Home Uncategorized How to go Skydiving in Ireland

How to go Skydiving in Ireland

by Roberto
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Is jumping from a plane one of those adrenaline filled activities that is on your agenda? If so, would you consider doing it in Ireland? Does the thought of soaring above those green fields and distant mountains appease you? If so then read on for my suggestion and experience on how to best partake in skydiving in Ireland.

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Best places to go skydiving in Ireland

There are three main centres for skydiving Ireland, all vying to take up to 10000 feet or more. The Irish Parachute Club is based in Clonbullogue in County Offaly, near the Bog of Allen and some 70km away from Dublin. The Irish Skydiving Club is located in County Kilkenny, 130 km from Dublin and 3 km from Kilkenny. The last, Tandem Skydive, is located at Abbeyshrule, County Longford roughly 110 km from Dublin. To skydive Northern Ireland, services are provided by Wild Geese and Moonjumper. For a more alternative experience you can also try indoor skydiving Northern Ireland at we are vertigo in Belfast. No skydiving in Dublin facilities exist.

All of the Irish clubs offer a great range of services from training to tandem jumps, to solo skydiving jumps and couples jumps also for those with the experience. As they are not for profit organisations, then you can also guarantee that what you are getting is value for money, and what you pay for is merely the insurance and equipment. Prices are always per jump and not per hour. The section below contains the skydiving cost and rules.


Advice for first time jumpers

Which you choose is a matter of location, and this may determine which is the best places to skydive for you. None offer transport facilities so its up to you to make your own way there. Obviously the best way is to rent a car if you are a visitor to the country. I would implore you to bring a designated driver for the way home, not because you’ll need a drink, but it can all be such an adrenaline rush.

If it’s your first skydive, then bare in mind you will have to do in tandem skydiving jump. Which involves being strapped to an instructor, who controls everything. Trust me you do not want to take the reins on your first. Let the guys do what they do best and enjoy it.


Irish Skydiving Club Kilkenny

The Irish Skydiving Club was formed in 2010 with the aim of bringing affordable skydiving in Ireland. All jumpers are made automatically made members of the club. Their skydive season lasts from April to October and is of course weather dependent. Winds very much have a say on your jump. The instructors at the Irish Skydiving Club boast up to 8000 each, so there is no question of their experience. Prices for a tandem skydive start at €245. Email them here to make your skydive Ireland booking.


Irish Parachute Club – our choice for skydiving in Ireland

The Irish Parachute Club is Ireland’s original club and was formed in 1956 by Freddie Bond, a paratrooper from World War II. They took up their current location in County Offaly in 1988. The club here is a busy one, and is often the location of competitions too. A tandem jump at 10000 feet starts from €280, and there is also an option to jump from 13000 feet for €315 (this is Ireland’s highest jump). To book skydiving, email them here.

Irish Parachute Club
Our Plane from Irish Parachute Club

Tandem Skydive Ireland

Tandem Skydive, based in Abbeyshrule are the latest comers to the parachute party. They were formed in 2012, and cater for tandem jumps only. They also take walk ins where available, so you can just turn up on the day. A tandem jump here is priced at €285. [email protected] to book a skydive..

The first two clubs offer a range of other jumps, if this isn’t your first rodeo.

It is important to bear in mind that certain restrictions are in place. To parachute jump in Ireland these include health and age restrictions and it’s also worth checking the sites in advance for these. The skydiving Ireland age is usually restricted to between 18 and 50. A signed declaration will have to made prior to jump if you are outside these. There are also weight restrictions in place, with a maximum weight of 225 pounds or 102 kg.


Why is Skydiving in Ireland such a Thrill?

The main appeal of skydiving, is the freefall after you leave your plane. You fall for 5000 feet or 1500 metres on a jump of 10000 feet. It goes by in a flash, as you reach terminal velocity of 200 km/ph. Jumping from 13000 feet gives you even more of a freefall. At 5000 feet the chute is pulled, and you drift camly down to earth. It takes some nerve to get on that plane but its truly exhilarating.


Skydive Ireland for Charity

There is one other option for doing a skydive in Ireland and that is to do a skydive for charity which helps a beneficiary of your choice. It opens up the possibility of doing something to really help people in need, and at the same time do something you always wished to do. All clubs in Ireland happily accept these and their sites contain all the information to book it. This also brings us to my story and experience of parachuting in Ireland.


Our Backstory

Lets delve a little deeper into where the idea came about. At that time two of our good friends Keith and Sarah had gone through the challenges of having a baby born after only 25 weeks of pregnancy.

Luckily for all they overcame this difficult period. For Keith and Sarah it involved many months in hospital as their little Lilly developed in an incubator. They were provided fantastic support throughout by the charitable organisation Irish Premature Babies. In recognition of this help, one year later Keith and Sarah organised a charity jump to help with fundraising and set out to sign up friends. I jumped (no pun intended) at the opportunity.

We each had a guideline figure of €600 with 50% to raise to cover the costs of the parachute club and the other 50% being provided to the charity. These are the standard figures for a charity skydive in Ireland. I amassed contributions of over €800 from friends and customers within the bar I worked.


Skydiving in Ireland – The Day of the Jump

It was an early start with a drive down to Edenderry in Offaly. My friend Emmet, who was also jumping, had offered to drive, and I admit I was happy for this as I was wired on the return journey. The jumps took place in the Irish Parachute Club.

Fifteen of us in total had agreed to jump that day and I hope that together we did our good part to aid some parents in despair. We were all in high spirits and spouses and children ensured we had good support.

