All things considered, humans haven’t been flying for very long. It took quite a while to get from da Vinci’s Flying Machine of the 1480s to the Wright Brothers’ 1903 invention that led to sustained flight by a manned aircraft … but once we got the knack of it, there was no turning back.
Less than a decade after the first mechanized, powered flight occurred, skydiving made its debut in the US. Initially, skydiving was only for the military. After World War II, though, it gained appeal with civilians and, by the 1980s, skydiving dropzones could be found the world over – and the opportunity to go tandem skydiving made the sport super accessible.
So, now who is skydiving for? Pretty much everyone – including you!
Nearly 3 million skydives are made each year by first-time jumpers, licensed skydivers, and competitive professionals. Why do people skydive? For a lot of reasons! For the love of adventure … to face a fear … to conquer a goal … to celebrate a milestone; it differs for every individual. Whatever the motivation, accomplishing something as momentous as a skydive is uber rewarding physically, mentally, and even spiritually.
When you skydive your brain releases an intense mix of adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. The positive aftereffects of this surge of feel-good chemicals, which can last for days, is one reason people skydive. You feel on top of the world; like you can achieve anything. Another reason is more obvious: jumping out of an airplane and falling towards the earth at 120mph is the Most. Fun. Ever. There is endless adventure to be had by becoming involved in the sport and the community that supports it. Skydiving is an all-consuming passion for many people who elect to hang out at the dropzone during every available spare minute.
The type of person who skydives is you! Skydivers represent an incredibly diverse cross-section of people. Skydivers are doctors and mechanics, yoga instructors and lawyers … they are freshly 18 and they are 98 … they are of different races and socioeconomic brackets … they speak different languages and worship (or not) in different places. There’s no singular mold for the skydiver, but there are some common traits.
Skydivers tend to aim at getting the most out of life. They are determined, disciplined, curious and aspirational. They like a challenge, and a good story to go with it. People who skydive don’t want to be a passenger on this journey called life, they want a chance to be in the driver’s seat – to do extraordinary things!
Skydiving has the power to be life-changing. Jumping out of a flying machine with a magic backpack feels amazzzzing, and it’s easy to become hooked on it. Freefall is pure freedom; flying under a parachute is mind-blowing; and, landing back on terra firma is supremely empowering.
Here’s another reason why skydiving is so popular. Skydivers value community and are diligent about creating a warm, welcoming vibe to everyone – whether you’re a one-and-done jumper or someone with thousands of logged jumps. Being part of a tribe feels great, especially one with roots that span the globe.
Yes, according to the USPA, the youngest a person can be to go skydiving is 18 years old. Don’t forget to bring your valid, government-issued photo ID with you to the dropzone! Note that a parent or guardian’s permission will not suffice. While there is a minimum age for skydiving, there is no maximum age. As long as your doctor is OK with you skydiving, bring it on! As a matter of fact, the oldest tandem skydiver currently on record was 103 years and 180 days when he made his 2020 jump!
There are other requirements to consider, including a weight limit. At WNY Skydiving, we can safely take someone up to 235 lbs for a tandem. Anyone over 200 lbs is ideally physically fit and height-weight proportionate.
Still not sure if skydiving is for you? Connect with our team – the only thing we love more than jumping out of perfectly good airplanes is talking about it! And when you’re ready, come jump with us! We can’t wait to welcome you into the fold, and fly!