Quino Al, Unsplash
Southern California isn’t a place where you are likely to run out of things to do. The Golden State has so many attractions packed into it, the hardest task is deciding what to leave out. With mountains, beaches, forests, and some of the world’s most vibrant cities, Southern California has something to offer just about anyone.
But for true adrenaline junkies, the thrill of skydiving is hard to beat. Lucky, then, that Southern California is a great place to participate in this thrilling sport. Blessed with mild weather and generally clear skies, Southern California is the perfect place to treat yourself to a skydiving adventure.
So if you’re looking to take to the skies on your next trip to SoCal, here are some of the places you should try.
Based in San Diego, this company offers more than just jump itself. Every jump begins with a scenic flight over the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, allowing you to glimpse the city of San Diego and a good portion of the rest of the state before you jump.
Don’t worry if you’ve never skydived before. The company offers tandem jumps where you will be strapped to a qualified instructor to ensure your safety. This is the safest way to try out skydiving in San Diego if you’ve never done it before.
Pacific Coast Skydiving is a member of the United States Parachute Association, so you can be sure that they have a fully qualified safety and training advisor on-site to make sure everything is done according to regulations.
If this is your first time skydiving, you couldn’t have picked a better place to do it. Once you see the views out over the Pacific Coast rushing up toward you, you may well find yourself hooked on this adventurous activity.
Technically, there’s really no such thing as a skydiving outfit. But if you feel like you brought the wrong clothes for your jump, you just want to reward yourself your bravery with a new outfit, Pacific Coast skydiving is close to Las Americas outlet mall, which sits right on the Mexican border. As well as stores from brands like Adidas, Banana Republic, Hugo Boss, and Ralph Lauren, this outlet mall offers a range of restaurants where you can enjoy a meal to celebrate your achievement.
Kamil Pietrzak, Unsplash
This company may not have the most original name out there. But it’s effective. With Skydive San Diego, you know you’re going to get skydiving in San Diego.
This is a well-established skydiving operation in Southern California that welcomes newcomers with tandem jumps. This makes it a great option if you’ve never skydived before. Being strapped to a qualified instructor is the safest way to learn how to parachute.
But Skydive San Diego is also a skydiving academy where you can learn how to jump by yourself. If you are an experienced skydiver, you’re welcome to take a flight with this company so long as you have the right documentation. Bring your logbook and license with you to prove your expertise.
If you’re just passing through, You can call ahead to see what kind of clothing you should bring. You can leave the rest of your bags at a luggage storage shop in Los Angeles so you know it will stay safe while you take your flight. Or you can also leave your bags at the other luggage store in LAX.
If you’re traveling from Los Angeles for a day trip, you can find luggage storage facilities that can stow your possessions safely until you are done with your skydiving day trip.
Located about an hour away from San Diego and closer to Los Angeles, Skydive Elsinore takes its name from nearby Lake Elsinore. This is a great place to jump if you’re looking to get out of the busy city and experience a quieter side to Southern California.
Skydive Elsinore offers packages for both novice and experienced jumpers. While they may be outside of the city, from 14,000 feet up, you’ll still be able to see San Diego, Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean, and much of Southern California and Mexico.
This company offers tandem jumps for first-timers, and also accepts experienced parachutists on their flights. If you’re looking for somewhere to parachute outside of a major city, this is a great option.
Once you’re back on solid ground, you’ll have the waterside town of Lake Elsinore to explore. If it’s a hot summer’s day in Southern California, a swim in the lake itself is almost mandatory. It’ll make a refreshing end to an exciting experience.
Of course, one of the many things that make Southern California so attractive as a vacation destination is its miles of beaches along the Pacific Ocean. Skydiving from just about anywhere in Southern California offers you views out over the sea. But GoJump Oceanside is the only beachfront skydiving company in the area.
Located between San Diego and LA, this company is all about the ocean views. Launching yourself out of a plane at 14,000 feet is certainly an intense way to see the ocean, and one you won’t soon forget.
The company offers tandem jumpers for beginners but also hosts special events throughout the year for experienced skydivers where you can jump as part of a group.
While you’re in Oceanside, it would be a shame not to head out on the water. If skydiving hasn’t filled your need for adventure quite yet, why not try out some surfing? Oceanside is known for having some of California’s most consistent surf spots. If you’ve never tried the sport before, now might be a perfect time.
Spencer Davis, Unsplash
Skydiving in Southern California
The number of skydiving companies you’ll find in and around San Diego is proof of how popular this activity is. The great views and reliably clear skies present ideal conditions for skydiving. So if you want to try out a new adventure you next vacation, hurling yourself out of a plane above the land and ocean might just be the way to do it.
What to look for in a skydiving school
- Look for a USPA affiliated drop zone (the place where you land)
- If it’s your first time, choose a tandem skydive.
- Choose a company that is licensed and insured and don’t be afraid to ask to see the documentation.
- Before skydiving, be sure to let the provider know if you have any health conditions that may preclude you from jumping.