OCEANSIDE — If skydiving is on your bucket list, Oceanside Municipal Airport is now the spot you can do it.
Tsunami Skydivers Incorporated moved in to the airport in June and is open for experienced and novice jumpers.
Rich Grimm, president of Tsunami Skydivers, said skydiving is all about the view.
“It’s visually stunning in Oceanside,” Grimm said. “The view is incredible. We’re the closest skydiving company to California beaches.”
Grimm added the sunny weather, mild winds and cloudless skies make Oceanside a perfect location.
Tsunami Skydivers takes up a group of 14 jumpers at a time and in its peak summer season can serve 300 skydivers a day.
The company plane flies a right hand pattern that is safely away form other airport traffic. Before the 13,000-foot jump, skydivers get a scenic view of the coastline, then the plane circles back and skydivers jump into a 14-acre landing area in the corner of the airport.
A novice jumper can take a tandem jump with a certified instructor. A brief safety and procedures lesson is given before the jump to prepare first-time skydivers.
Then jumpers are geared up and board the plane.
The initial part of the jump is a free fall, then at 5,000 feet the buddy instructor opens the chute. A video and photo of the jump are available for purchase.
“The free fall is the best part,” Grimm said. “You’re suspended in the atmosphere. It’s like nothing you ever experienced before. In skydiving there are no fences or trees going by you. You don’t have the sensation of going 120 miles per hour. You accelerate gradually. It’s an amazing freedom.”
Jumpers must be age 18 or older and in good physical health to skydive.
Grimm said most first-time clients are ages 25 to 45.
He added that people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy skydiving.
“I’ve never seen a happier group of people than skydivers,” Grimm said. “People travel around the world to go skydiving. They become hooked and then it becomes a way of life.”
An experienced skydiver can bring their license, skydiving log and equipment and after an OK and equipment check they can board the plane with fellow skydivers and enjoy a solo jump.