Adventurous souls often yearn to push their boundaries to achieve the ultimate thrill. Skydiving is exactly that – a heart-pounding adventure that gives those thrill-seekers a chance to leap from great heights, fly free through the sky, and take in the serenity as they glide back down to Earth. Yet, a common question persists: Do you have to be physically fit to skydive? Skydiving is technically a sport, which means it requires a bit of physical fitness.
At Long Island Skydiving Center, we believe in the importance of preparation; which is why we’ve compiled a list of skydiving weight and physical fitness requirements, and even some skydiver exercises that you can do to get ready for your big day!
Skydiving Weight Requirement
Skydiving is a physically demanding activity that requires a certain level of fitness to ensure both safety and comfort. One crucial aspect that all aspiring skydivers should consider is the skydiving weight limit. The weight limit for tandem skydiving varies depending on the skydiving center and the specific equipment they use. Generally, most skydiving centers have a weight limit between 200 and 260 lbs for tandem jumps.
At Long Island Skydiving Center, our weight limit is 225 lbs for people who are height-to-weight proportionate. If you are over 200 lbs, we ask that you contact us before making a reservation so we can best accommodate you!
Why is there a weight requirement? As much as we would love for everyone to experience skydiving, what’s more important to us is that everyone is safe! The gear we use is tested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and issued a Technical Standard Order (TSO), which includes the maximum weight that the parachute and harness can safely endure — exceeding the TSO limits can result in malfunctions of the gear.
Keep in mind that there is the weight of TWO people to be considered on a tandem skydiving rig, and having a lot of weight underneath the canopy can make it extremely difficult for the tandem instructor to operate the parachute properly to ensure a safe landing. Height to weight proportion is important when it comes to proper harness fit, which is absolutely crucial for tandem student comfort and security when fastening to the proper attachment points corresponding to your instructor’s harness.
We promise it is not our intention to place judgment or discriminate — it is simply because we care and want you and your instructor to be safe.
Skydiving Physical Fitness Requirement
When making a tandem skydive, you will play an active role in your skydiving experience. Tandem students must be able to;
- Crouch / Kneel: Whether you’re boarding the aircraft or shimmying towards the open door on exit, crouching and kneeling will become a popular movement while on your skydiving journey.
- Arch Your Back: The stable bodyflight position requires a bit of flexibility and pressure on the lower back as you push your hips forward, keep your chin up, and arch your back.
- Ability to Follow Directions: Along with physical fitness, you’ll also need the cognitive ability to follow directions given to you by the tandem instructor to ensure the safety of all.
- Lift Legs for Landing: As you approach the landing area, your instructor will ask you to lift your legs for landing. This requires a good bit of core strength as you’re essentially performing a leg raise.
While skydiving may not appear to be a super strenuous activity, being in good shape certainly helps by giving you the confidence to perform the necessary maneuvers for a comfortable skydive. Luckily, there are certain skydiver exercises you can engage in that will condition your body to handle the physical fitness requirements while on your skydiving adventure. Improving your strength and flexibility can make a remarkable difference in how you feel during and after the jump. Here is our skydiver’s workout guide:
- Cardio: Skydiving involves a lot of adrenaline-pumping excitement, followed by periods of calm gliding. Cardio exercises such as running, swimming, or cycling; can boost your heart and lung health, helping your body handle the ebbs and flows that experiencing the thrill of skydiving can bring about.
- Core Strength: A strong core contributes significantly to the stability and control during freefall and the parachute ride. Planks, leg raises, and rotational exercises build the core strength that will assist you in maintaining a good freefall body position and making it easier to lift your legs when it comes time to land the parachute.
- Flexibility and Mobility: Skydiving requires a range of motion to maintain the proper freefall “arch” body position. Incorporating some stretching and yoga into your routine will enhance your flexibility and mobility, making it easier for you to get into that arch position for a comfortable freefall flight!
- Muscular Endurance: While the initial freefall may feel exhilarating, you might not even notice the work your muscles are putting in to maintain stability because of all that adrenaline pumping through your veins. Some people actually feel sore after their skydive because their body is experiencing movements that they’ve never felt before — I mean, how often do humans fly, right!? Building muscular endurance through bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, or circuit training can help you stay steady and make for a quick recovery following your skydive.
- Breathing Techniques: Practicing deep and controlled breathing not only enhances relaxation but will also help in managing anxiety before and during the jump. Breathing exercises can help you stay focused and maintain a clear mind as you take the leap.
While you don’t need to be an elite athlete to enjoy the thrill of skydiving, being physically fit definitely has its perks. Long Island Skydiving Center places a strong emphasis on safety and adherence to weight limits to ensure that participants can fully immerse themselves in the joys of skydiving without worry. Investing some time in physical preparation for your skydive will not only elevate your experience, but you’ll feel good about yourself too!
Have more questions? Reach out to our team for any questions or special accommodations. Blue skies.