Depending on where you are in the world, there are a lot of very good times to go skydiving – and also some less-good times to go skydiving. While it is entirely possible to jump from airplanes in the middle of winter (for example, skydiving has been done at both the North Pole and in Antarctica), there are some sensible practicalities involved that make skydiving operations in a lot of places a seasonal thing. Here at Skydive STL in the temperate midwest, we operate from March to October. This year, we’ll wrap up the 2021 skydiving season on November 28. Book your skydive before the season ends!
You may be wondering why it has to end. We often wonder that ourselves, but here is why an end to the skydiving season each year is a good plan.
Weather On The Ground
In the parts of the Northern Hemisphere where the seasons are clearly defined by changing weather conditions, days get short and cold in the winter months and the weather is more challenging for parachuting. A good skydiving operation involves some good scheduling and many moving parts – the only one of which we cannot control is the weather. Changeable weather can happen at any point in the year, but through the winter the prevailing jumping conditions can simply mean that the best course of action is to go skydiving when things are nicer and more reliable.
Temperature Inside The Plane
Skydiving airplanes are not like commercial aircraft. In a pressurized plane full of travelers, everything is controlled, including the exact temperature. A skydiving plane is a much more rustic affair, with a thin door that can quickly and easily be opened when it is time to get out – and the temperature inside is pretty much the same as outside. Air gets thinner and colder the higher up you go, and in the warmer months, the atmosphere at altitude can be welcome and refreshing. However, if it is already cold on the ground, then by the time you are up above 10,000 feet—where tandem skydiving happens—things can be disagreeable. For the active skydiving season, one needs to “dress for success”. If it is warm enough you can probably jump in the (sensible, sporty) clothes you are already wearing. But on slightly chilly days, you might need a jumpsuit over the top and some gloves.
Temperature Outside The Plane
The freefall part of a skydive lasts for around 45 seconds, which is plenty of time to enjoy the amazing thrill and spectacular views of skydiving. It is also enough time to get properly cold if you are not equipped in the right way. Two paradoxical things happen to you in freefall – you feel an extra wind chill from plummeting through the air at terminal velocity (120mph), but you also don’t care. You might feel the chill in the air on the way up (although this part doesn’t take long) and again when you land (most often in the form of chilly cheeks and fingers), but throughout the jump, you likely won’t think about it at all!
Each Season Has Its Skydiving Advantages
During the duration of the skydiving season—between March and October—each chunk of the skydiving calendar has certain advantages. In the Spring, when the skydiving season starts, one can jump over a fresh green landscape filled with the promise of the bright days to come. In Summer you can often jump in shorts and a t-shirt while you feel the wind of freefall in direct contact with your skin. In the Fall, the sky does amazing things with light and color, presenting you with some of the best sunsets and overall conditions of the whole year.
The truth is, the best time of the year to go skydiving is AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and the tail end of the season is a spectacular time to round out the more active part of your year with the most amazing thing of all – flinging yourself out of an airplane!