Skydiving Requirements

Friday, March 29, 2024

Sure, skydiving is a fun and exciting adventure, but there’s a lot more to making a skydive than you might think. Certain skydiving requirements must be met before you can be cleared to jump out of an airplane. And it involves more than just having the money to make it happen

For instance, some of the main skydiving rules cover things like the skydiving weight limit and the skydiving age limit, as well as answers to questions like: 

  • How strong do you have to be to skydive? More mentally strong than anything, though there is an element of physical ability required.  
  • How old do you have to be to skydive? 18 … but more on that later
  • How many jumps do you need to skydive solo? It depends on the dropzone, but WNY Skydiving requires at least two tandem jumps before you can begin jumping your own parachute in our student program

Read on to learn about all of the rules and requirements you’ll need to meet before you can get in (and out of) our airplanes!



The age requirement is one of the most common questions people have about going skydiving. The answer depends on where you’re planning on making your jump, but almost all dropzones in the US require a person to be at least 18 years old to jump out of an airplane. 

The reason for this is that the United States Parachute Association (USPA) requires that skydivers be a minimum of 18 years old – which is the minimum skydive age limit for everybody, whether they are tandem skydiving or learning to skydive by themselves. All USPA member dropzones are required to follow this regulation. 

There is no upper age limit, though! It’s never too late to have some excitement in your life, and there are plenty of examples of that in our sport. Even former President George Bush made a skydive for his 90th birthday! And the current record for the oldest person to complete a tandem skydive was an incredible 106 years old when he made his 2023 jump!     

Height & Weight

Is there a weight limit in skydiving? This is another one of the most popular questions people have about skydiving. There is a weight limit, and it’s an exceedingly important matter of safety.

All skydiving equipment is tested under rigorous conditions to determine the limits of safety and how much weight it can handle. These limits are then strictly enforced by equipment manufacturers, dropzone owners, and instructors. Tandem rigs typically accommodate about 500 pounds, including the weight of the instructor, the student, and the 50+ pounds of gear you jump with. Parachute equipment is life-saving stuff – you don’t want to push it.

Limits are affected by the fit of the tandem skydiving harness on an individual as well. A person’s height-to-weight ratio makes a big difference in how the tandem harness will fit in terms of safety and comfort.

Skydiving weight limits are in the same ballpark from dropzone to dropzone, but they may vary by a few pounds here and there. At WNY Skydiving, our weight limit is 235 pounds, and you must be proportionate in height to weight.

A lot of dropzones will weigh you before skydiving, especially if you are in the vicinity of the limit. This is not intended to discriminate against or shame anyone – it’s all about the safety of everyone involved.   


Health & Fitness

You don’t have to be a fitness guru to go skydiving, as gravity (and your instructor) does almost all the heavy lifting. However, a decent level of physical fitness is generally a good idea. 

Skydiving isn’t just an amusement park ride – you’ll be an active participant in every aspect of your jump and will need to be able to move and respond to your instructor’s instructions. You’ll find yourself in positions that you’ve never been in before, and you might even get a chance to help your instructor steer the parachute. All of these things require some level of body awareness and physical capability. 

Some medical conditions may exclude people from jumping. The adrenaline that comes with jumping out of an airplane puts your heart through the ringer, and if you’re someone who has heart issues, you may want to assess if skydiving is the right thing for you. 

Back, neck, and knee problems can also preclude you from being able to jump out of an airplane because of the force exerted on those areas of your body during parachute opening and landing.

If you have any health concerns, talk to a medical professional before booking your jump.

Drugs & Alcohol

This one’s straightforward: no drugs or alcohol while skydiving. 

Drugs and alcohol take away from the skydiving experience. The wonderful thing about jumping out of an airplane is the extreme mental focus, clarity, and empowerment that comes with being fully present in the moment. You don’t want to be fuzzy-minded, groggy, or dizzy when you’re trying to enjoy one of the best experiences of your life. 

And the effect that drugs and alcohol have on the brain makes jumping under the influence unsafe. Even with your instructor in charge of all the important parts, you still need to be able to participate and follow their instructions. Anything that dulls your senses or slows your reaction time puts you in an unsafe situation. 

At WNY Skydiving, we have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol.  

Clothing & Footwear

The best thing to wear for skydiving is an outfit you would wear to the gym. Comfortable, flexible clothing will allow you to nail every position and be comfy during your jump. The most important part is that the clothing isn’t overly loose, overly restrictive, or feature extraneous elements that could become a snag hazard.   

Correct footwear is particularly important. Shoes that lace up tightly are best. No heels, boots, open toes, slip-ons, or shoes with hooks.

Have questions? Check out our FAQs or call the dropzone – we’re here to support you. And when you’re confident that you check all the skydiving requirement boxes, come jump with us! We can’t wait to have you. Blue skies!

Follow WNY Online

Get news and updates in your inbox!