How Old Do You Have to Be Skydive?
In the United States, an individual must be at least 18 years of age to enter into a legally binding contract. Parents or legal guardians of children under 18 cannot waive their child’s rights and enter into this contract for them. Everyone at DZONE wants to make sure that everyone has fun but we also put safety first amongst everything else.
There are two major organizations that prevent children from skydiving:
- The manufacturers of tandem skydiving equipment (Strong Enterprises and United Parachute Technologies): To comply with safety standards set by the FAA, these companies established regulations for the use of their tandem gear, including a minimum age requirement.
- The United States Parachute Association: Taking into account the age of majority, the USPA mandated that a jumper must be at least 18 years of age to skydive, and dropzones affiliated with the USPA must abide by USPA regulations and safety requirements.
Additionally, jumpers who wish to go on a tandem skydive must sign a waiver of rights as skydiving is an extreme sport. This waiver of rights is a legally binding contract that serves as an agreement, release of liability, and assumption of risk. As previously stated, you must at least be 18 years of age or older to enter into a legally binding contract. Even though parents can normally wave their children’s rights in some cases, skydiving isn’t one of those cases. Even though we take every step at DZONE to make your jump fun, there is always some risk involved.
What’s the Minimum Age for Skydiving?
Let’s talk more about who makes the rules.
At DZONE® Skydiving, we deliver world-class skydiving experiences from three unique locations: Boise and Coeur D’Alene in Idaho, and Bozeman in Montana. Each of our dropzones is a member of the USPA (United States Parachute Association) and PIA (Parachute Industry Association) – the industry authorities which set policy, tech, and training standards for the sport of skydiving. The USPA requires all member dropzones to adhere to strict guidelines regarding safety, instructor credentials, and equipment maintenance.
Again, as mandated by the USPA, all first-time skydivers must be at least 18 years old. This rule is hard and fast – no ID, no jump. Before heading out to the dropzone, make sure you have a valid, government-issued ID.
Is There a Maximum Skydiving Age?
Nope! Matter of fact, the skydiving community is renowned for welcoming, encouraging, and empowering people of all ages and life stages – most definitely including senior adults.
If you’re in good health and lead a relatively active life, you’re likely a great candidate for skydiving whatever your date of birth. Case in point, former President George H. W. Bush celebrated his 75th, 80th, 85th, and 90th birthdays in freefall, and folks across the world jump into their triple digits every year.
Regardless of Age …
No matter your age, your general health, clarity of mind, physical flexibility, and overall strength all support the skydiving experience:
Keep in mind that skydiving is considered an extreme sport. If you have medical concerns like hypertension or a heart condition; suffer from knee, hip or back pain; have a significant illness or disability … or any other health challenge that would prevent you from trying another extreme sport … then skydiving may not be for you.
In general, a monitored and well-managed health issue poses no obstacle. If you’re unsure, check with your doctor before you book (and bring a note if you get the green light).
Clarity of mind is important for another reason too. Skydiving is a life-altering experience. To process the awe that comes with jumping into the sky more than two miles above the earth, freefalling at 120 mph, and then floating under canopy until touching down on terra firma, requires strength of mind. You can never repeat your first jump – don’t blow past its significance!
Flexibility will serve you well on the way up to altitude (usually sitting on the floor or a bench), while you shuffle to the door with your tandem instructor ahead of your jump, and while in freefall when body positioning plays a role. You don’t need to be circus-ready, but it’s advantageous if you can shimmy as needed.
As a tandem student, you’re mostly along for the (most incredible) ride (of your life), but you do have a job as well. If you want to steer the parachute, you’ll need to keep your arms raised. And when it’s time to land, you’ll need to lift your legs so you can both slide into home nice and easy.
Should you continue on and learn to skydive, though, you need to be self-reliant – which means having the strength to navigate wind resistance in freefall and to deploy and steer your canopy.
Whether you’re counting down the days to official adulthood or have your heart set on celebrating a milestone in the sky, we can’t wait to jump with you!
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