Top 7 Skydiving Stunts

Thursday, November 30, 2023

As if jumping out of an airplane miles above the earth isn’t enough, skydivers love to spice up their time in the air with skydiving tricks worthy of the silver screen. Professional skydivers and casual enthusiasts alike are always looking for new ways to make their jumps exciting and fresh. 

Achieving the highest skydive is popular among top skydiving stunts, and skydiving with props and putting on seemingly death-defying shows for spectators is commonplace at dropzones across the world. When it comes to aerial stunts, there’s something for everyone! There are plenty of entertaining ways to elevate your skydive, from the most intricately planned skydiving stunts to goofy fun with friends. 

Whether you’re a professional skydiver or weekend warrior, this list of stunts will get you stoked for a skydiving season full of social media-worthy aerial achievements. 

Group of licensed skydivers in a hybrid skydiving formation.

Skydiving Licenses

Before we get into all the exciting things skydivers can do in the air, it’s important to understand that the sport of skydiving is highly regulated and extremely safety-oriented. You don’t have free reign to do any crazy skydiving stunt you can dream up just because you got your skydiving license. 

There are multiple different skydiving licenses and certifications a skydiver can earn, and each one comes with its own set of privileges. Let’s take a look at what you can do with each USPA (United States Parachute Association) license, and then we’ll get to the fun stuff!

  • A License: This is the most basic license and the first level you achieve off-student skydiving status. The A license is your pass to jump with other licensed skydivers. 
  • B License: This license signifies that you’ve got a little experience under your belt, but that your wings are still fresh. At this level, you’re able to make night jumps and take the USPA Coach rating course once you reach 100 jumps. 
  • C License: Now you’re getting somewhere. C license holders are no longer considered new skydivers and can do things like take the USPA AFF Instructor rating course and participate in some demonstration jumps. You’re also able to wear a camera on jumps and learn to wingsuit once you reach 200 jumps, which lines up with C license requirements. 
  • D License: This license is a mark of respect and shows that you know your stuff. You can take the USPA Tandem Instructor rating course with a D license and the sky’s the limit for what you can do. Of course, some stunts are subject to dropzone and USPA approval. 

The good news is that there are amazing skydiving stunts for any skill level. Whether you have an A or a D license, you can find something crazy fun to raise the stakes on your next skydive. 

World Records

Taking part in world record attempts is perhaps the most official stunt available to skydivers. These events are highly organized and sanctioned. They require individual qualifications or invitations, official judges, and documentation. In other words, world records are a big deal. 

Records are broken down into different categories like discipline, age, and gender. In fact, there are records for every skydiving discipline, including belly flying, freeflying, wingsuiting, and canopy flight. And as skydiving grows, so do the opportunities for new records. 

There are also other records available for those jumpers who aren’t quite at the world record level yet. State records are a great place to start if you want to work your way up to the big time, and you can even get a naked skydiving record through a group called SANS (Society for the Advancement of Naked Skydiving.


By inflatables, we mean exactly what you’re thinking: pool toys! People do indeed jump out of airplanes while holding onto inflatables of all shapes and sizes. Some jumps entail each skydiver having their own individual inflatable and other jumps are a group affair! 

Inflatables can be used to create a theme for the jump or maybe the point is just to look as silly as possible. You can ride them, hang from them, or, as often happens, wrestle with them to try to get the darn inflatable to fly right. 

Perhaps the most famous version of an inflatable jump is the raft skydive. A raft skydive entails a group of skydivers sitting inside an inflatable raft while even more skydivers hang onto the outside of the raft to keep it stable. And if you really pull it off, the skydivers inside can even make a rowing motion to look like they are in water! 

Destination Skydives

Skydiving in breathtaking locations is becoming more and more popular, for obvious reasons. One of the best parts of jumping out of an airplane is the view. So why wouldn’t you want to skydive over the best views on the planet? 

