The desire to explore the natural world in new and breathtaking ways draws people around the world into outdoor adventure sports: adventure sports like skydiving and scuba diving. Wondering which might be best suited for you? Keep reading to find out which is safer, skydiving or scuba diving?
Year after year, the sport of skydiving improves its safety record. In 2018, there were 13 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of 3.3 million jumps completed—which equates to .004 fatalities per 1,000 jumps. The latest scuba diving statistics come from two sources DAN: The Divers Alert Network and the Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers journal (2015). DAN received notification of 127 deaths involving recreational scuba diving during 2015. Likewise, in the same year, as stated in the Diving Medicine for Scuba Divers journal (2015), there were .164 deaths per 1,000 dives. Statistically, skydiving is safer than scuba diving.
As a rule, safety (supposed, perceived, or real) is so much more than black-and-white statistics suggest. In each sport, skydiving and scuba diving, there are inherent risks, but often, these are far outweighed by the many rewards these activities offer participants.
Here’s a little about the safety of each sport.
With consistent technological advances and improved training techniques, the safety of skydiving has evolved greatly over the past 50 years.
Today’s skydiving equipment includes several backup systems to aid the skydiver. On every normal skydive, a jumper is required by both guidelines from the United States Parachute Association and regulations from the FAA. This means jumping a container system with two parachutes: a main parachute and a reserve parachute.
In addition to this measure, the majority of skydivers, and EVERY student skydiver jumps with a device called an Automatic Activation Device or AAD. These handy dandy uber-precise computers calculate the rate of descent and altitude and activate the reserve canopy at a preset altitude. Essentially, these devices, help ensure that in the event a skydiver is unable to deploy their own parachute, the AAD will deploy the reserve parachute automatically.
Would-be skydivers “learn the ropes” in a very regimented manner. Before skydiving solo, jumpers must demonstrate a range of competencies. In order to obtain a skydiving license, students must complete a minimum of 25 skydives and demonstrate both freefall and canopy skills. These gear and training features are what have helped skydiving reach the safest point in its history and helped it to gain mainstream momentum.
Through the years, scuba diving has become a popular sport and past time. Technological advancements like the octopus regulator, predive checklists, and dive computers (instead of tables) have helped to improve safety rates. An increased safety culture with predive checks and safety stops are current and future measures being taken to reduce the risks associated with scuba diving.
Nothing is risk-free. Stifling the life you live because you aren’t willing to take calculated chances isn’t a fulfilling option. Taking mitigated risks and the enriching experiences that accompany them are what make life worth living. The key is to understand risk and to mitigate it as much as possible.
At Skydive Orange, you receive a full pre-jump briefing during which we cover potential risks, train you to respond to potential risks, educate you on how to execute a safe skydive, and teach you about the skydiving equipment you will be using.
Have any questions? Feel free to give us a call.
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.