Getting re-current for the new season

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It’s April finally! It’s been nearly six months since your last skydive. How do you make sure you’re current and ready to go?  No matter what license you hold, whether it’s an A or a D, you should always enter the new season with caution. Skills get rusty after a layoff, even if you’re extremely experienced.

Getting re-current can sometimes feel like a chore we must complete before having fun with our friends again, but it’s much more than that. Practicing emergency procedures and receiving proper ground training is extremely important, and you should be able to clearly identify any malfunction or situation you may experience prior to jumping.

You might have heard of ‘muscle memory’. This is the phenomenon of forming a memory that involves committing a specific motor task to memory through repetition. This is especially useful in skydiving as, in emergency scenarios, we need to act on training and not spend valuable time deciding what to do. Before you attempt any jump you should ask yourself “Am I prepared for the worst case?”. If the answer is no, don’t exit. Whether that means your parachute is too small for you to comfortably land in someone’s yard, you don’t think you have the skills for the jump, you forgot your EP's, your AAD is not on, you forgot your altimeter, etc.

So after all this, what do you need to do to be safe?

Different experience levels require different training. We can’t give you a one off answer for every case. You may need a full ground school, or a simple recurrency jump. What we can do is advise you to always practice emergency procedures, even in off times, read the Skydiver Information Manual (SIM), and reach out to a coach or instructor if you need guidance.

Complacency is the #1 killer in our sport. Be prepared, always do your gear checks and utilize the buddy system. If you see something, say something!



Ryan started skydiving in 2009 when a friend randomly asked him to tag along. It changed his life forever and he began working for the dropzone shortly after. Along his journey he worked at many dropzones across the country in many different roles such as Ground Crew, Manifest, Packing and Video Editing. He became a Tandem Instructor and AFF Instructor in 2018 and has completed 2,000 skydives. Ryan is currently a Safety and Training Advisor and Full Stack Developer at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He loves coding during the week and watching landings on the weekend to educate and help foster a safe community. When he's not working you'll find him playing piano, recording music or hanging out with friends.