Skydiving might seem like a pretty off hobby for a health-conscious person. After all: How on earth could skydiving be part of a balanced, mindful lifestyle? We’re here to tell you that skydiving is most definitely an activity that qualifies as “healthy” for mind, body, and soul. Here are a few things about skydiving and health that might be new to you — and a hearty invitation to give it a try!
Since its invention in the 80s, tandem skydiving has been by far the most popular way for new adventurers to taste skydiving for the first time. As it turns out, the USPA (United States Parachute Association), which serves as the governing body for the sport of skydiving here in America, has been keeping careful record of the skydiving accident rate since well before tandem skydiving was invented. Let’s hand it to mathematics: ‘Cause of that record, our sport knows almost exactly how safe tandem skydiving is.
The most up-to-date statistics come from 2014 when the USPA recorded 24 fatal skydiving accidents. There were 3.2 million jumps in total that year, making for a total of 0.0075 fatalities per 1,000 jumps. That’s safer than even commuting, by a long shot–and that encompasses all skydives made by weekend warriors, competitors, hobbyists, and stunt performers. Tandem skydiving, which the USPA keeps track of on a separate record, has an even better safety record. In the tandem category, there were just 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 tandem jumps over the past ten years. So: Is skydiving safe? Well, it has risks, but they’re minimal even compared to your morning automotive commute.
Skydiving, as you already know, is not a risk-free activity. Nothing worthwhile is! That said: the statistics regarding the skydiving accident rate tell a story that rings loud and clear. Most often, skydiving accidents and skydiving medical problems center around two things: students who went ahead with a jump during a period of illness, and students who did not execute a landing per instructions.
If you skydive when you’re sick, there’s a chance that the skydive will exacerbate the illness. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? When someone arrives at Skydive Orange visibly ill (pale, sniffly, coughing…anything that would send you home from elementary school), we reschedule them for a day they’re feeling better. That’s not just for comfort. If you skydive with a head cold, you could pop an eardrum! Rescheduling is always the best idea.
If you disobey the landing instructions with which you are thoroughly briefed before your tandem jump, you’ll probably put your arms and legs in harm’s way. Real talk: 99% of students cheerfully, thoroughly and completely follow the simple instructions (keep your legs up and your arms in–no more, no less). The 1% that decide to sever the teammate relationship with their tandem instructor and “run it off” or put their feet down, are the ones that put themselves (and their TI!) in twisted-ankle territory. The choice is clear, right?
So: Let’s reframe the question, shall we? Instead of asking yourself “How dangerous is skydiving,” ask yourself “How dangerous is not living life to the absolute fullest? How dangerous is letting unnecessary fear get the best of you? How dangerous is living your life in a stagnant comfort zone?” We think you’ll agree with us entirely that it’s a lot healthier to explore the heart-bounding boundaries of your inner and outer world. It’s energizing, it’s revitalizing and it’s gosh-darned good for you!
Want to add a little freefall to your healthy lifestyle? Go for it! Come on over to our big, blue wellness center. Book your tandem skydiving experience at Skydive Orange–or get in touch if you’d like to speak to a member of our team. We’d love to answer your questions!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.