To skydive in California or Texas, you are expected to be at least 18 years old (or 16 with the permission of a parent or guardian), and must carry either a Class 1, 2 or 3 FAA medical certificate, and a USPA recommended medical statement or a certificate of physical fitness for skydiving from a licensed doctor.

One unique thing about skydiving is the diverse age groups it attracts. This isn’t like other action sports where the participants tend to sway largely toward younger demographics. 98 year-old Sara Simmonds recently became the oldest person ever to complete a dive in the state of Louisiana.

Note that many of the skydiving drop zones in California and Texas (and in various other locations) are members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA). Therefore, these facilities are expected to strictly adhere to USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements as well as the safety guidelines set down by parachute manufacturers.

While skydiving 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 for anyone pursuing a license, that toll can be heightened due to the repetition of skydives. That said, people of all ages try skydiving and enjoy it.

To ensure that you have the best experience, it is imperative to make sure you are quite agile and healthy. You will also need to be able to arch into the belly – to – earth position during skydive and be able to relax in that position so you can remain stable in freefall.

Also note that you will have 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. Also have it in mind that skydiving happens in the blink of an eye. Immediately you’re up and out of the plane, the freefall takes less than a minute. Indeed it can feel like an eternity when you’re razor-focused on the task at hand.

In the United States, tandem instructors are known to provide instructions in real time, and you will need to be able to appropriately react. Also note that you need the ability to listen, maintain that knowledge, and act on it especially when pursuing a skydiving license. You will be given a set of tasks to complete for each jump, and you will also need to remember these tasks and how to act in an emergency situation.

Whether you agree or disagree, skydiving is an intense sport that is not without risks. Everyone who comes to do a skydive, regardless of age, is expected to be of sound mind to acknowledge the risks involved and feel comfortable with their decision to jump. If you – or your Grandpa – meet all the skydiving requirements, then this is a sport to enjoy.

How to Earn a Skydiving License in California

California possesses a diverse history of one-of-a-kind activities, from surfing the Pacific to cruising Route 66. Skydiving without doubts makes a natural fit for the locale, as well as providing a great way to view the area’s gorgeous topography. To earn a skydiving license in California, here are few steps to consider.

  1. Checkout the scene

Have it in mind that the first jump is a total blur for practically everyone. You can expect your ground-bound body to be overloaded by the new feelings, so it is nice to dodge the sensory overload by doing a tandem skydive just before the beginning of your course. With that you can get a better idea of the landing area, the pattern, the way things look from the air — and you will be much better prepared to handle the job of getting down under your own parachute.

  1. Get your AFF (Accelerated Free Fall)

Note that before you get to jump without hooking up your harness to an instructor, you need to get behind a desk and get some learning in ground school. Have it in mind that it is in the classroom, not in the air, that you will learn all about the skydiving equipment used when jumping solo, how to operate it and what to do when things don’t go quite according to plan.

This classroom lesson tend to last for 4 – 6 hours, and will cover every aspect of skydiving and prepare you to make an assisted jump under the direct supervision of certified USPA AFF/IAD instructors.

  1. Skydive solo

Once you have completed your instructor – assisted freefalls, it is time to take the next big step to jumping completely unaided. This simply means completing the remainder of your 25 student jumps without your instructor. During this stage, you will practice the skills you’ve learned so far.

You must have been carefully prepared by your instructor to be responsible for yourself and to be able to plan your own jumps. Once you have your license, you will be qualified to jump without any instructor supervision.

  1. Keep learning and practicing skydiving

Always remember that staying current in the sport is crucial to making the most out of your skydiving license. You will have it peachy if you learn at a reputable drop zone because the coaches and mentors will ensure you grasp the instruction.

How to Earn a Skydiving License in Texas

Blue skies, breezes and full – throttle free falls: Licensed skydivers in the rest of the country spend a lot of time daydreaming about Texas skylines. Here are basic steps to take when looking to earn a Skydiving license in Texas.

  1. Tandem skydive

Have it in mind that your first tandem skydive is a great introduction to the basic body position required for skydiving as well as the plane ride and aircraft exit. A tandem skydive is optional before you begin ground school for the AFF program, however it is highly recommended because it will help you get conversant with the feeling of freefall.

  1. Ground School

Most AFF program in Texas begins with a 4 – 6 hour ground school that covers the theoretical and practical training necessary to prepare you for your first solo skydive, including skydiving equipment, aircraft procedures, freefall manoeuvres, canopy deployment and control, and dealing with malfunctions if they occur. Ground school will teach you the essentials to a safe skydive before you get in the air.

