The first parachute was invented when Jack, tumbling haplessly from his titanium beanstalk, used a purloined pair of giant underpants to steady his fall. Glide to earth safely with today's Groupon: for $117, you get a tandem skydive jump from Westside Skydivers, located in Winsted.
After a decade as safety and training advisor of Skydive Twin Cities, Jumpin' Joe Johnson created Westside Skydivers to share his free-falling addiction with the like-minded free spirits of Minnesota. The safe and thrilling tutelage of Westside Skydivers assuages the worries of nervous nose divers as they take a scenic leap over Winsted Lake with sterling views of Lake Minnetonka whistling past their ears. In a tandem jump, a must for first timers, the novice skydiver is connected via a harness to an instructor for a safe and thrilling diving debut. Before the flight commences, rookies partake in a preflight class where amateur aeronauts are guided through the jump. Exit through free fall, pulling the ripcord, piloting the canopy, and navigating a comfy landing are all well rehearsed before flight. Sky swans are lifted up to 10,000 feet in the air then jovially hurled into a 45-second, 120-mph free fall, with their coach harnessed behind them. At 5,500 feet, just as adrenaline has eaten any leftover acrophobia, the rookie pulls his or her own ripcord, starting the five- to seven-minute soothing descent to earth. Upon a soft, on-target landing, newly crowned paratroopers can purchase a video of their free fall, which is taped over a DVD copy of The Bucket List.
Located in the beautiful town of Winsted, just 30 miles from Minnetonka on Highway 7, Westside Skydivers is the closest skydiving drop zone to the Twin Cities and the western suburbs. First-time divers who develop a psychological addiction to descending to earth are invited back for future lessons, perhaps enrolling in advanced free-fall programs in which parachutes are replaced with bubblegum and pure gusto.
Prices vary between $210 on weekends and $189 on weekdays, which includes a nonrefundable $50 deposit (included in the price of the Groupon), so plan accordingly to get the most value.
- They took my mother on a tandem and we got to ride along as fun jumpers! Great atmosphere and spectacular views! This is a great place to jump – mrfalconfixer, Dropzone.com
- From the moment I arrived to the place, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They made me feel safe at all times, in an incredible experience. I can't believe I waited so long to do it. – fmazzoldi, Dropzone.com
After 13 years as a skydiver, Joseph Johnson leapt into a new mission: to become the first franchised skydiving operation in the country. With two locations in two states under his belt so far, he aims to rise above his competitors by offering distinctive features such as a choice of altitudes (13,000, 18,000, or 24,000 feet) and pre-jump training that equips skydivers with the ability to deploy, steer, and land their own chute, even when they’re flying tandem with a licensed instructor. Planes can carry as many as 17 people in one trip, making it ideal for group outings and airborne performances by jazz orchestras, and helmet cams capture the audio and visuals of the entire flight.