Published: July 12, 2017
Skydiving is an amazing sport that we think everyone should try! The great thing about it is you're never too late to do it.
By law, people in the U.S. can't sign up to complete a skydive until they're 18. But there is no maximum skydiving age limit, meaning anyone in good health can come jump, even into their 80s and 90s.
One of the greatest things about skydiving is the diverse set of age groups it attracts. This isn't like other action sports where the participants tend to sway largely toward younger demographics. We have entire communities of licensed skydivers dedicated to older jumpers, such as POPS, the Parachutists Over Phorty Society, and Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS).
In fact, just recently a man set the record for the oldest person ever to complete a skydive, having completed a tandem jump to celebrate his 101st birthday.
Unsure you have what it takes to jump? You might be pleasantly surprised! Here are some basic skydiving requirements to help you determine whether you have the physical and mental "fitness" to make a skydive.
Strength And Agility
Our bodies tend to get more fragile as we age. It's important to remember this. While a skydive might not feel like a workout to a healthy young person, it can have a totally different effect on a person in their 80s. And if you are pursuing a license, that toll can be heightened due to the repetition of skydives. That said, people of all ages try skydiving and fall in love with it!
To ensure that you have the best experience, it's important to make sure you are relatively agile and strong. You'll need to be able to arch into the belly-to-earth position during the skydive and be able to relax in that position so you can remain stable in freefall. You'll need to be able to climb the stairs into the plane, be comfortable with the impact of landing and flexible enough to control the parachute's steering toggles, which are located above the head.
An ability to perform many of these functions on the ground is a huge plus.
A skydive happens in the blink of an eye. Once you're up and out of the plane, the freefall takes less than a minute. That can feel like an eternity when you're razor-focused on the task at hand, but it also requires that you be mentally prepared to handle high-speed situations.
Tandem instructors will provide instructions in real time, and you will need to be able to appropriately react. An ability to listen, maintain that knowledge, and act on it during the jump is essential when pursuing a skydiving license. You will be given a set of tasks to complete for each jump, and you will need to remember these tasks and how to act in an emergency situation.
Understanding This Is Dangerous
At the end of the day, skydiving is an intense sport that is not without risks. However, everyone who comes to do a skydive, regardless of age, needs to be of sound mind to acknowledge the risks involved and feel comfortable with their decision to jump.
If you -- or your Grandma -- meet all of these skydiving requirements, we can't recommend this life-changing sport enough. Just take a look at 98-year-old Sara Simmonds, who recently became the oldest person ever to complete a skydive in the state of Louisiana.
"Life," she said, "keeps getting better."
We couldn't agree more! So what are you waiting for? Book your first jump with Skydive Finger Lakes online today.
The view and experience are more than I could have ever imagined.
» Katherine W.