First Time Skydiving: How Old Do You Have to Be to Skydive

In most of the United States, there’s an easy answer for that: to be old enough to skydive, you have to be old enough to vote. That’s it! That covers it. You have to be at least 18 years of age on the big day, but you can do it until you’re as old as old can be.

Want more? Cool. Here are our favorite factoids about the skydiving age limit.

You have to be 18 years old to do a skydive at Skydive Chicago.

For Americans, that 18th birthday is kinda a big deal. Right? At 18, you suddenly find yourself neck-deep in all the rights and responsibilities of legal adulthood. You can join the military to show your patriotism; you can cast your vote to make a difference; you can open your own bank accounts; you can sign a lease for your own place. You can even get married without a signoff from your guardian and start buying your own cigarettes. (Though, y’know, maybe don’t do those last things. We like you too much already.)

Finally–drumroll, please!–you can do your first skydive. You’d better believe that we celebrate a lot of 18th birthdays at Skydive Chicago, believe us! There always seems to be a birthday cake or two running around over here.

You can’t be too old to make a skydive.

Speaking of birthday cake: It doesn’t matter how many candles are flickerin’ around up on that pastry. The big birthday jumps are usually the ones that make the headlines–the folks celebrating their hundredth time around the planet, for instance. Hear this, though: Not only do people over the age of 50–60–70–80–90–even one hundred make tandem skydives on the regular, but plenty of sport skydivers make dozens of solo skydives a month at seriously dignified ages. Our sport even boasts special skydiving clubs to celebrate these milestones, as well as provide a context to share some rocking-chair camaraderie with similarly badass grandparents!

There are two things you oughta know about the folks that make that first jump at ripe old ages, by the way: First, every single one of them expresses the wish that they’d started long ago, and secondly, the overwhelming majority of 70-plus first-time skydivers do it just to relish the experience of freefall for themselves, not to celebrate a cakeday.

how old to skydive

The ideal skydiving age is your (18+) age, today.

The real factor in skydiving age limits isn’t age: it’s the legal ability to make decisions for yourself, plus basic fitness. A good indicator of your physical ability to skydive, no matter what your age, is flexibility: If you can sit in a chair and extend your legs out, that’s a good indicator that you’ll be able to perform a safe skydiving landing. If that works out, you’re probably good to go, whether you’re 18 or 118! Do make sure you check with a doctor before you schedule your jump, of course, just to be on the safe side. After you get that green light, it’s time to let yourself get excited about it!

Skydiver Bill Wood probably said it best. “You don’t quit skydiving because you get old,” he insisted. “You get old because you quit skydiving.” Truuuuue dat.

So whaddaya say? How’s about making a reservation to jump with us for your 18th birthday party (or your great-grandkid’s 18th birthday party)? We only ask that you share the cake.

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