A Pocket Guide to Skydiving Recurrency Jumps

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Brush off that logbook and get to the dropzone. Image © Annette O'Neil

What's a Recurrency Jump?

A recurrency jump is the first jump a skydiver makes upon return to the sport after a certain, license-level-specific period of non-jumping.

Most drop zones in the USA, whether or not they are members of the organization, use the recurrency guidelines set forth by The United States Parachute Association (USPA). The USPA gives these guidelines for recurrency in the Skydiver's Information Manual:

  • A License

USPA A-license holders who have not made a freefall skydive within 60 days should make at least one jump under the supervision of a currently rated USPA instructional rating holder until demonstrating altitude awareness, freefall control on all axes, tracking, and canopy skills sufficient for safely jumping in groups

  • B License

USPA B-license holders who have not made a freefall skydive within the preceding 90 days should make at least one jump under the supervision of a USPA instructional rating holder until demonstrating the ability to safely exercise the privileges of that license.

  • C and D License

USPA C- and D-license holders who have not made a freefall skydive within the preceding six months should make at least one jump under the supervision of a USPA instructional rating holder until demonstrating the ability to safely exercise the privileges of that license.

That said: not every drop zone enforces the same rules.

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it's a good idea to touch base with the DZ you're planning to visit before you rock up to manifest and find out what requirements they set forth.

Why The Requirements?

Uncurrent skydivers run a higher risk of injuring themselves. They're also more likely to injure other skydivers.

Neither the rule-setting USPA nor any other drop zone wants to be saddled with that additional risk, so they make sure that prodigal skydivers have a sky nanny for at least one jump. It's not a scam--it's a method of insurance.

If you're a skydiver, you already know this: skydiving is a very demanding, very technical sport. A skydiver's ability to quickly, effectively remember the details of how to make a safe skydive decreases as time passes. If you're not practicing the little rituals of preparation and active maneuvering that compose a skydive, your brain is breaking down those intricate connections and using the raw material to make you better at what you are doing (like, y'know, playing video games).

If your down time has been significantly longer than one cold season (or one "off" year), you have something else to contend with: technical advances within the sport. Skydiving evolves, and what you may accept as a safe decision altitude, a safe piece of equipment or a safe exit procedure may have changed on you. Get ready to join the new school.

What Will the DZ Need to See?

When you show up for your recurrency jump, make sure you have everything you need on-hand.

The DZ representative will ask to see:

  • Your logbook, in order to verify the date and place of the last jump you made.
  • Your USPA (or other parachuting organization) membership card, to make sure it's up-to-date with 3rd party insurance coverage
  • Your equipment, if you have it, to make sure your equipment is airworthy and your reserve repack is in-date

You'll also need to update your waiver and get a landing area reorientation, so make sure to budget plenty of time in and around the office.

Freaking Out? You're Not The First.

Nervous about coming back to the sport? That's normal. Use tools to help. Call a friend -- even a non-skydiver -- to meet you at the DZ and keep you accountable. Watch videos of your past jumps to remind yourself that you'll be fine (and you'll be ecstatic when you land). Listen to music that gets you stoked. You'll be glad you did.

Below are some resources to stay psyched -- and stay in the sky.

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Your Citation
O'Neil, Annette. "A Pocket Guide to Skydiving Recurrency Jumps." ThoughtCo, May. 5, 2016, thoughtco.com/guide-to-skydiving-recurrency-jumps-1240524. O'Neil, Annette. (2016, May 5). A Pocket Guide to Skydiving Recurrency Jumps. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-skydiving-recurrency-jumps-1240524 O'Neil, Annette. "A Pocket Guide to Skydiving Recurrency Jumps." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/guide-to-skydiving-recurrency-jumps-1240524 (accessed December 13, 2017).