Is there a skydiving age limit? Well, that depends on semantics. There’s no age limit for skydiving, but there is an age requirement for skydiving. What’s the difference?
One asks if you can ever be too old to skydive, and the other refers to how old you have to be before you can make a skydive. As a general rule, the minimum age requirement for skydiving in the United States is 18 years old. (Sorry kids, your time will come!)
The good news is, you can never be too old to skydive. You heard that right. If your Great Grandma has general good health, she can come along on the family skydiving trip and jump out of the plane herself! Like a lot of things, joining the so-called “age of majority” opens you up to a lifetime of amazing opportunities. The sky’s the limit, or destination, once you blow out those 18 candles.
And this is not just true for people who do tandems, either. There are plenty of licensed skydivers who are in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s! Some of them have been around since the beginning of the sport itself.
Even though it might be a bummer that you can drive a car before you can jump out of an airplane, there’s good reason to have the age requirement in place. And it’s important to consider certain aspects of your health as you near the other end of the age spectrum before you decide to take the leap.
Let’s go over some details of skydiving at different ages and what to consider before making your first tandem.
The most common age-related skydiving question is regarding the age requirement on the lower end. Can you skydive at 13? Can you skydive at 16? While skydiving would certainly be an exciting family outing with kids, dropzones that are members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA) are mandated to enforce a minimum age requirement of 18.
The age requirement can vary depending on the country you’re skydiving in and the rules of their national skydiving association, if they have one. In Australia, South Africa, England, and Italy, for example, you can skydive at age 16. In France and Finland, you can jump at 15; in Germany at age 12. Some countries, like New Zealand, have no minimum age requirement at all, and others leave the age requirement to the dropzone owners.
But here at Skydive Orange, we adhere to all USPA rules and regulations — including the 18-year-old age requirement to jump out of our airplanes. So don’t forget your valid, government-issued photo ID. No ID, no jump; no exceptions.
Want to earn a reputation as the coolest member of the family? A skydiving gift certificate is the perfect way to celebrate someone turning 18 or graduating from school! What better way to launch into adulthood than jumping out of an airplane?
No such thing! In fact, the world record for the oldest person to go skydiving currently belongs to Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson at 103 years and 259 days old!! So, yeah, we don’t want to hear any excuses. You’re never too old to experience something out of the box.
Doing new and exciting things later in life keeps you young at heart. There are even health benefits to going skydiving! Challenging your body and brain is one of the healthiest things you can do as you navigate through life.
There are skydiving clubs that celebrate age milestones in the sport. POPS (Parachutists Over Phorty Society), SOS (Skydivers Over Sixty), JOS (Jumpers Over Seventy), JOES (Jumpers Over Eighty Society), and, if you can believe it, JON (Jumpers Over Ninety) are all groups that offer camaraderie and events for skydivers of certain ages.
And this isn’t a new notion. POPS has been around since 1966, and the rest grew from there as the population of skydivers aged. These clubs allow any skydiver who has made a jump within the applicable age group to join and attend events. Each club even holds records!
If you’re unsure of skydiving at your age, whatever that is, let these trailblazers inspire you to step out of your comfort zone!
On the low end, it comes down to a matter of legality. Making a skydive involves signing waivers. To sign a legal document in the US, you have to be 18 years old. The United States considers 18 year olds mature enough to do things like enlist in the military and get a tattoo. The inherent risk involved in making a skydive means that skydiving falls into that same category.
On the flip side, there’s no real restrictions stopping anyone over 18 from jumping out of an airplane. That is, as long as they have the mental capacity to sign a legal document and the physical ability to actually make the skydive.
This is where personal insight comes in. You know your body better than anyone. Skydiving is a physical sport, and you will be an active participant in your tandem. Certain health issues or limitations may make it difficult to perform the necessary tasks. If you’re at all unsure, talk with your doctor before deciding to jump.
Are you ready to exercise that adult freedom!? Come make a skydive with us today!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.