How Your Weight Affects Tandem Skydiving - Why The Weight Limit Exists

September 22, 2022

Is there a weight limit for tandem skydiving?








The skydiving weight limit can be a somewhat controversial topic. We promise that the reasons for these weight restrictions are for safety concerns only and are not based on irrational prejudices. We love everybody and every body!


There is nothing we want more than for everyone to be able to experience the dream of human flight. Unfortunately, when it comes to weight limits, certain safety parameters are set and outside of our control. What’s more important to us is that everyone (including your instructor) remains as safe as possible while skydiving with us.


Read along to find out what the weight range is exactly, and why there even is a skydiving weight limit. 




First, let us explain why there is a skydiving weight limit - there are several reasons but all are safety-focused in the long run!


  • Proper Tandem Harness Fit

As you’re waiting to board the airplane for your tandem skydive, you will be fitted into a tandem harness. The harness is designed to adjust to fit a wide range of body types, however, there is a limit as to how far the straps can reach. If we aren’t able to achieve a proper harness fit, there could be serious consequences when you make your jump.


  • Gear Manufacturer Weight Limits

The skydiving equipment we use has specific weight limits determined by the Technical Standard Order (TSO) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Every product has its own TSO that is determined through rigorous testing. Most equipment can only withstand a total weight limit of 500 pounds before the excessive weight begins to wear on the gear. Keep in mind that the weight total includes that of you and your instructor.


Skydiving gear costs a lot of money and it is the thing that saves our lives, so we take very good care of our equipment. This is also why we try to stay well below the manufacturer’s weight limit.


  • Hard Parachute Opening

Increased weight makes the fall rate increase significantly which can make for a pretty hard parachute opening when deploying the canopy. Ouch!


  • Impacts Parachute Performance


More weight carried by the parachute translates to a decrease in the instructor’s ability to operate it. Your instructor is pretty tough, but it requires quite a bit of strength to “flare” the parachute with significant weight on board. “Flaring” is performed to pull off a safe and easy landing. You can see how this would not only be potentially harmful to you but it can become extremely straining on the instructor’s body as well.

Landing area at Skydive Danielson



Tandem skydiving weight limits vary from dropzone to dropzone, depending on what gear they use, the weight of their different instructors, etc. At Skydive Danielson, our tandem skydiving weight limits are pretty cut and dry.


Weight Restrictions at Skydive Danielson:

  •  240 lbs or less for Tandem Skydivers
  •  215 lbs for Learn To Skydive training program

A few things to note: all customers are weighed before skydiving to determine your instructor and harness fit (so don’t try to get around it! *wink*). Customers will have to forfeit their deposit if they are over the weight limit at the time of their jump. 


Our customers must understand the importance of weight restrictions for their safety and for their instructor's. Safety is our number one priority and mitigating potential risks in order to have a fun and worry-free jump is our job! 


Hopefully, this will help you prepare for your first time skydiving experience. And if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, maybe skydiving can be your inspiration - what a fantastic way to celebrate your achievement! We would love to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.


Have more questions? Contact one of our team members or read about other restrictions and requirements before booking your jump with Skydive Danielson! Blue skies, friends!