How Skydiving Alone Feels More Different Than Tandem Skydiving

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Tandem bicycles, tandem kayaks, and even tandem scooters?!?? Every experience is better when you have a buddy, right? *fist bump* Actually, maybe not always! 

Skydiving is a sport that can be done in tandem with someone else or completely solo. The question is – how different is tandem skydiving from skydiving alone? Let’s get into the pros and cons to solo skydiving versus tagging along for a tandem skydive. Come along, let’s learn together (in tandem)!

What is Tandem Skydiving?

Tandem Skydiving Oklahoma

A tandem skydive is where you are securely attached to an experienced skydiving instructor who operates all of the equipment. This makes your first skydiving experience close to responsibility-free so you can really take in all of the sights and sensations.


  • Convenience: A tandem skydive only requires a short (20-30 minutes) briefing prior to your skydive.
  • Safety: Not being responsible for the majority of the skydive takes a lot of pressure off of you and helps you to fully engage in the experience. The instructor is responsible for deploying and steering the parachute, and facilitating the landing.
  • Money, Money, Money: For example, a tandem from 14,000 feet at Oklahoma Skydiving Center costs $220. Whereas, completing Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) – our solo skydiving course – costs $1,800.


  • Trust: Trusting someone is a huge deal, and trusting a stranger can be a no-go for some people. We can assure you that every instructor at Oklahoma Skydiving Center is certified by the United States Parachute Association (USPA), and we take safety – yours and that of our team members’ – extremely seriously.
  • No Control: You might be someone who likes to have complete control and you may be inclined to want to “take the reins”.

Can You Skydive By Yourself?

Solo Skydiving

Yes! But … we recommend doing a tandem skydive first, even if you have decided to learn to skydive solo. Actually, scratch that, we require it! 

AFF skydiving at Oklahoma Skydiving Center is designed with a Tandem Progression for the first two jumps – which means your first two jumps will, in fact, be tandem skydives. This helps you learn in the least stressful way possible and gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the parachute operations before jumping into the Level 3 solo jump. Even on the Level 3 jump, you will still have 2 instructors with you.

Before your first AFF jump, though, there is extensive training that needs to happen so that you can be adequately prepared before taking the leap. AFF is a time commitment considering the classroom training alone can last an entire day. Check out our FAQs to learn more about our AFF Program or, of course, get in touch!


  • Control: You’re steering your own ship, Captain!
  • Total ADRENALINE Rush: The empowerment and sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a successful skydive all by yourself is a huge rush! You’re basically a superhuman!!
  • Community: The skydiving community is one big, tight-knit family. Being around that positive energy on a frequent basis can really give a sense of purpose and belonging.


  • Commitment of Time: Ground school – the classroom portion prior to your first skydive – can last an entire day and, depending on the weather, you might not be able to do a jump that same day. Also, consider the fact that you must stay current by jumping at least once every 30 days.
  • Commitment of Resources: Completing AFF is the first step to getting your A License. Following the full student curriculum through to certified solo status requires a commitment of funds in the ballpark of  $3,500.
  • Responsibility: On a tandem, you are strapped to an instructor who has at least 500 jumps and three years in the sport. Learning to jump solo, of course, involves more risk.

All in Your Feels

aff skydiving student in freefall

As does tandem skydiving, solo skydiving comes with a mix of emotions. While solo skydiving can be a total rush of adrenaline (imagine- you are basically in the driver’s seat of a race car), it actually doesn’t feel much different from a tandem skydive. The biggest difference is the mental and emotional rollercoaster you will experience when jumping by yourself. 

For the first solo skydive, you may feel the anxiety and anticipation that comes with knowing that you have full responsibility on your jump. Some skydivers explain it as a big build up followed by a total release as you leave the aircraft. You let go of all that anxiety, take in the awe of Mother Earth, and feel so, so lucky to be a part of the sky.

There’s only one way to find out the difference between pairing up and ridin’ solo – come and learn to skydive with us! Blue skies!

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