Whether you’re a natural-born daredevil or a curious novice, extreme sports have a way of revealing life’s hidden thrills. White water rafting, high rope courses, and rock climbing are just a few of the many activities that will test your true courage. And while the challenges may feel daunting at times, the accomplishment of stepping outside of your comfort zone is always rewarding.
For those looking to brave these feats, the Garden State offers plenty of outdoor adventures, including many from the most lauded category— air sports. Skydiving, paragliding, and parasailing in New Jersey provide a window both into the adrenaline rushes of extreme sports and the beautiful Garden State scenery. So, to release your inner “air bender” or just to “wing it,” live the high life through these NJ air sports.
NJ Air Sports – Skydiving
Skydive Cross Keys | Williamstown, NJ
Skydiving takes the phrase “a leap of faith” to an entirely new level. It’s all about trust–– in your equipment, instructor, or nerves. At Skydive Cross Keys, established in 1994, many years of experience in free fall and tandem dives are integral to its reputation. Adventurers first climb into one of their 900-HP Super Grand Caravans, which hold 17 people, to begin the ascent. After about 10-minutes of flight, you’ll reach 13,500 feet––an exhilarating altitude to free fall from.
Then, the jump.
Beginners are paired with certified instructors in tandem dives, which is the standard skydive for inexperienced jumpers. First-time divers jump “in tandem” with a professional instructor, using a two-person harness attached to a parachute. After falling over 5,000 feet towards the scenic shoreline, a deployed parachute will sail jumpers towards the landing spot. Combining sight-seeing with adrenaline, Skydive Cross Keys is an excellent destination for your first free fall. And, with events during the summer season and reservations available nearly all year-round, there are plenty of opportunities to fly high.
Skydive East Coast | West Creek, NJ
The coastline of New Jersey is acclaimed for its cerulean waters, marine life, and sandy beaches. A popular summer destination, its pleasant scenery draws a crowd every year. To fully appreciate the Shore, visit West Creek’s Skydive East Coast. Advertising the best views on the East Coast, this skydiving destination offers jumps to visitors of nearly all ages.
For over 12 years, highly trained instructors have led skydivers in tandem jumps over the coastline. The free fall lasts over 30 seconds before beginning a four-to-six-minute descent by parachute. However, the thrill can last a lifetime through the purchase of their photo and video packages. Capture the moment or simply enjoy the flight––the choice is yours!
Skydive Sussex | Sussex, NJ
While skydiving is traditionally considered an activity for daredevils, it’s truly an experience for people of all ages and comfort levels. Yet, if you’re looking for a slightly longer rush, visit Skydive Sussex. Located in Sussex, New Jersey, this is the highest skydive in the Northeast. At 14,500 feet, Skydive Sussex’s free fall lasts 60 seconds––giving divers plenty of time to appreciate the scenery and exhilaration. Home to one of the world’s oldest skydivers, Kenny Meyer, Sussex Skydive offers specialized tandem instructors, videographers, riggers, and packers.
See the NYC skyline, High Point monument, and rolling countryside during your skydive and five-to-seven minute canopy ride to the landing zone. To complete your experience, purchase a video or photo package. Packages include fully edited videos and a thumb drive of 50 to 100 pictures.
iFly Indoor Skydiving | Paramus, NJ
Admittedly, leaping from a plane can feel daunting. If you’re too wary to board a flight but still looking to experience the action, visit iFly Indoor Skydiving. This indoor facility is one of many throughout the U.S. and provides an insight into the world of air sports. Perfect for parties, team-building exercises, or even learning advanced stunts, iFly caters to ages three to 103.
The flying chamber utilizes the recirculation of wind tunnels to elevate people, simulating flying. Since its creation, new sports––including the rapidly growing bodyflying––have grown in popularity. Depending on your flight package, guests can enjoy a variety of public and private experiences. iFly offers group, personal, and youth coaching with trained instructors. For those feeling hesitant about skydiving, iFly is an excellent air sport alternative.
Garden State Skydiving | Pittstown, NJ
There’s no speed limit when you’re free falling at Garden State Skydiving. Fly more than 120 miles per hour towards the Delaware River, Spruce Run Lakes, and beautiful Frenchtown to release your inhibitions. After a 20-minute plane ride, thrill-seekers skydive right above the Delaware Valley for a beautiful mirage of scenery. The five-to-eight minute parachute descent afterward gives a blissful, breathtaking coast towards the landing zone.
Weekend packages are available for any group size. Guests may also purchase a photo, video, or combination package. These include a complete video of your dive and 60 to 90 photos.
NJ Air Sports – Paragliding and Parasailing
Point Pleasant Parasail | Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Sailing over the ocean isn’t always done in boats. At Point Pleasant Parasail, a popular tourist destination at Point Pleasant Beach, enjoy an entirely new view of the Shore. This parasailing location allows visitors to peacefully coast above the water’s surface in solo, double, and triple flights. Using a 500-foot rope, the parasail ascends far above the Atlantic Ocean. Though it may seem daunting at first, these trips are remarkably calm and relaxing.
The entire adventure takes about an hour. Passengers board a boat and, once at sea, take turns flying over the ocean. Flights last about 10 minutes and offer photo packages to capture the experience. While reservations are recommended, they are not required.
Hang Loose Parasail | Wildwood, NJ
If you’ve ever dreamt of riding a hot air balloon, visit Hang Loose Parasail in Wildwood. A tranquil flight above the ocean, this parasail lets guests drift hundreds of feet in the air. The parasails allow visitors to either sit solo, in pairs, or in triples for a modified experience. For timeless memories, try Hang Loose Parasail’s video and photo package, which includes GoPro footage.
A U.S. Coast Guard Certified captain and crew direct your experience. And, if you’re more interested in experiencing parasailing vicariously, the company also offers observer tickets. For a breeze through the wind or optional dip in the ocean, this is an ideal summer activity. Book tickets online to secure a spot!
Atlantic Parasail | Wildwood Crest, NJ
The Ocean Pro 35’ Parasailing Boats were designed for summer fun. To experience their capabilities yourself, check out Atlantic Parasail in Wildwood Crest. Operating since 1987, this parasailing crew has completed over 200,000 flights on their US Coast Guard inspected vessels. Available for everyone ages six and above, this parasailing experience captures scenic views of Cape May, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood.
The 500-foot tethers dangle visitors 350 feet above the water’s surface. During your 10-12 minute flight, capture the moments through the photo and GoPro package, which includes the use of a GoPro Hero 4 Aerial Camera. Given the destination’s popularity, it is highly encouraged to book reservations online.
NJ Air Sports – Honorable Mention
Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park | South Hackensack, NJ
Skydiving from a plane or gliding over the ocean aren’t the only ways to put some wind in your sails. For an exciting day of challenges without the adrenaline of a free fall or parasail, visit Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park. This trampoline park offers courses and exercises for people of all ages.
Climbing walls, warrior courses, battle beams, and performance trampolines are among the hidden gems at this park. Scale the rock walls or test your reflexes on the agility courses. With parks across North America, Urban Air Trampoline has plenty to offer adventurers, acrobats, and athletes alike.
Feature image courtesy of Kamil Pietrzak.
Have you tried any NJ Air Sports? Tell us about your experience in the comments!