A cloud-surfing skydive can impart a wide variety of benefits, such as creating a bonding opportunity between friends or helping teenage penguins conquer their feelings of flightless inferiority. Join pimpled penguins in their high-altitude conquests with today's Groupon: for $124, you get one tandem jump with an instructor at Skydive Carolina! in Chester, South Carolina (up to a $209 value; normal rates vary according to the day and time of jump).
Skydive Carolina! has been successfully dropping the curious out of planes for 24 years. Start your aerial adventure by opening your cranium for a 30-minute knowledge session on the ground before soaring to 14,000 feet and affixing yourself to your naturally sticky licensed instructor. Drawn to the earth like a moth to another, scantily clad moth, divers freefall for up to a minute—reaching speeds of more than 120 miles per hour—before deploying their parachutes to turn the sky into a gravity-powered lazy river. The five-minute float to the ground gives each diver the chance to steer their 'chute, enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery, and hunt for clouds in the shape of President Millard Fillmore. Skydive Carolina! is available to confirm gravity's rules seven days a week, providing ample opportunity to test homemade wings and jet packs that run on orange juice.
- The landing area is huge and the staff is very nice. After a good orientation I got together with some belly flyers and made some nice jumps. – thesaint, Dropzone
- The staff are very professional and have unprecedented knowledge and experience in the sport. The scenery is gorgeous as you look over forests, lakes, and green fields. On a good day you can see Charlotte. – mrbopeep, Dropzone
A group of 10 grown men sprawled out on the hangar floor, each one grasping the calves of his neighbor. It's a puzzling sight, until you realize they're skydivers practicing a group jump formation. The licensed instructors at Skydive Carolina! have organized such aerial adventures for more than for 25 years, leading everyone from first-timers to experienced skydivers into the firmament within a Cessna 182, Beechcraft Super King Air, or Cessna Grand Caravan. They can memorialize free falls—which reach speeds that exceed 120 miles per hour—with photography and DVD recordings from cameras mounted onto clouds. Once parachutes deploy, groups glide down the drop zone into a triangular landing area bordered by evergreens and wildflowers.