The need to feel the wind in your hair is best fulfilled by skydiving, though it can also be fulfilled by riding in a convertible, swinging on a tire swing, or getting sneezed on by a jumbo jet. Give your hair the ride of its follicular life with today's Groupon to Skydive Hollister, located roughly an hour from San Jose at Hollister Airport. Choose between the following options:
- For $99, you get a tandem skydive at 10,000 feet for one (a $169 value).
- For $189, you get a tandem skydive at 10,000 feet for two (a $338 value).
Visitors to Skydive Hollister surf the skies while securely strapped to a professional who has completed a minimum of 1,000 jumps. Clients swan dive into the atmosphere at approximately 10,000 feet and hurtle toward Monterey Bay at 120 miles per hour, boldly ignoring posted speed-limit signs and strict lectures from mother geese. Passengers freefall for about 30 seconds, giving them ample time to preemptively identify future fashion trends as life flashes by in fast-forward mode. Instructors activate parachutes at 5,000 feet, after which airborne patrons can help to guide floating parachutes back to Earth for several scenic minutes. Groupon customers may also upgrade jumps to a height of 15,000 feet for an additional $30, affording 30 seconds of additional adrenaline-fueled airtime.
The instructors at Skydive Hollister conduct their highest jumps at 18,000 feet—the greatest height from which one can dive without supplemental oxygen. Even at this altitude, they have to pump oxygen into the plane’s cockpit before a jump. Once outside, the 120 mile-per-hour free falls last little more than one minute. They help students navigate this rapid descent on tandem dives, during which they strap into the same harness as their student and coach them in proper body position, steering, and parachute release over the sound of roaring wind. At 5,000 feet, instructors deploy the parachute and instruct their partner in parachute control and landing techniques as the blue waters of Monterey Bay and the hills of San Francisco unfold below.
Instructors also train students seeking skydiving licenses through two programs. In the Accelerated Free-Fall program, they teach skydiving principles and technical basics in a four- to six-hour ground school before strapping students into their own parachutes for seven jumps. The Instructor-Assisted Free-Fall program precedes this solo training with two tandem skydives, during which instructors teach their protégés the basics of free-fall turns, altitude awareness, and filling in for the lead goose flying in V-formation.