Our chosen day in July coincided with an ongoing competition so unfortunately we were subject to a wait of about four hours. The uncertainty as to when we would get up tested our patience and our nerves, especially those who were apprehensive about jumping.

I have to admit to something. I’ve always had a fear of heights. Not a crippling one, but I do get that queasy feeling when I stand on a cliff or the edge of a tall building. But if there’s one thing I believe in it’s conquering your fears. I feel the best form of conquering is confrontation. To stare them in the face and tackle them head on. So I was a little surprised that I didn’t number myself among those guys who were nervous on this day.

Keith and Sarah had made us up t-shirts to show our representation. Eventually the competition ended and we were led into a hangar. Here we were harnessed up and led through the safety procedure. Most of the safety rests with the tandem jumper as both chords were there for him to pull, but consisted of a what if scenario.

Skydiving in Ireland
Kitted out in our matching Irish premature Babies t-shirts
Skydiving in Ireland
Ready for skydiving in Ireland

The Tandem Master

With the safety out of the way we were introduced to our tandem masters. Mine was Ian McGowran, a veteran jumper in his late thirties with thousands of jumps under his belt. He led me through his own safety procedure, and the instruments he uses for gauging altitude amongst other things. His most important point was about me keeping my head tucked back into his chest. If I let it loose it could snap back to his, possibly rendering him unconscious and that’s where the “what if” scenario would come about. Point taken.

Skydiving in Ireland
My tandem master taking me to the plane

The Ascent

I had been offered the opportunity to have an another jumper accompany me who would make a video and take photos of my jump. I thought it was €150 well spent and looking at his work it remains so. Earlier I had met Krzysztof Kacprzak a Polish guy who would be doing the honours.

There were ten of us plus the pilot all crammed into that plane like sardines. As we rose through each block of 1000 feet I could see the faces on the other guys grow more nervous too. I myself was surprisingly calm. Halfway through the ascent we angled into position with our tandem master, and they at this time joined our harnesses together and did the final safety checks.

Irish Parachute Club
We were like sardines in the plane
Irish Parachute Club
The view from 5000 feet

The Main Event

Hitting 10000 feet the altitude was confirmed and the door was flung open. Half the plane emptied and I was prompted forward towards the door. I was sitting on the floor now of the aircraft with my legs dangling outside. There they were. The full bundle of nerves hit me, as I stared into the vast nothingness below. It wasn’t vertigo, the ground was at this time too distant to have that effect on me. Perhaps a fear of something going wrong or even of a new unknown. Ian rocked me forward, then back. And again. This was merely a few seconds but long ones like minutes. Krzysztof stood alongside us diligently waiting to document it all.

The next shove from Ian was the final one and suddenly we were falling at an exhilarating rate. The speed literally took my breath away, and my adrenal gland hit overdrive too. The approach towards terminal velocity was such a mixture of emotions, most of them joyful, that words find it difficult to articulate. It was something I never experienced before and never have again.

That first ten seconds were mindblowing and confusing but suddenly all became clearer. We found a level altitude with Krzysztof and his shots capture perfectly to sheer joy and rush I was feeling. To float there in the domain of the birds, it was as if free from all boundaries and rules. Maybe in that place between the relative safety of the plane and the ultimate danger of the ground below there exists a euphoria. But such things can only ever be fleeting.

Skydiving in Ireland
My favourite image from the drop

Freefall

From an altitude of 10000 ft you fall 200 ft a second in freefall. So in total you only get about thirty seconds to experience this wild freedom before the necessary constraints against gravity come into play. We pulled away from Krzysztof and subsequently Ian pulled the cord. This sensation was as unusual as the one before it. The drop in speed was so pronounced it felt as if we were being dragged back up into the heavens.


The Descent

From here our descent began into the lower altitudes. The feeling now was of relaxation as we stared at the countryside around us, floating slowly towards the ground. This took several minutes and as we approached the last 1000 feet it was at this point that I felt my vertigo kick in. The ground was tangible now whilst before it was merely a different horizon. The photos below capture Krzysztof’s approach.


Ian kicked into safety mode again as we neared the ground. Landing on your feet is only for professionals. The safest landing is on the bodies best shock absorber, that being the bum. As we neared the landing field I pulled my legs up and assumed a right angle position. I felt so stiff, so awkward, so uncomfortable. The landing wasn’t graceful either, as our bums touched the ground, we skidded on them along the ground. But we were down. I let out a sigh of relief. As Krzysztof circled around us we high-fived and I joked “can we go again?”.

Skydiving in Ireland
Skydiving in Ireland
Coming in to touchdown
Irish Parachute Club
One small leap for the guy at the back, one giant leap for me.

As we walked back to the hangers I was a little shaky, perhaps from over excitement. Perhaps even from excessive happiness.


Reflections on Skydiving in Ireland

Reflecting now on the whole experience I still look back through the photos and find myself lost in nostalgia. I will hopefully never lose the memory of that feeling whilst soaring through the sky. Few things in life have been as emotionally rewarding as my parachute jump experience. It deserved its berth as number one on my bucket list.

Why not check out the full video adventure below.


Ireland on a clear day is one of the best places to go skydiving, with that sea of green below you. Why not make it part of your next Irish adventure.

If all the excitement has been a little too much, then I advise to check out this mellow post on Victors Way Indian Sculpture Gardens in Ireland’s Wicklow.

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A guide to Skydiving in Ireland

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