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Skydive Palm Beach Posted by: Skydive Palm Beach 5 months ago

Dreaming of defying gravity? Skydiving might be the ultimate way to do it. But how old do you have to be to skydive? This topic can be complex due to varying regulations across countries and facilities. In this article, we’ll explore:

  • How old do you have to be to go skydiving in the US?
  • What can you do while you wait for your 18th birthday?
  • How old do you have to be to parachute overseas? 
  • Is there an age limit to skydiving?

By the end, you’ll know exactly how old you need to be to skydive and have the knowledge you need to embark on this exhilarating adventure, regardless of your age. 

Smiling man with tandem skydiving instructor give thumbs up while preparing to exit the plane

The Legal Age for Skydiving

The burning question: how old do you have to be to tandem skydive? The truth is, it depends. While the minimum age limit varies, in the United States, the consensus at any United States Parachute Association (USPA) dropzone is that you must be at least 18 years old to skydive. Here at Skydive Palm Beach, we adhere to all USPA rules and regulations – including the 18-year-old age requirement to jump out of airplanes.

But don’t fret if you’re not 18 yet. Before you know it, your 18th birthday will be upon us, and there are ways you can get involved in our amazing sport well before your milestone birthday – more on that later.  

Why is 18 The Legal Age for Skydiving? 

So, why is the legal age for skydiving set to 18? Several factors contribute to this requirement: 

  • USPA Compliance: The USPA plays a significant role in promoting safe practices in skydiving through training, licensing, and instructor qualification programs. The USPA sets recommendations and regulations, including age requirements, for affiliated dropzones, ensuring a standardized approach to safety.  
  • Equipment: Many gear manufacturers impose restrictions on the ages allowed when using their equipment in the United States. Additionally, the issue of equipment fit is crucial, as not all manufacturers have harnesses suitable for younger individuals.
  • Legal Stuff: When you skydive, you’ll need to complete waivers acknowledging the risks associated with the sport. Given the inherent dangers of skydiving, most agree that 18 is the minimum age acceptable to enter into such a binding contract and to fully comprehend the associated risks. 

While some exceptions exist, regulations aim to minimize risks and uphold safety standards. While most centers require jumpers to be at least 18 years old, some may enforce higher age limits, such as 19 years or older. In some rare cases, the USPA may issue special waivers for minors, typically for “Make a Wish” jumps.

Tandem instructor and her instructor smiling under canopy

I’m Not 18 Yet: What Can I Do While I Wait?

Ready for the great news? You can start preparing for your first jump well before your 18th birthday. Here are some activities you can engage in: 

  • Indoor Skydiving: You can start indoor skydiving as early as 3 years of age! You will learn how to control your body in columns of air before you ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
  • Tunnel Competitions: There are even indoor skydiving competitions you can participate in! The best of the best skydivers have a significant amount of training in the wind tunnel. What better way to start preparing yourself? Before you know it, you’ll be a total shredder, even before you complete that first jump on your 18th birthday! 
  • Work at a Dropzone: A unique way to get involved in the sport is to try to find work at your local dropzone. Some facilities can hire people under 18. Mowing lawns, loading airplanes, packing parachutes, editing videos, or cleaning the facilities, may all be in your future. In fact, most dropzone owners have done one, if not all, of these jobs! There’s no better place to get started. 

Can I Skydive if I am Under 18? 

Can a 14-year-old skydive with parent consent in the USA? Nope. What country can you skydive at 14? This is a valid question because different countries have different rules about how old you have to be to skydive. 

In Australia and France, the minimum required age is 16. Some Canadian facilities allow jumps as young as 14, and in South Africa, it’s possible to skydive at 12. Where can you skydive the youngest? Well in Mexico or New Zealand, there is no age limit! So, is baby skydiving real? Um, no. And some Mexican and Kiwi facilities do not recommend skydiving for those under seven years of age. Unsurprisingly, all facilities require parental consent for individuals not yet considered adults. 

Are There Upper Age Limits for Skydiving?

Is there an age limit to skydive? The beauty of skydiving lies in its inclusivity. There is no upper age limit – as long as you are in good physical health, you can take the leap! Skydiving is for everyone and the ultimate bucket list item.

In fact, entire clubs exist for licensed jumpers who hit milestone ages in the sport! There’s POPS (Parachutists Over Phorty Society), SOS (Skydivers Over Sixty), JOS (Jumpers Over Seventy), JOES (Jumpers Over Eighty Society), and even JON (Jumpers Over Ninety)! Skydiving knows no age boundaries. 

In 2023, SOS set a 101-way large formation world record! And record numbers for the oldest tandem skydiver has been bested several times. Currently, the oldest female tandem skydiver on record is Dorothy Hoffner who was 104 when she made her October 2023 jump. The oldest male tandem skydiver is Al Blaschke who was 106 when he jumped in November 2023 – beating his previous record made at age 103! So, what are you waiting for? 

Excited younger and older jump pose making a peace sign and shakka sign with their hands

Age Limit Considerations

We answered the question “is there an age limit on skydiving” with a resounding NO! But the unfortunate reality is that our golden years can sometimes come with more aches, pains, and health changes. So, we do advise you to always check with a doctor first if you have any concerns regarding your health. 

If you do have health conditions, it is always a good idea to check with your skydiving facility to ensure they won’t require a doctor’s note prior to being able to jump with you. 

Tips & Tricks for Skydiving at Any Age

Bring Your ID

You must bring a valid, government-issued photo ID with you to the dropzone in order to verify your age. Typically, this is a driver’s license or passport. Parental consent will not suffice.  

Eat & Drink

Be sure to eat as normal and drink plenty of water (note: no alcohol) before your jump. Some people think an empty belly is best – but the opposite is true! 

Dress for the Occasion

Wear comfortable, close-fitting clothing and close-toed, lace-up shoes – think athletic wear. Tie back long hair and remove any dangly and sentimental jewelry. 

Scream

This sounds silly, but it’s true! Many first-timers find themselves holding their breath due to the excitement and adrenaline rush. If you feel like you’re having trouble breathing or are overwhelmed, let out a scream! Screaming helps to force an exhale and triggers your body to naturally resume breathing. Express yourself!

Prep for Landing

As you’ll learn during your pre-jump training, you must lift your legs in preparation for landing. This gets your legs out of the way so your instructor can navigate the landing on behalf of both of you.

Go Big!

Don’t forget to add video & pictures to your once-in-a-lifetime moment and bring the entire family to watch and be a part of your experience! At Skydive Palm Beach we have a large, shaded area and air-conditioned waiting room for guests. (Also, don’t be surprised when you land and want to go again!)

Check out our FAQ page for more tips and tricks or answers to commonly asked questions.  

Tandem instructor helps tandem skydiving student gear up prior to a skydive near Fort Lauderdale

Let’s Jump!

With the age requirements demystified, you’re ready to get started on your amazing skydiving journey! At Skydive Palm Beach, we are committed to providing you with an exceptional experience and we cannot wait to jump with you – book your skydive today

Book Now!