Skydiving Lessons - Solo Training
Skydive Windy City Chicago
Learn to Skydive!
Learn to skydive at Chicago’s closest and most scenic skydiving center! Our industry-leading Solo Training Program (STP) will teach you the skills needed to earn a United States Parachute Association (USPA) “A” Skydiving License. Once you have your skydiving license, you can jump almost anywhere in the world! STP is the most progressive and complete instructional skydiving program in the world today. Developed from nearly 20 years of hand-on experience with thousands of solo skydiving students, STP’s success rate, quality, and consistency of instruction is unmatched.
Tandem Level One
The Cost of Learning to Skydive
Learning to skydive is something you don’t do without proper instruction (otherwise it isn’t learning to skydive, it is suicide). Our program brings you to a level of skills that far exceed the USPAs minimum skills for an “A” license.
The total cost for jumps after your tandems is $3503.00 if you do not need to repeat any levels. On average, 50% of students repeat one level, it is rare to repeat more than one. If you repeated one level, your total cost (after your tandems) would be $3592.00. We do offer a prepay option of at least 20% off the pay-as-you-go cost (We also pro-rate the prepay discount if you started here or somewhere else and wish to pre-pay the balance). This seems expensive, and it is an expensive sport, but this is the equivalent of a “Harvard” education, not your local community college. Pricing in skydiving is not very transparent, and it is common for dropzones to advertise 8-9 jump programs (called AFF) for around $1800-$2000, but you still must meet all requirements (and you won’t in 8-9 jumps), including the 25 jump requirement. If you wish to price-shop, ask for an estimated total cost to get your license, and you will find that almost all across this great country, the total prices don’t vary more than 10%. Skydive Windy City is just straight up about it.
There are a few other additional costs for learning to skydive:
- Your solo skydiving initial ground school class: This 6+ hour class costs $60.00
- Your USPA membership: This is paid directly to the USPA prior to STP level 5 and costs $78.00
- Your solo skydiving freefall class: This class reinforces the ground school class and adds valuable information. This 2+ hour class costs $20.00
- Your parachute packing class: You must pack a parachute without assistance and jump with that parachute. This 4+ hour class costs $45.00
- Your USPA “A” license fee: This is paid directly to the USPA after your 25th jump and costs $36.00
So if one did not repeat any levels, their total cost (after tandems) would be $3742.00. We understand that learning to skydive is not cheap (we had to pay to learn just like you). What you probably do not understand yet is how rewarding the training is. Not only do you learn to skydive, but you learn to look at life in a different way. Skydiving is total freedom. Skydiving is the ultimate social networking. Skydiving is total acceptance. Skydiving is never going back or giving up. Learn to Skydive here or elsewhere, it will change your life for the better!
Solo Training Program Levels
STP Levels 1-4
Jump Prices: $210
STP Level One
Instructor assisted (harness-hold: you and your instructor will exit as a team) exit and freefall, you’ll open your parachute at 5,500’, test its functionality, and then get back to your landing zone for a soft, accurate landing. You will likely be at least as nervous as you were on the first tandem, and even though we have trained you well, this jump is a bit like the opening roll at the craps table (we are planning on winning but preparing for anything else). This jump will provide the baseline so we can refine your skydiving skills as fast as possible. We take video of all STP jumps so you can see what you’re doing, and you get to keep a copy, so bring a USB drive with you along with your logbook. Pre-jump prep avg = 1 hr.
Jump Price: $210
STP Levels 5-8
Jump Prices: $200
STP Level Five
Upper-body turns. Same exit as level 4, and we will teach you how to use your upper body to turn in our pre-jump prep. These exercises are merely an introduction, so you may have difficulty. The pressure you have been putting on yourself will begin to subside as your confidence increases, and that means this will be the last of the mentally-difficult skydives, it will seem to get easier from here-on-out (not because it is easier, but because your doubts are weakening fast). From level 1 until you quit skydiving, you will always open your own parachute at the appropriate (planned) altitude, and fly to your landing area and land safely on target. Students usually are off radio assistance for parachute flight (although we keep it on through level 17) somewhere between level 5 and level 8. Pre-jump prep avg 45 min.
