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Skydiving comes to Jamaica - New facility opens at Boscobel

Published:Friday | February 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Skydive Jamaica, operating from the Boscobel Aerodrome in St Mary, now offers the thrill of free fall. - Photo courtesy of Brad Vancina

The hair-raising thrill of skydiving is in Jamaica, thanks to Skydive Jamaica, which opened recently at the Boscobel Aerodrome in St Mary.

Skydive Jamaica specialises in tandem skydives, the most popular and safest introduction to the sport.

"It is a low-pressure way to experience a high-thrill skydive," says the company's website

The facility is also opened to experienced, licensed skydivers.

To prepare, students are given a 20- to 30-minute training session with a licensed instructor who will explain the jump process and landing technique.

Instructors are experienced, each having more than 4,000 skydives each.

"All that experience helps to ensure a safe free-fall experience for you and your friends," says Skydive Jamaica's Brad Vancina.

Tandem technique

During a tandem skydive, students will be attached to an experienced, licensed tandem master.

After a 10-minute ascent to 12,500 feet, the real fun gets ready to unfold. Attached to the instructor, the jumper waits for the light to turn green to signal it's time to jump.

"There is no better way to see Jamaica as the cool air rushes past your body at 120 miles per hour," says Vancina.

"Just when you think you don't want it to stop, your instructor pulls your rip cord! You will then begin to enjoy a six- to eight-minute parachute ride back to our landing area on the airport.

"It truly is awesome! Also, we do offer, at an additional cost, the option to get a video made of the whole experience, from suiting up to landing. With that is included 40 to 80 still pictures," Vancina adds.

Trains for licensing

Skydive Jamaica also trains persons to become licensed skydivers.

The company says its training is sanctioned by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and is conducted by fully qualified USPA-certified instructors and coaches.

The facility is also available for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, job promotions and other events.