Taking a leap of faith into the exciting journey of skydiving is often perceived as an endeavor only enjoyed for the young and daring. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth! We will uncover the truth behind skydiving age limits, shed some light on the age requirement for skydiving, and share some inspiring stories if you might be thinking you’re too old to skydive!
Dispelling the Myth: Skydiving Age Limit
Is there a point in life when you’re too old to skydive? The resounding answer is: No way! There is no maximum age for skydiving. The concept of being too old to skydive is nothing more than a myth.
Skydiving welcomes enthusiasts from all walks of life and with no limits on age. Believe it or not, there is a skydiving society dedicated specifically to older and even senior skydivers. The Parachutists Over Phorty Society (POPS) embodies a community for older skydivers to come together and even set skydiving world records! POPS also has groups for Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS), Jumpers Over Seventy (JOS), Jumpers Over Eighty (JOES), and even Jumpers Over Ninety (JONS)!!!
So, whether you’re in your 20s or your golden years, the thrill of freefall is an experience that knows no age boundaries. The sky is open to all!
Inspiring Stories: The Oldest Skydiver
In the tapestry of skydiving history, there stands a remarkable individual – Al Blaschke, World War II veteran and the oldest skydiver at an astounding 106 years old. Blaschke achieved his tandem jump in Fentress, TX on November 27, 2023. And he wasn’t alone! Governor Greg Abbott made a tandem skydive as well to fulfill a promise he made to Blaschke about a year ago when they first met.
Blaschke has broken his own world records for being the oldest skydiver several times, his most recent record set at 103 years old! Blaschke has a birthday coming in January, but his family says this was probably his last jump. Blaschke says his motto is “Keep smiling”, and even sang Frank Sinatra’s song “When You’re Smiling” during freefall. What a wonderful, inspiring human!
The current, official Guinness World Record for the oldest tandem skydiver (female) was set in May 2022 by 103-year and 259 day old Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson from Sweden. We are still waiting on the official Guinness World Record for the oldest skydiver (male) to be awarded to Al Blaschke. Their stories inspire not only awe but also a realization that age is no obstacle to the joyous freedom of adventure that we all long for and deserve.
If Al and Rut can do it, so can you!
What is the Minimum Age to Skydive in the US?
Can you skydive at 14? 16? 17? While there is no age maximum, there is, however, an age minimum. The minimum age to skydive at dropzones that are members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA) is 18* years old.
While the age limit for skydiving is typically 18 years of age, there are some dropzones that will take minors under the age of 18. These skydiving centers are not members of the USPA, meaning they are not required to abide by the USPA basic safety requirements and they use special tandem equipment built by a manufacturer that does not mandate an age minimum.
*In some circumstances, the USPA issues special waivers for minors. These are usually “Make a Wish” jumps that are requested on behalf of an individual battling a serious illness.
Skydiving is an adventure that takes safetyvery seriously, especially when it comes to age, weight and health considerations.
Health & Physical Fitness
As long as you’re healthy and physically fit enough to withstand the skydive and landing, you are typically good to go! We recommend getting the OK from your physician before attempting a skydive if you have any medical concerns to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for all.
Skydiving Equipment – Age Requirement & Sizing
For starters, most of the main skydiving gear manufacturers in the world for tandems require that all instructors and tandem students be older than 18 years of age. Which means letting a minor skydive not only risks the instructor losing their license, but also the skydiving center they are affiliated with could lose their ability to conduct skydiving operations.
The main issue when it comes to skydiving equipment is sizing. Tandem harnesses are adjustable and designed to fit snugly to most adult bodies and generally do not fit children. (This is also why we have a maximum weight limit of 260 lbs.) Proper harness fit is absolutely crucial for a safe and successful skydive – if the harness doesn’t fit, the tandem student could literally slip out! Yikes!
Skydiving Alternatives for Those Under 18
The next best thing to skydiving that minors can participate in is indoor skydiving! Indoor skydiving wind tunnels do a fantastic job of simulating the freefall feeling you experience while on an actual skydive. The age limit for indoor skydiving at most indoor skydiving facilities is as young as three years old!
The good news is that once you reach the required age to skydive, the magic never has to end! You can explore the world of skydiving by earning your skydiving license to become a fully qualified skydiver, it all starts with booking your first tandem skydive. And if you’re looking to skydive in the Midwest, look no further than Skydive STL located just outside of St. Louis in Sullivan, Missouri! Book your skydiving reservation with us today. Blue skies!