Skydive Hawaii Mokuleia Reviews
Tandem Freefall on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii Mar 25, 2006
Skydive Hawaii on Oahu's North Shore at Dillingham Airfield and Gliderport calls itself "The World's Most Beautiful Skydiving Center" and "The World's Most Beautiful Drop Zone" which hardly describes the most exhillerating experience you can have in Hawaii. You don't need any experience with skydiving (although I had already had a static line jump from 3,000 feet at WesTex Sky Sports in Midland, TX in 1992) because you can jump tandem in a harness with an expert jumpmaster.
Although the sport of skydiving is EXTEMELY DANGEROUS if something goes wrong and you don't know how to recover, safety is paramount at Skydive Hawaii. In fact, just two weeks earlier there was an accident that I was aware of which resulted in the tragic death of an experienced jumpmaster and a novice Japanese tourist, but I was so confident in the safety and expertise of the Skydive Hawaii staff that I continued on with my first tandem freefall jump.* I did have to sign an extensive 10-page waiver after watching a short legally binding safety video which said my family or I would not sue if something went wrong.
Once I signed my life away and meet up with my jumpmaster, I also coordinated to pay another jumper $150 to take pictures and video the eventusing a helmet-mounted camera. A colorful van took us out to the waiting Cessna Caravan which is a nose-mounted single-engine aircraft with a big sliding exit door and bench seating. The aircraft then took off to quickly reach our jump altitude around 12-14,000 feet in just a few minutes. The other single jumpers jumped first and then it really got exciting....
We pre-arranged 3 sommersaults on our exit before spreading our arms and legs wide to balance the airflow. Some people wore special clothes but I was just as comfortable in a T-Shirt and shorts. I did wear clear goggles and based on my facial expressions in the pictures/video, I have to remember to hold my breath to keep my cheeks more steady next time! The wind was really blowing in my face while we were in freefall so definitely go with the goggles or you will tear up.
From 12,000 feet we reached speeds up to 120 m.p.h. for 60 seconds before I opened the chute. The chute filled with air quickly so we jerked backward slightly due to the rapid decceleration. Once the chute opened, we began floating down gracefully. This was the best time of the flight to take in the magnificant view in peace and quiet. My jumpmaster allowed me to steer the parachute airfoil around a bit, pulling a few G's in a corkscrew pattern. Then we lined up for landing on the grass just past the buildings before the end of the runway.
With tandem jumping, you have to land on your behind in a seated position, which was different than my solo static line jump which I was able to turn into the wind and "walk out of the flight" standing up. I really wanted to "go again" right away but that next jump will have to wait.
Skydive Hawaii was sure better than the middle of nowhere Texas for a jump, despite the thin layer of cloudiness that day above our jump altitude. The Waialua Mountains, green banana tree fields and surfing beaches of the North Shore make for a picturesque scene which overwhelms the senses. All instructors/jumpmasters are USPA (US Parachute Association) certified and Skydive Hawaii has the best facilities, including the jump plane. According to the Skydive Hawaii website, they have had over 100,000 first-time jumpers put their trust in the expert staff and equipment.
If you want to experience an adventure many times over with all the excitement and exhilleration as a freefall parachute jump on some of the most scenic beauty in the world, you have to try Skydive Hawaii!
Also see my first static line jump in Stanton, Texas at Westex Skysports on this TravBuddy blog:
*-The incident where the two jumpers perished was due to the older jumpmaster having blacked out on the way down and the Japanese tourist not knowing how to steer the parachute toward the land after it opened automatically. They eneded up both drifting out over the ocean. Since I was aware you can steer square parachutes from my previous jumping experience, I had no problem with the safety measures in-place to prevent a similar circumstance.
Part of the Jeff and Jenny's Travels from 1998 to 2008 travel blog
Part of the list Hawaii
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