How Old Do You Have To Be To Go Skydiving?
1 month ago
Skydiving is an exciting adventure at just about any age! The skydiving age limit varies a bit across the globe, but in the United States 18 is the firm minimum age for skydiving. Most people choose to make their first jump a tandem skydive, which most dropzones actually require. Although not being able to skydive until you’re 18 can be a bit of a bummer, it just leaves more time for the anticipation to build!
There are a few reasons for the age requirement, and all decisions made in the skydiving world are done with safety at the forefront. Let’s jump into it!
WHAT IS TANDEM SKYDIVING?
Tandem skydiving is the act of two people — an instructor and a student (novice) — jumping from an airplane. Tandem skydiving was invented to allow everyday people to experience the freedom that skydiving offers, and acts as an awesome introduction to the sport.
Why do many dropzones require one or two tandems prior to solo jumping? Like we said … safety! Doing a tandem jump allows you to experience the entirety of the skydive with minimal training. When jumping tandem, you will be able to determine how you will feel in the airplane, in freefall, under the parachute, and while landing. Tandem skydiving is not just a ride along, it’s a great learning experience.
CAN YOU SKYDIVE FOREVER?
Once you’ve crossed the threshold into adulthood and turned 18, you’re free to skydive for the rest of your days! If it’s going to be your 18th birthday and your grandma’s 80th, a couple skydiving gift certificates might be in order!
There are even groups that honor our senior jumpers, such as Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS), who just crushed two world records in skydiving! We encourage all ages to come and jump with us! If you’re worried about your physical state, or if you have any health concerns such as high blood pressure or heart issues, getting the go-ahead from the doctor prior to jumping is a must!
WHY IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT FOR SKYDIVING?
There’s an age restriction on skydiving because it’s required by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) — of which Long Island Skydiving Center is a member — and because skydiving gear is typically made for adults. You’re considered an adult at 18, so 18 it is!
- The great U S of A has implemented jurisdiction that makes 18 the magic number where everything changes! When someone in the States turns 18 years old, they’re able to enlist in the military, vote in elections, get a tattoo without parental consent, and much more. Similar to these important decisions, the choice to make a skydive requires you to sign a waiver acknowledging the risk you’re about to take. Don’t freak out, similar waivers are used when people go white water rafting or rent a paddleboard! That being said, skydiving is an extreme sport that inherently carries risk (and, as such, super sophisticated safety measures). Millions of people enjoy soaring through the skies with their parachutes and best pals every year.
- Most manufacturers of skydiving equipment require that those using their gear are at least 18 years of age. Why? Liability! Would you be comfortable on a roller coaster if the amusement ride worker didn’t make sure your seatbelt was nice and snug? Yeah, neither would we! In order to have a successful skydive, it is critical that you are securely fastened to your instructor — which is why they will be double checking this throughout the entirety of the jump!
WHAT DOES THE USPA HAVE TO SAY?
The USPA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are our governing bodies. They know all there is to know about the skydiving and aviation world, and they deem that having minors (anyone under 18 go skydiving) is a no-go. If a USPA-rated tandem instructor violates this regulation, they would be putting their jump career in jeopardy, which is something they wouldn’t dare risk (#skydivingislife)!
CAN I PRACTICE BEFORE I TURN 18?
Lucky for you, young skydiver, a genius invention called a vertical wind tunnel is ready to help you prep for the sky! A wind tunnel contains a controlled (and fast) flow of air that is used to stimulate a real skydive. While shredding in the tunnel is not the same thing as the sky, it is a fantastic tool to determine if you would like the sensation of skydiving! Most wind tunnels will fly with kiddos as young as three years old, making indoor skydiving a fun activity for the entire family.
We would also like to note that if you’re on the cusp of 18 and wanting to see what skydiving culture is all about, you can come and hang out at the dropzone! Talk with skydivers about why they love the sport and watch people swoop in all day long — you can’t beat it.
I’M 18, HOW CAN I PREPARE?
Congrats! We’re stoked that you’ve decided to skydive!! Preparing for your skydive is relatively straightforward: get a good night’s rest, show up on time, stay hydrated and eat moderately, dress appropriately, and listen to your instructor!
Are you the big 1-8 or older and ready to experience the hype? At Long Island Skydiving Center, tandem skydiving is our speciality and we can’t wait to have you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Blue skies!