How to Become a Skydiver

How to Become a Skydiver

Can’t get enough of that jump?! We know the feeling! At Downward Trend, we understand what you need as a new skydiver to both get started and grow in the sport. We’ve got over 20 years of experience and a set of experts ready to guide you no matter your level. If you want to get into skydiving, then here’s where to get started:

1. Begin Skydiving Lessons to get your Cert A

You’ve jumped before, fallen (literally) head over heels for the sport and now you know it’s time to get lessons so that you can get your Cert A skydiving license. You’ll need to get your license through an AFF course (accelerated freefall course) or a solo jump course. You can find a Training Drop Zone on the Australian Parachute Federation (APF)’s website.

2. What is Accelerated Freefall?

With Accelerated Freefall, you’ll start out right in the action, as you’ll be freefalling from your first jump. Considered the more modern training method in the skydiving community, you will complete a minimum of 9 AFF training jumps before you can receive your Cert A. With AFF, your freedom starts right away as you’ll get to freefall anywhere between 10,000 and 15,00 ft with two instructors known as jumpmasters that stay with you from the moment you jump, right up until your parachute deploys. Talk about exhilarating!

3. What is a Solo Jump Course?

Solo Jump Courses start at lower altitudes and allow you to concentrate on your parachuting skills first before you work your way up to a free fall. The first stages of this course will mean that your parachute will be opened for you by an instructor or a line attached to the plane known as a static line. Each jump focuses on developing new skills –  from stable free-falling to all kinds of maneuvers like 360s or backflips. This course builds great basic skills that you will carry throughout your development in the sport.

4. What course do I pick?

Whether you want to jump right in or would feel more comfortable with a more gradual build in becoming a skydiver, both the AFF and solo jump course are great options for getting your Cert A. The important thing when starting out is finding a drop zone in a local area where you’ll sit your certification courses. The APF have a list of drop zones and chief instructors who can walk you through the courses on offer. Of course, if you get stuck, speak to the team at Downward Trend and we’ll provide you with our favourite course locations and instructors or explore our site for more information. We would love to hear from you!

Know Before You Go: Skydiving Terms Explained

Know Before You Go: Skydiving Terms Explained

Even for the most experienced of skydivers, there’s always something to learn when it comes to your gear. For newer divers, we know that the first step in getting the right gear is understanding it, which is why we’ve put together a list of the following critical terms. As an added challenge, see if you can define each item before reading the definition! 


Skydiving Terms to Know


Altimeter – The instrument used to measure the altitude you’re at.

AAD – Automatic Activation Device. This gadget is a must for all skydivers, the AAD detects the altitude and speed of your decent. This piece of equipment is designed to fire and open your reserve parachute automatically.

Canopy/main – The canopy is the largest parachute in your rig often referred to as the main. 

Container – Like a backpack, the container holds your main parachute, reserve parachute and your AAD.

Closing loop and closing pin – Hold the container closed until you release it.

Chop/Cutaway –  where you release the main parachute 

Drogue – A smaller parachute often used in tandems to help stabilise and slow down the freefall.

Goggles – Used to protect your eyes during freefall.

Handles – Handles are a part of your skydiving rig. One set cuts away the main parachute and the other activates your reserve.

Helmet – Used to keep your head protected from injury from bumps that can occur from the plane or other skydivers.

Jumpsuit – Jumpsuits can aid in controlling your fall speed as well as provide better grip when performing maneuvers with other jumpers.

Pilot Chute a small auxiliary parachute that is attached to the main parachute used to deploy the main or reserve parachute.

Reserve – this crucial piece of equipment is your back-up parachute if something doesn’t go to plan with your main parachute. 

Three-ring a release system that allows for an easier deployment of the main parachute and an easier switch to the reserve if needed.

There you have it. If you know these gear terms inside and out, it’s a good sign you’ve advanced in your skydiving knowledge. When it comes to skydiving, the learning never stops!