Seven Common Questions Asked By First Time Skydivers

girl doing a tandem skydive

 

Tandem skydiving is often the first experience people have with the world of skydiving. Whether you are super excited about jumping out of a plane or you have butterflies in your stomach just thinking about it, skydiving is a fun and exhilarating experience that we should all experience at least once in our lives.

If you are unsure if you want to go skydiving or you just have a few questions that you need answered before deciding to take the plunge, to clear away a few of those pesky questions, here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about tandem skydiving.

1. What are the age limits for skydiving?
In Australia, by law, the minimum age for tandem skydiving is 12 years old. If you are between the ages of 12-18 years, you will require the written consent of a parent or guardian and they must be present on the day of your jump. If you are looking to skydive solo, the minimum age is 16 years of age.

There are no age limits for adults as long as you are in good physical health and have a sense of adventure. If you are concerned about your health, please seek advice from your doctor.

2. Will I get sick from skydiving?
While everyone is different, in general, you shouldn’t become sick from skydiving.

If you suffer from motion sickness, you may want to talk to your tandem master before skydiving and request that they make as few turns as possible. As your safety is their main priority, they will need to make some turns to land you safely!

Ensure you do eat before skydiving. Those who don’t eat or only eat a small meal, are generally the ones who feel ill. Skydiving on an empty stomach isn’t advised.

If you find that you are ill (not just from nerves) on the day of your booking, contact your skydive company and confirm you are still able to jump. Head colds, for example, are not enjoyable while flying or skydiving.

If you are thinking about consuming alcohol or drugs prior to your jump, think again. Skydive masters have the right to refuse your jump if they think you are under the influence. Rather than consuming alcohol to calm the nerves, why not have a drink to celebrate your jump once you land?

3. Do I need to be fit to skydive?
You’re not running a marathon, so you don’t need to an Ironman Champion! But you do need to be in general good health to skydive safely.
If you have back, neck, heart problems or any other serious condition, check with your doctor before you book your skydive. If you think you have a medical condition/disability that automatically means you can’t skydive, check with the team at your chosen dropzone, you might be surprised!

4. What are the weight restrictions on skydiving?
All skydiving companies have a weight limit imposed on tandem skydiving. This is due to the actual load the parachute and all attached parts can bear. This limit is generally around 110kg, but it pays to check with your chosen dropzone as they may have different specifications/limitations.

Bear in mind, many companies will take customers over 100kg on a case-by-case basis, and may actually need to meet you in person before making a final decision. Your height and build, and the weather conditions on the day of your skydive can impact whether or not it will be safe for you to jump. It is definitely best to talk to your dropzones safety officer, as they will do their utmost to throw you out of their plane, but only if it is safe to do so!

5. What weather conditions are not good for skydiving?
Skydiving is one of those things that ultimately is in the hands of the weather gods. You will only know for certain if your jump will go ahead on the actual day you are booked.

Ideally you may want beautiful blue skies and light winds, but don’t let a bit of cloud and wind put you off. It can be really fun to watch the clouds zooming past you!
A tandem skydive will be cancelled due to the weather if the wind is consistently over 25knots (around 46km/h), or the sky is completely overcast below jump height.

If you are unsure check with the skydiving company you are booked with, as they’ll be familiar with the weather patterns in their area. Often, in Western Australia where Southern Skydivers operate, a forecast of rain showers will mean 10 minutes of rain followed by 50 minutes of almost blue skies, which is enough time for the plane to get to 15000ft and for you to jump out!

6. What is the maximum height I can skydive from?
In Australia, the maximum height you can do a tandem skydive from is 15000ft (that’s a huge 66 seconds of freefalling!).

7. How much does skydiving cost?
This is the most common question asked about skydiving!! First of all consider the old saying “You get what you pay for”…this is not something you necessarily want to get the cheapest deal on. That is not to say of course that the cheapest option is always bad!

Most tandem skydiving companies are going to have different prices, based on all sorts of things from the size of the company to their location and what extras they offer.

Skydiving can range anywhere from AU$250-$750 and beyond, depending on what package you choose. Try not to let the price be your deciding factor, jump from the height you really want, and get some form of video evidence!

If you can convince 2 friends to jump with you, most operators will offer you a group discount for 3 or more people.

Skydiving is extreme, but fun! Don’t think too long and hard about it, if you have more questions call up and talk to someone with experience. Then just get out there and do it!

Author Bio: This article was written by Glenn Stutt the Chief Skydiving Instructor and Owner of the award-wining WA skydiving company, Southern Skydivers, specialists in tandem skydiving in Western Australia. Contact with Glenn today on Google+.