flying without wings