How old do you have to be to go skydiving?

September 9, 2022

If you’re asking “how old do you need to be to skydive?” then you’re probably right on the cusp! Here at Skydive Danielson, we are a proud member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), which means you must be 18 years old to skydive. Does this mean you can skydive ON your 18th birthday? Heck to the YEAH! If you know an eager-to-jump 17-year-old, then a tandem jump gift certificate may be the best gift *wink wink* you could give them. There are a few reasons that 18 is the minimum age to skydive, let’s jump into it!  

Rules Are Rules

What age can you skydive? The legal age to skydive in the United States is 18.

Why do you have to be 18 to skydive? It’s the law! 

We know how frustrating this answer is, but it’s the truth. Here in the United States, 18 is the magic number where one crosses the threshold into adulthood! Just like you have to be 18 to get a tattoo or join the military, you have to be 18 to fling yourself out of a perfectly good airplane from 14,000 ft. Makes sense, right!? 

With adulthood comes responsibilities. In the case of skydiving, this includes signing a waiver that recognizes the risks associated with skydiving. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforces this law and the USPA strictly abides by it; it’s serious stuff. 

Note that there’s no cap on the skydiving age. People over 100 have done tandem skydives - in fact, the current World Record holder for the oldest person to skydive was 103 years and 259 days old during her latest jump!

There are plenty of well-established groups within the skydiving community that supports our more mature members. From Parachutists Over Phorty (POPs) to the Jumpers Over Eighty Society (JOES), we’ve got you covered. If playing shuffleboard in your golden years doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, book your first jump today and start hanging out with us cool kids!

Size Matters!

When “how old do you have to be to skydive?” is answered by a number that you haven't yet met, push that annoyance to the side and replace it with knowing that we have your best interest in mind – safety is always at the forefront! 

The harness that you’ll wear (and that will secure you to your tandem instructor) needs to be nice and snug. Most manufacturers of these harnesses require that those using them must be at least 18 years old. Our tandem instructors train hard to not only get their tandem instructor rating but to also become certified operators of this gear. If they were to violate this rule they could have that certification revoked! No bueno.

The tandem harnesses we use are adjustable, and while they’re designed to fit most adult bodies, they can only get so small. At dropzones in the USA (i.e. those that are not USPA members) or other countries that do allow minors to skydive, they have specially-designed harnesses and gear.  

Are There Places to Skydive Under 18?

Some non-USPA-affiliated dropzones allow minors to skydive with parental consent, but most opportunities to jump as a youngster are available in other countries. Spain, England, and Norway all require you to be at least 16 years old; Israel, Germany, and Colombia lower that to 12; and New Zealand, Greece, and the Czech Republic don’t have an age restriction at all! 

The only time minors are permitted to skydive at USPA-affiliated dropzones is if the jump is in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Wish jumps are always extremely special and memorable for everyone involved. 

Tunnel Timeeee!

Let us warn you, skydivers will make fun of you if you become a “tunnel rat” and never get in the sky. BUT, vertical wind tunnels are a fantastic way to get kids in the sky before, well, actually being in the sky. 

Wind tunnels simulate what it feels like to be in the freefall portion of a skydive and are often used by skydivers as a training tool. Training can be done one-on-one with an instructor or in groups, and it is a super efficient way to practice and improve freefall skills. Kids as young as 3 years old are permitted to enjoy flight time in most tunnels. A plus about the tunnel? No potential weather holds. Yes!

Can Kids Come to Watch?

Yes! We are happy to have kids at the dropzone. The excitement and awe that kids get watching parachutes landing is a sight to be seen and reignites that excitement in all of us! 

Have you hit the magic number of 18? Book your skydive today and get ready for the ride of your life!