Is There A Skydiving Age Limit?

Monday, April 15, 2024

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a skydiving age limit, the answer is—well—a bit nuanced. While there’s no specific age limit for skydiving, there is a minimum age requirement that you are going to need to meet before you can take that thrilling leap into the sky.

Whether you’re a teenager eager to soar through the clouds, or an adult looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, when it comes to the question of ‘how old,’ skydiving is accessible to people across a broad age group. 

Curious to measure your age against the must-be-this-tall-to-ride bar? Cool. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of age requirements for skydiving—and clue you in on what you need to know before embarking on this high-flying journey.

Minimum Age to Skydive in the US

Let’s get one unfortunate piece of information out of the way from the start: there are minimum age restrictions on skydiving. Now, that age does vary from country to country, but for United States Parachute Association (USPA) member dropzones in the US, you have to be at least 18 years old to go skydiving. 

The reason for this comes down to equipment and safety. Skydiving equipment manufacturers have very strict rules around how their gear can be used to ensure the equipment functions properly. While tandem harnesses are highly adjustable to fit a variety of body shapes and sizes, that range is designed to encompass adult-sized people. Teens and small children wouldn’t be able to properly fit into the harness. 

Additionally, the age of majority in the US (aka the age you can officially sign a legally binding document) is 18 years old, so you can’t technically agree to the assumption of risk disclosure until you turn that magical age. 

Smiling tandem student steers canopy.

What is the Maximum Age for Skydiving?

And now for the good news: there isn’t a maximum age to skydive! Once you’re old enough to legally make decisions for yourself, you can partake in high-flying adventures to your heart’s content. 

So, is 70 too old to skydive? Nope. Can a 90-year-old do a parachute jump? Yep. Wait, can you skydive at 100 years old?? If you’re keen and able, absolutely! You can never be too old to jump out of an airplane! And there are plenty of people who enjoy skydiving even into their hundreds. 

In fact, numerous age-related clubs and records are part of skydiving culture! 

Skydiving Age Records 

The current world record for oldest skydiver belongs to Al Blaschke, a 106-year-old World War II veteran who broke the record for oldest skydiver in November of 2023! And, possibly the most famous person to defy the age stereotype by jumping out of an airplane, former President George Bush made tandem skydives for both his 80th and 90th birthdays. 

But it’s not just these newsworthy spectacles that represent age diversity in the sport. Every day, there are licensed skydivers of all ages who take to the skies and live out their dream of human flight. Groups such as Parachutists Over Phorty (POPS), Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS), and Jumpers Over Seventy (JOS) offer community and exciting opportunities for experienced jumpers of all generations. 

One man in particular, Pat Moorehead, completed 80 jumps in one day to celebrate his 80th birthday! 

Two young skydivers pose beside plane at WNY Skydiving

Health Considerations

Even if you’re plenty old enough to meet the 18-year-old age restriction for skydiving, there are some skydiving health requirements to consider no matter your age, especially for our skydiving seniors. Let’s break it down: 

  • Functional Cardiac Health: Skydiving is a heart-pumping experience! The adrenaline rush is real, and your heart will feel it. It is incredibly important to have a clean bill of health for skydiving. We cannot take someone who needs supplemental oxygen or is on an array of medications that may inhibit the safety of the jump. 
  • Mobility: We jump from modified airplanes that require the ability to climb inside (very similar to climbing into a kids jungle gym), pull in your legs as you exit the aircraft, and lift your legs on landing. You’ll also need to be able to hold an arch position during freefall to help keep everything falling smoothly. 
  • Mental Faculty: This is important because tandems aren’t just a thrill ride. They are an interactive experience that you are very much a part of. The ability to follow directions under pressure is important. 
  • Blood Pressure: Those with high blood pressure are at higher risk of complications during the increased stress levels and decreased oxygen involved in skydiving. Normal blood pressure is the name of the game for activities that get your blood pumping, like skydiving. 

The best approach if you are unsure of your ability to go skydiving is to reach out to a medical professional and discuss the risks before deciding to jump. 

Skydiving Alternatives

Whether you’re too young to skydive just yet or you’re not sure skydiving is a fit for you due to health or fitness concerns, there are other options to still get your flying fix! 

The indoor wind tunnel is a great alternative that is as close to the real thing as you can get. You’ll learn the same arch body position that skydivers use in the air and utilize it to fly your body in the artificial wind of the tunnel. You’ll even get to hover several feet in the air with the help of a licensed tunnel instructor! 

Other alternatives include things like hang gliding, fixed-wing gliders, or even just taking a ride in a smaller airplane to get a sense of what things are like when you’re intimate with the sky! 

Are you ready to cash in your age card and experience the privilege of skydiving? Book your jump with us and let us show you our playground. Blue skies!

Follow WNY Online

Get news and updates in your inbox!