Have skydiving related questions? We dive into the most commonly asked questions around this life changing activity.
Beginners Guide to Skydiving
Skydiving Cost Information
- What weather can you skydive in?
Skydivers need fairly decent weather to make a skydive. Things like rain, wind, thick cloud cover, or extreme cold can all be cause to put a jump on hold. This is why sunny, temperate places like California are so popular for skydivers.
- Is skydiving safe?
The numbers prove that skydiving is a very safe activity. Currently there is an average fatality rate of ~1 in 150,000 skydives. Tandem jumping has an even better safety record with 1 fatality in every ~500,000 jumps.
- Is there an age limit to skydive?
In order to make a skydive you must be able to sign a legal waiver. Most commonly this makes the minimum age to skydive 18 years old. This holds true almost exclusively across the USA. On the upper end, almost any age may jump assuming the person is in good physical condition. If you're over 65 or have other concerns, it's best to call the dropzone you plan to jump at and talk it over first.
- How much does skydiving cost?
Tandem skydiving jumps run between $99 - 400 depending on the options. Jump tickets for experienced jumpers run between $15-30 per jump. We've covered this topic in depth in our skydiving pricing article
- Do you get the 'stomach drop' feeling when skydiving?
The forward movement of an airplane creates a cushion of wind that supports you as you jump. This causes you to leave an aircraft and immediately feel the resistance of the wind. With this, you do not get the dropping feeling in your stomach that you'd get if you jumped off a cliff into the water. You do get the stomach drop feeling when jumping from stationary aircraft like hot air balloons or hovering helicopters.
Tandem Skydiving Questions
- What is a tandem skydive?
A tandem skydive is when you wear a harness and are strapped to the front of a rated and trained tandem master. You are along for the ride as the pair of you make a full altitude skydive together. Tandem skydiving is the best way to make your first skydive.
- Is there a weight limit to make a tandem?
Most dropzones enforce a weight limit somewhere around 220-240lbs. The limit may depend on the size and shape of the jumper. These limits are in place to keep the jumper safe, not to discriminate.
- What clothing should I wear?
You should wear regular fitting clothing and close toed shoes on your tandem. Jeans, t-shirts, shoes that lace up tight are all perfect. You'll either be jumping in your clothes or wearing a jumpsuit over top. Avoid skirts, fancy clothing, sandals, or any clothing that is loose fitting.
- Can I wear my glasses or contacts?
Contacts and glasses are OK to jump with. If jumping with glasses, the facility you jump at will provide special goggles. If you can see decently without your glasses, especially if you are far sighted, it may be best to leave them on the ground.
- What forms of ID should I bring on jump day?
You'll need a valid ID card when you make your first jump. Most dropzones require a photo ID. For example a drivers license, state ID, or passport. Non-photo forms of identification like a social security card may not be accepted.
- Can I jump by myself the first time?
Almost universally, your first jump will be a tandem. If you are prepared to begin your training as an experienced skydiver, there are some dropzones that offer IAD classes. With this training, you may be able to make your first jump as a solo. Your parachute will open immediately out of the aircraft, so you won't get the experience of freefall. If you're looking for a single experience or to get both freefall and canopy flight, we suggest a tandem.
- Do I need to make reservations?
We always recommend making a reservation before you jump. There may be a chance to make a skydive by just showing up, but your chances are better if you arrange ahead.
- Can I be in freefall near my friends?
For safety, each tandem student will jump separately. You won't be able to be in freefall close to any other tandems.
- Can a group of friends jump together?
This is going to depend on the dropzone you jump at and the size of your group. Larger dropzones with larger planes can accommodate more jumpers at a time. This means you'd be able to have a group jump together on the same plane ride. Our dropzone database
outlines the types and sizes of planes at each dropzone. You can use this information to call ahead about your group.
- Can friends or family that aren't jumping come on the plane?
Non-jumpers generally can't come on the plane ride and not jump. Staying on the ground, they will be able to watch the entire process and see the parachute landing.
- Can I reschedule my appointment?
Most dropzones have a reschedule policy. Commonly, there is a cutoff for rescheduling. For example, you may have up until 72 hours before your jump day to reschedule. Check with the dropzone you're jumping at to confirm their policies.
- What happens if we can't jump due to weather?
If you're unable to jump on the day you're scheduled due to weather, your dropzone will work with you to reschedule or give a voucher to jump another day.
- I am afraid of heights. Is skydiving for me?
Once you exit an aircraft, you're thousands of feet above the ground. This distance makes it appear as if you're floating above a large map. The support of the wind feels like you're laying on an invisible mattress. Because of these large distances, people with a fear of heights can generally make a skydive without issue.
- How many parachutes does a skydiver carry?
A skydiver carries two parachutes with each jump: a main parachute and a reserve parachute.
- What happens if the parachute fails?
If the main parachute fails, it can be cut away using the 3-ring system. After the main parachute is cut away, the reserve parachute is opened. Skydivers are trained to open their main parachute high enough above the ground that they have plenty of time to cut away, open their reserve parachute, and land safely.
- Who packs the parachute?
The main parachute is packed by the skydiver or a trained parachute packer. The reserve parachute is packed by an FAA certified parachute rigger.
- How many times can a parachute be used?
A main parachute can be used many thousands of times as long as the lines and fabric are regularly maintained. A reserve parachute can be used as long as it is deemed safe to use by a parachute rigger.
- How does a parachute opening work?
A parachute opens when a small, round pilot chute is thrown or released. The parachute is held inside the container in a bag with the lines attached to the outside or in a small pocket on the bag. This small pilot chute pulls the parachute out of the container, off the skydiver's back. The pilot chute pulls the lines until they are extended. The parachute is then pulled from the bag and slowly inflates until it is fully opened.
- What happens if a skydiver doesn't pull their chute?
There are devices called Automatic Activation Devices (AAD's) that are programmed to open the reserve parachute at a specified altitude if the skydiver is still in freefall. All tandem parachute jumpers and most experienced skydivers use these devices.
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