  1. Accelerated Free Fall (AFF)

Note that once you have met all the requirements in ground school, you are ready to make that first jump with your own parachute. At first, two AFF instructors are expected to hold onto you in the air to assist you with a stable exit, freefall and parachute deployment, while another instructor will be on the ground to help guide you through landing your parachute via radio communication.

As you progress through the 7 – jump AFF program, you will learn a wide range of freefall manoeuvres, such as turns and forward motions, front flips and barrel rolls, as well as the technical aspects of your skydiving equipment, parachute packing, aircraft spotting, winds and weather conditions, and canopy flight.

  1. Coaching and Student Progression

Have it in mind that the final portion of your skydiving training in Texas prepares you for more advanced freefall skills with the help of a coach (jumps 8 to 13) as well as the remaining solo jumps (jumps 14 to 25) required to get your skydiving license.

  1. Earn your “A” license

In Texas, the “A” license is the first license level you can achieve in skydiving, which is issued by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and requires a minimum of 25 skydives. Once you have earned your “A” license, you no longer need to jump with an instructor or coach.

Note that at the end of your program, you will be ready to perform your “A” license check dive and will officially graduate from the student program. At this point you will be a licensed skydiver, which allows you to jump in groups with other licensed skydivers almost anywhere in the world.

Conclusion

While jumping is optional, landing is absolutely mandatory, and the skydiving industry has had many years to work out criteria to make sure everyone in the sky is as safe as possible. Just like it was stated above, most of the skydiving drop zones in California and Texas are members of the United States Parachute Association (USPA).

As such, these facilities adhere to USPA’s Basic Safety Requirements as well as the safety guidelines set down by the parachute manufacturers. By law, people in the U.S. can’t sign up to complete skydive until they’re 18. But there is no maximum skydiving age limit, meaning anyone in good health can jump, even into their 80s and 90s.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Determines How Old You Have To Be To Go Skydiving?
  • Country
  • Dropzone
  • Industry regulations
  1. How Old Do You Have To Be To Skydive In The US?

According to the United States Parachute Association, a jumper is expected to be at least 18 years of age to skydive.

  1. How Long Is A Skydive?

Note that you can expect a skydive to take 2 – 4 hours from start to finish, starting from the moment you arrive at a dropzone. The procedures and time are broken down as follows;

  • Check-in & Safety Training: 30 to 45 Minutes
  • Ground Prep: 10 Minutes
  • Ascent in Airplane: 10 to 15 Minutes
  • The Freefall: 30 to 90 Seconds
  • Floating with Your Parachute: 5 to 7 Minutes
  1. How Old Do You Have To Be To Go Skydiving In Dubai?

In Dubai, you are expected to be at least 12 years of age or above (according to the Gregorian calendar) on the day of your tandem skydive.

  1. Does Skydiving Change Your Life?

Yes, skydiving changes your life in many ways.

  • Skydiving opens up your mind to possibilities.
  • Skydiving is the perfect way to push your own boundaries and see the real YOU.
  • Successfully completing a skydive makes anything seems possible.
  • Skydiving may push you to the limit of your comfort zone, but the reward is empowering and well worth it
  • Skydiving changes your life because it brings new people into it to share experiences with.
  1. What Would Happen If A Person Over The Age Of 100 Went Skydiving?

Nothing would happen, mainly because you can’t be too old to skydive. While there are some skydiving requirements anyone looking to Skydive is expected to meet, the real factor was never age; it’s basic fitness. A better indicator is flexibility: as long as you can sit in a chair and extend your legs out to replicate a landing, then even a person over the age of 100 can skydive safely.

  1. What Percentage Of US Adult Population Have Gone Skydiving?

Although there are no industry data to back it up, around 1-3% of US adult population have gone skydiving at least once.

  1. Can You Lose Weight Skydiving?

Yes, but not due to the sport but because you’re so eager and have resolved to get down to the maximum allowable weight to make a tandem jump.

  1. Can You Go Skydiving At 17?

In the United States, all United States Parachute Association (USPA) member dropzones are banned from entertaining guests under the age of 18 regardless of parental consent.

  1. What Is The Age Requirement For Indoor Skydiving?

In the United States, flyers in indoor skydiving can be around the ages of 3 to 103. However, children less than 18 years of age need to have a parent or guardian sign their waiver.

  1. Can A 12 Year Old Go Skydiving?

In the United States, a 12 year old cannot go Skydiving unless, in rare situations, it is a family or group event. However, a 12 year old can go Skydiving in Countries like Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Europe.

