Drop Zones: Best Destinations For Skydivers Near Tampa

January 12, 2012 2:39 PM

skydive top 89622031 300 Drop Zones: Best Destinations For Skydivers Near Tampa

(credit: John Medina/Getty Images)

What to Know

Make sure the company you’re dealing with is indeed a skydiving company. There are many businesses advertising themselves as skydiving firms, but really they are essentially resellers earning commissions for directing customers to specific partners outside the city. You should deal directly with places that are group members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), the governing agency for skydivers.

Starting from 10,000 feet up at about 120 miles per hour, you’ll have less than a minute before landing. It’s going to go by quick, and you’ll want to relive it again and again later. Find out how much it costs to video your fall and in what format you’ll get the media for later duplication or sharing with friends via the Internet.

You must be 18 years old or older to skydive, no exceptions. Parental or guardian permission won’t release any liabilities regarding recreational sports, and hold harmless waivers are required by all skydivers. Bring your photo ID.

For tandem jumps, find out the company’s weight limit. Typically clocking in on the scale at 200 to 240 pounds or more will disqualify you for a tandem jump. Also call ahead to discuss any medical conditions that might put your risk factors too high.

Aim to schedule your jump as early in the day as possible in case there are weather issues or other delays. After training, orientation and paperwork, expect get airborne at least an hour after getting started.

With many reservations during the summer months, you may find yourself stuck with either an early slot (around 7 a.m.) or near dusk (around 7 p.m.), with weekdays more open than weekends. Call ahead for availability and keep tabs on that day’s weather forecast.

Where To Go

The “Find A Dropzone” list on the USPA website — http://www.uspa.org — offers complete listings, descriptions of aircraft and details about on-site services from its various group members. Here’s a quick list of what’s nearby.

Skydive Tampa

7500 Coronet Road / South Lakeland Airport
Mulberry, FL 33860
(30 miles east of Tampa)
(863) 425-3140 or (813) 493-5139

Skydive City

4241 Sky Dive Lane / Zephyrhills Municipal Airport
Zephyrhills, FL 33542
(30 miles northeast of Tampa)
(813) 783-9399 or (800) 888-JUMP

Jump Florida Skydiving Center

3800 Chalet Suzanne Rd. / Chalet Suzanne
Lake Wales, FL 33859
(60 miles west of Tampa)
(800) 313-JUMP or (352) 461-3461

Skydive Lake Wales

440 S. Airport Rd. / Lake Wales Airport
Lake Wales, FL 33859
(60 miles east of Tampa)
(863) 678-1003

Skydive Space Center

476 N. Williams Ave. / Arthur Dunn Airpark
Titusville, FL 32796
(125 miles northeast of Tampa)
(800) 823-0016

SW Florida Skydive Club

36880 Washington Loop Rd. / Shell Creek Airport
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
(130 miles southeast of Tampa)
(888) 447-JUMP or (863) 675-8470

Skydive DeLand Inc

1600 Flightline Blvd. / DeLand Municipal Airport
DeLand, FL 32724
(130 miles northeast of Tampa)
(386) 738-3539

Skydive Palatka

4015 Reid St. Bldg. Z / Kay Larkin Airport
Palatka, FL 32177
(160 miles north of Tampa)
(386) 328-0606 or (800) 243-6481

Skydive Sebastian

400 Airport Dr. West / Sebastian Municipal Airport
Sebastian, FL 32958
(165 miles east of Tampa)
(772) 388-5672

Skydive Air Adventures

3200 Airglades Blvd. / Airglades Airport
Clewiston, FL 33440
(170 miles southeast of Tampa)
(800) 533-6151

Skydive Jacksonville

9300 Normandy Blvd. / Herlong Airport
Jacksonville, FL 32221
(190 miles north of Tampa)
(888) JUMP-JAX

Skydive Palm Beach

4153 Flying Cow Rd. / Loxahatchee
Wellington, FL
(210 miles southeast of Tampa)
(561) JUMP-NOW

Skydive Amelia Island

551 Airport Road / Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
(240 miles north of Tampa)
(904) 625-2062