The only skydiving resort in California, Skydive Perris is not to be missed. Whether it’ll be your first time in freefall or an exhilarating hobby you enjoy frequently, the friendly, professional staff will make your jump a safe and fun experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Videographers and photographers jump with you to document the dive, allowing you to share your descent with friends and family. And if you’re in it to win it, you can even take classes to get your ‘A’ license and become qualified to jump solo!
Perris Valley Airport’s six-plane fleet includes larger aircraft than you’ll find at most other skydiving facilities, allowing for large group dives—if you want to jump with a few friends or your entire birthday party, there’s no better place for it. You’ll dive from a higher altitude than with many competitors, as well. Leaving the plane for the open air at 12,500 feet provides over a minute of freefall, and an incredible view of the Inland Empire.
Skydiving is an all-day adventure, requiring extensive education, signing of waivers and waiting. You’ll watch videos explaining safety and technique, speak with your instructor who’ll answer any questions you have, and fill out an understandably significant amount of paperwork. And then you’ll wait. This might be the one real downside of Skydive Perris—due to its popularity, visitors report wait times ranging anywhere from 45 minutes to over four hours. You might be able to get an estimated time-till-jump, but for the most part you’ll just have to listen for your name over the loudspeakers.
Not that there’s nothing to do in between, of course. The Bombshelter Bar & Grill offers everything from breakfast to blackened strip steak, as well as a full bar, and right next to it is the pool, where you can lounge and watch the planes take off or dive in for a quick dip. And the charming picnic area right next to it is great if you’ve packed a lunch. Of course, unless you’ve got a stomach of iron, it’s best to eat light and take it easy—dinner will stay with you better if you wait till post-dive.
The easiest and most common way to do the dive is known as tandem. For this, you’ll be literally strapped to your instructor, providing the maximum safety with the least training required—you’re inches away from someone who’s made between 2,000 and 15,000 jumps before. But you’re still in control. You get to pull the cord when instructed, and the attached expert will allow you to do swoops and twirls if you’re brave enough. At 5,000 feet the chute is deployed, and the two of you will glide down at just 10mph to gently land in a grassy field. If you’re not sure if you’re quite ready for the skies, you can try Perris’ vertical wind tunnel, allowing you to simulate a solo skydive while remaining indoors (the Sensory Overload package includes two simulated jumps and one tandem, giving you time to build up the courage).
For the more independent and adventurous, there’s AFF, or accelerated free fall. If you really want to learn how to skydive, this is the way to do it. Beginning with five hours of training that involve two wind tunnel simulations, during which you’ll learn hand signals and proper body positioning, you’ll dive with your own parachute by the end of the day, accompanied by two experts who guide you by radio to a successful landing. If you’re really hardcore, you can proceed through all eight levels of the program, eventually jumping with a single instructor—and graduating with a United States Parachute Association AFF certification and the freedom to jump solo.
The skydiving resort can be found at 2091 Goetz Road, Perris, CA 92570.