  1. How Many People Die From Skydiving?

In 2020, the USPA recorded 11 fatal skydiving accidents, which entails a rate of 0.39 fatalities per 100,000 jumps

  1. What Is The Minimum Age Requirement To Skydive At Skydive Carolina?

Skydive Carolina mandates that all guests be at least 18 years of age to skydive.

  1. Can You Skydive At 11 Years Old?

Just like it was stated above, a minor or an 11 year old cannot go Skydiving unless, in rare situations, it is a family or group event. Still, a 12 year old can go Skydiving in Countries like Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Europe

  1. Can You Skydive At 16?

At 16, a good number of European countries (France, Norway, and the United Kingdom specifically) would let you skydive.

  1. What Is The Earliest Age A Person Can Go Skydiving?

In the United States, the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and tandem equipment manufactures notes that all first time skydivers must at least be 18 years old.

  1. Can A 15 Year Old Skydive?

No, most countries only allow adults to skydive (18 or 19 or 21) depending upon national laws.

  1. Do Your Ears Pop When You Skydive?

Yes, your ears definitely do pop, but noticing it will more or less depend on the person. Air is naturally trapped in our middle ear. To equalize the pressure, air is then moved through the middle ear to the throat via the Eustachian tubes – hence the “popping” of our ears when Skydiving.

  1. Can You Skydive Under The Age Of 18 If You Have A Terminal Illness?

Yes, it is very much possible in the US and other countries, however, these jumps are referred to as “Make a Wish” jumps. This type of job requires time and planning to be approved. Also note that a waiver for tandem jumps may be issued to terminally ill persons under the age of 18, based on approval from manufacturers, who have age restrictions.

  1. What Are the Alternatives If I Want To Skydive but I’m Not 18?

Indoor Skydiving simulators, also referred to as wind tunnels, are a better alternative since you cannot skydive outdoor under 18. They’re more or less large tubes in which air travels upwards, and are open to people of all ages

  1. Do Heavier Skydivers Fall Faster?

Yes, the gravitational force on the heavy person will always be greater than that on the light person. Therefore, in a falling situation, it takes longer for the heavier Skydiver to reach terminal velocity and, definitely, will be falling at a faster speed.

  1. How Do You Convince Your Parents To Let You Go Skydiving?
  • If you are 18 and above, then you don’t need to convince them or ask for permission
  • Save up because if you don’t have to get your parents’ permission, then you also don’t need their money
  • Make them see your advanced, measured, researched risk-taking
  • Let them understand that Skydiving might be part of your future
  • Leverage a group or school excursion
  1. What Do You Have To Do As A Parent To Allow Your Kid To Skydive?
  • First, you kid must show a sincere intention and eagerness to skydive for themselves
  • Note that both biological parents are expected to consent and be present on the day of the skydive
  • Parents are also expected to prove relationship to the child
  • You will also need to present their and your own proof of identification. Acceptable forms include: birth certificate, school ID, passport, or social security card
  • Both parents are still expected to sign a liability waiver agreement
  1. What Are The Regulations On Skydiving When You Are 16 Years Old?

According to US law, someone must be at least 18 years old to skydive.

  1. Why Can’t I Skydive If I’m Under the Age Of 18?

For a person under the age of 18 to Skydive, a Waiver of Rights is expected to be signed. Note that this Waiver is a legally binding contract. However, until the age of 18, a minor is legally qualified to enter into a binding contract. In addition, parents do not have the legal right to sign away the rights of a minor or even enter into this contract for their children.

Have it in mind that in a court of law, a waiver signed by a person under the age of 18 is always dismissed and deemed irrelevant. Note that any skydiving Centre that entertains anyone below 18 leaves itself susceptible to major liability. Howbeit, there are no physical reasons that anyone under 18 can’t skydive. The only hindrance are the Legal Requirements in the industry and also because the risk is not worth it for skydiving centres.

  1. What Can Be Maximum Age Of A Person To Do Skydiving For The First Time?

In the United States, there is no maximum skydiving age limit, meaning anyone in good health can skydive, even into their 80s and 90s.

  1. Can You Skydive At 17 or 16 With Parental Consent?

In the United States, all United States Parachute Association (USPA) member dropzones are constricted from entertaining guests under the age of 18 regardless of parental consent.

  1. Can You Skydive At 16 In California?

In California, all skydivers are expected to be 18 years of age to Skydive.

  1. Who Is The Youngest Person To Skydive?

Toni Stadler from South Africa

  1. If You Are Under 18 Can You Still Jump If Your Parents Sign For You?

No, currently in the United States you can’t, but few years ago, in a couple states, parents could waive their children and allow them to learn to skydive on their own.

Joy Nwokoro