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Skydiving Lingo to Learn Before A Tandem Jump


“Blue skies man! I got some great footie during that hop and pop I just took and everything was smooth under canopy!”

This is just one example of the lingo you might hear as you enter the world of skydiving and sign up for your first tandem jump. Like any sports or activity culture, skydiving has its own jargon attached. If you are curious about skydiving culture or want to get educated before your first skydive, check out this skydiving lingo translation guide from Skydive The Gulf.

Blue Skies:

You’ll probably hear “blue skies” within an hour of being at skydive drop zone. Similar to “aloha,” skydivers say “blue skies” as a familiar greeting when they come and go. Sharing these words is also a great way to connect with skydivers from across the sport, as “blue skies” symbolizes the open and friendly nature of skydiving. Blue skies, my friends!


Flaring is when you brake your canopy to slow it down, resulting in a decreased rate of descent as you get closer to the ground. When you do a tandem skydive, you won’t need to worry about flare because your instructor has it covered. It is helpful to know, though, because it explains why you land on the ground at a reasonable speed even though you have been falling for 10,500 feet!

Hop and Pop:

This is a term you probably will not need to worry about when you complete a tandem skydive, as it refers to jumping from a very low altitude, usually 3,500 feet, and deploying your parachute as soon as possible. There might be skydivers on your load (plane), though, who jump out earlier, and chances are they are trying to earn more jump numbers for their license or want to practice landing accuracy.


PLF is an acronym meaning “parachute landing fall.” It is a much safer way to fall, as you fall on your side rather than toppling face-forward.

Sunset Load:

A sunset load is the last plane load of the day, which explains the name “sunset.” At Skydive the Gulf, our sunset packages are especially incredible because you get a sunset view of the entire Gulf Coast and a beach landing into Pensacola, Florida. If you thought beach sunsets were pretty, just wait until you’re soaring in the sky as the sun fades while skydiving in Alabama or Florida.


Swooping is usually a trick that professional skydivers use to make their landings more exciting. It involves approaching the landing zone very quickly, but then “swooping” up at the last minute for a smooth, safe landing.

When you come to Skydive the Gulf, we promise to not speak entirely in skydiving lingo. We will welcome you into our drop zone and provide you with all the safety and entertainment you expect from tandem skydiving. Plus, you can hop on a sunset load to and take advantage of a video and picture package to capture the life-changing experience. Experience blue skies and contact Skydive The Gulf!

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