Jump Price: $200
STP Levels 9-12
Jump Prices: $190
STP Level Nine
360º turns and docking. We are back to the turns again, they are important. On this jump we will refine the exit from level 8, and since we will be docked, you will let go and make a 360º turn without thinking mechanically (either direction). One you stop and face your instructor, you will adjust your body position to move forward a bit to re-dock, but this time with an “open accordion” type grip instead of a “star” type grip we exited with. When the dock is complete, you let go again and make a 360º turn the other direction, and then re-dock on the other side. Lather, rinse, repeat until we reach 7,000’, because at 6,500’ you will turn 180º away from the instructor and track for 5 seconds, then deploy, check, complete exercises and land safely on target. Pre-jump prep avg 15 min.
Jump Price: $190
STP Levels 13-16
Jump Prices: $180
STP Level Thirteen
Front Flips. Same exit as level 12, almost same jump plan, but now you’ll be doing front flips. Stop maneuvers by 6,500’, turn and track at 6,000’, deploy by 4,000’, check your parachute, do your exercises, and land on target. Pre-jump prep avg 5 min.
Jump Price: $180
STP Levels 17-18
Jump Prices: $100
STP Level Seventeen
LALO (low altitude, low opening): Well, not really LOW, you will actually be open a little higher than you were on Level 15 a couple jumps ago. This is practice for aircraft emergency exits. You will jump out without looking or counting (Instructor will check airspace for you), at 3,500’ above the ground, and deploy your parachute between 3 and 5 seconds after your feet leave the door. You check your parachute, do any exercises you please (or take a break and do none), and land safely on target. Pre-jump prep avg 20 min.
Jump Price: $100
Additional STP Jumps
About 50% of students repeat Level, 3, 4, or 5, and that is because they are nervous and can’t chill enough to complete the objectives in time. None of the nearly 2000 students that have repeated one of these levels with me, failed because of inability, they all let their mind get the better of them, and their doubts hampered their performance. However it turns out for you, if you have to repeat a level, the cost is flat rate. If it happens, it’s just a thing, reset and go on. I actually like to see a little failure during the program because it shows how you deal with it when things aren’t going perfectly.
Jump Price: $150 ($120 if prepaid for program)
Solo and Group Skydiving For Licensed Skydivers
Licensed Skydiver Information
Skydive Windy City is Chicago’s closest and most scenic skydive. Views of 3 states of Lake Michigan shoreline and the downtown Chicago skyline are incredible. We are conveniently located in Northwest Indiana at the Michigan City Municipal Airport. If you are visiting Chicago and do not have a car, we are accessible via the South Shore Line (Carroll Ave. Station) from downtown Chicago.
Our Skydiving Jumpship is a Cessna 208 (Caravan) that holds 14 jumpers and climbs to 14000 feet in as little as 12 minutes. Tandem is the primary operation, but slots are always available to get licensed jumpers up regularly. During the busiest times of the season we also stay open late on Fridays. We offer indoor air-conditioned packing on padded carpet, paid packing services, abundant landing areas, and jumper pickup (from the landing area) after landing.
Skydiving Rig Rental is available and all rigs have Safire2 main canopies (from 269 down to 189sqft wi Cypres Expert AADs. We only have current equipment, and all rental rigs are maintained to the highest standard, including rigger-inspections every 25 jumps. Rigs can be rented by the jump or flat fee for the day, but they cannot be used for wingsuiting, night jumps, in conditions not suitable for rig renters, or taken off-site.
Parachute Rigging and Parachute Repair Services are also available. We have two riggers on the team for emergency services, but if you plan to drop your rig off for repack our standard turn-around time is 2 weeks. You can pay a bit more to expedite the service. You can buck-up to repack turn-around in as little as one day.
Online Waiver You can complete your waiver before you get to the dropzone. Follow this link to complete our 2020 Licensed Skydiver Waiver.