Most of the time, a person or dropzone will organize an official event, called a boogie, at one of these incredible destinations. Some of them happen at the same place every year, and others move around from event to event. A lot of skydivers actually “collect” destination boogies and have location bucket lists. 

Some of the most popular skydiving destinations are the Pyramids of Egypt, Mount Everest, The Palm Islands of Dubai, and pretty much any tropical island big enough to land on. 

Go Higher

Skydivers can never get enough time in freefall. The feeling of freefall is the main reason many of us jump out of airplanes, and it’s never long enough. It’s what keeps us coming back again and again … and again. 

Higher altitude means longer freefall, so it stands to reason that skydivers would push their exit altitudes higher and higher. So high, in fact, that the highest skydive ever was almost from space. 

Bold skydivers searching for that ultimate high have been pushing the upper boundary of altitude since the 1950s. The most famous among them are Joe Kittenger, Felix Baumgartner, and Alan Eustace, but there have been others lost to history as well. These jumps required highly scientific planning, enormous support teams, and specially designed equipment to keep them safe in their endeavors, so skydives like that don’t happen too often. 

But there are more normal high altitude skydives that are accessible to the everyday skydiver. HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jumps happen from around 20,000 feet and only require skydivers to wear oxygen in the airplane. These are much more accessible and are a nice treat for skydivers looking for a little more of that sweet, sweet freefall. 

Demo Jumps

Let’s face it, a lot of skydivers love attention. It goes with that whole adrenaline junkie thing. And there are stunts in skydiving that are perfect for just that. Many people’s first introduction to skydiving is seeing jumpers land at an event like a sporting event, an airshow, or a party. These skydives are called demonstration or exhibition jumps, and are often executed by teams formed specifically for that purpose. 

Demo jumps have been seen at events as big as the Olympics, and the Denver Broncos even have their very own designated skydiving demo team that jumps into their home games. They’re actually the only such demo team in the NFL. 

But demo jumps don’t only happen at the highest level. Individual dropzones will often have their own group of demo jumpers who jump into local events around the dropzone. Birthday parties, county and state fairs, and fundraisers are all common locations for demo jumps that are perfect for local demo jumpers. 

wingsuit skydiver

On Fire

Ah fire, a staple of skydiving culture. Fire is the thing that brings us all together at the end of a long day of sharing the sky. The bonfire is where skydivers learn some of the most important lessons, hear outrageous tales of times gone by, and rub shoulders with legends.

So it’s no wonder that we’d find a way to incorporate fire into our actual skydives. You’re probably thinking that fire sounds like the last thing you’d want anywhere near you while you’re plummeting toward the earth at 120 mph, and you’d be right. But skydivers are creative, and some have found a way to include the hottest element in a safe(ish) way. 

Some canopy pilots love to swoop through the bonfire in a show of spectacular skill and dazzling visuals. It adds an element of theatrics to the already exciting to watch discipline of canopy flight. 

There have also been those brave (crazy?) jumpers who light their canopy on fire mid-jump by soaking the fabric in gasoline and shooting a flare into the parachute once it opens. They do have an extra reserve parachute just in case, but it would still take nerves of steel to voluntarily explode your parachute in the middle of a skydive! 

Become an Actual Stunt Person

Yes, there are stunt jobs that are specifically available for skydivers. So don’t fret if your acting chops aren’t up to par – there’s hope for you yet! Whether serving as a stunt coordinator or the person performing the stunts, many movies incorporate skydiving into their action scenes. 

In fact, a lot of those movies are the whole reason many skydivers got into the sport! The popularity of movies like Point Break, Dropzone, and Cutaway have inspired generations of daredevils to take to the skies themselves. 

And the Hollywood machine doesn’t stop. More and more skydiving scenes are showing up in movies as technology gets better and filming skydiving gets easier. We love to see it, even if the scenes aren’t always the most accurate. If we can’t have a three-minute skydive in real life, we can at least enjoy seeing one on screen! 

If you’re ready to see what stunts you can pull off, start with your tandem skydive at WNY Skydiving! Blue skies.

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