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Long Island Skydiving Center Posted by: Long Island Skydiving Center 4 weeks ago

“Is there a weight limit for skydiving?” This is one of the most common questions we get! The skydiving weight limit is a hot topic when it comes to tandem skydiving. ​​First and most importantly – we want everyone to experience skydiving. Introducing new people to freefall is what we do and excluding anyone for any reason is not by choice. However, there is indeed a tandem skydiving weight limit. 

Skydive Long Island’s Weight limit is 250 pounds for height-to-weight proportional people. While it is potentially possible to skydive if you are a little over this weight, careful consideration must be taken for it to happen. Keep reading to learn all about skydiving weight requirements and why we have them! 

Do You Have to Be Physically Fit to Skydive

What Does the Weight Limit Really Mean?

The weight limit is ultimately set as a matter of safety. So many factors go into planning and executing a tandem skydive, and having strict parameters help keep everything running smoothly. Adhering to the weight limit helps to keep our equipment functioning properly, our airplanes flying at optimum performance, and our customers and instructors comfortable. 

While straightforward poundage is important to the weight limit, one of the other driving factors actually has more to do with body proportions. Skydiving gear manufacturers have developed a harness advanced enough that a single, adjustable harness will work for most customers. And while they have a pretty varied size range, they only adjust so much. 

Someone who is 6’2” and 200 lbs is going to have a very different body than someone who is 5’ and 200 lbs, and that will impact how they fit into the skydiving harness. If you’re unsure about your eligibility to jump, feel free to give us a call and talk through your unique situation! 

Equipment Restrictions

Inside Long Island Skydiving

The equipment used for skydiving is carefully maintained to an extremely high standard – and is designed through extensive research and development related to its very specific use. The harness systems and parachutes used for tandem skydiving are manufactured with a balance between excellent safety parameters and practical usability. 

Tandem skydiving equipment is designed to perform in the specific conditions of sport parachuting, and to achieve peak function with the vast average of people who use it. A harness needs to be comfortable and quick to apply, a parachute needs to fit into a backpack sized container, and the whole caboodle of people and parachutes must fit into a fairly small airplane to make things run as a business.

But even when accounting for the extreme high and low of that average, there will be people who fall outside of those parameters. Equipment manufacturers actually place strict regulations on the use of their gear based on the extensive research they do. And if a dropzone wants to use that equipment, they must abide by those rules and regulations. 

Aircraft Performance

The reason behind the weight restriction goes beyond equipment safety. Weight and balance is crucial to successful airplane flight, and discipline in adhering to those rules is extremely important. We have to consider the total weight of our skydiving passengers for the same reason commercial airlines weigh and restrict baggage for their customers. 

skydiving freefalling above long island

An airplane can only carry as much of a load to altitude as it can safely carry. Each airplane is designed and constructed to carry a certain amount of weight, and that weight must also be balanced inside the cabin of the plane.

The weight of each individual in the plane must be taken into consideration and planned for in order to achieve the perfect weight and balance on each load. These just-enough-but-not-too-much parameters mean that the weight limits in place are not some arbitrary number to exclude those who carry a little more weight around – they are very precise and important calculations that impact safety and daily operations.

The Human Element

All told, you will be spending a decent amount of time in your tandem harness. Sure, it needs to be snug and secure, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. And to achieve that perfect middle ground, it needs to fit right. 

You need to be in a harness that feels good and doesn’t pinch – not only for the actual skydive, but from start to finish. Your instructor will get you geared up a short time before boarding the airplane, and you’ll be in that harness until a little bit after you land. You’ll be walking around on the ground, sitting in the airplane, arching in freefall, and dangling under canopy – all very different positions! The harness should fit you well enough that you can comfortably perform all of them. Another part of why we adhere to weight limits is to look after our instructor team. Our tandem instructors jump a lot and are responsible for guiding their passengers gently onto the ground every time. While it is possible, landings with people over the limit can get tricky, which puts pressure on our team. It’s also unsafe to create an environment that could over-fatigue or injure our instructors. Our team is a friendly bunch and we want them to stay that way!

Have you met a weight loss goal and want to celebrate with us? Book a skydive and let’s fly!

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