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In short, yes, at certain dropzones, kids can go skydiving! However, since our dropzone is a proud member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA), we cannot legally allow anyone under the age of 18 to skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center.
Can a 12-year-old skydive? Not at a USPA-rated dropzone. If a dropzone is not USPA-affiliated, the skydiving age limit decision is at the discretion of the dropzone and the individual’s legal guardian.
Outside of the US, countries such as Mexico, Germany, and Australia all have dropzones that offer skydiving for kids! There are even some here in the US that are non-USPA rated and allow children to jump. The country with the lowest skydiving age is in New Zealand where there is no minimum age!
Can a baby skydive? Heck no. Skydiving equipment is by and large made to accommodate an average sized adult, and is not typically suitable for children. In fact, one of the largest manufacturers of tandem harnesses and equipment prohibits use of their gear for children.
Umm … everyone!! The positive side effects of skydiving are numerous. Along with astounding psychological and physical benefits, skydiving nurtures confidence; offers access to an awesome community; and encourages constant growth. How can a seemingly simple sport yield so much benefit?
When we do something enjoyable (such as jumping from a plane!), dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain. These chemicals, mixed with the adrenaline that courses through your body when you do super-exciting things, results in an experience unlike any other.
There are tremendous physical benefits of skydiving, including increased muscle mass and tone (that gear is heavy!), increased flexibility, and most importantly, increased stamina. Skydiving requires extreme focus (yes, more focus than studying for the SAT!) while doing some pretty tricky things. For you to keep cool at a stressful time (and to excel at these times) is impressive.
Note, some health challenges may preclude you from skydiving. Be sure to consult your doctor before you booking your jump if you have any concerns.
Every time we do something correctly, we experience a surge of confidence. This rings especially true if the task that we’ve completed took us a bunchhh of times to finally nail down.
One of the reasons skydiving continues to thrive is because, as a community, we understand the relationship between confidence, competence, and complacency. When someone is overly confident, they become cocky … and complacent, which is dangerous. Those who lack confidence likely also lack competence, which is dangerous too. Skydivers are taught to be self-aware of their confidence and competence levels, and to speak up if they see a community member struggling with either. When we help each other succeed, we enrich our community and advance the sport.
The skydiving community is unique in many ways and goes way deeper than weekends at the dropzone. From supporting one another on and off the DZ and adventuring together during weather holds to traveling to competitions and events, we’re a tight-knit and wonderfully welcoming group. We all share a profound love and respect for the sport, and are passionate about encouraging others to grow within it.
Having a growth mindset is key to being a skydiver. Skydivers possess a willingness and desire to grow, and we both push ourselves and allow ourselves to be pushed by others. To be open to criticism is critical. We know that we should not only take respectful feedback in stride, but also solicit it in order to become better, safer, more conscientious community members.
Indoor skydiving in a wind tunnel is as safe for children as it is for adults! Indoor skydiving is a fantastic way to be introduced to the freedom of flight, and some even choose never to try ‘the real thing’ and instead shred it up in the tunnel! And, in contrast to the minimum age at the majority of dropzones, kids as young as age three are permitted to participate in indoor skydiving.
We’ll put it this way, skydiving is statistically much safer than people think.
In 2021, there were zero student skydiving deaths recorded by the USPA and 10 fatal accidents by experienced skydivers – that’s out of 3.57 million skydives at USPA-dropzones around the country. Considering that 1 in 107 people die in a vehicle accident, that’s significant. Do these stats suggest skydiving is without risk? No. Skydiving is inherently risky – but it’s mitigated by the extraordinary tech and training that continues to evolve across our industry.
People often ask, “well, how scary is skydiving?” – an understandable question! After skydiving, first timers will describe their jump as ‘exciting’ or ‘exhilarating’ … not scary, as they may have initially thought. Skydiving is empowering! Fear-conquering! Life changing!!
And now you know all about skydiving and kids: in most circumstances, anyone under 18 is prohibited from skydiving in the US. Anyone can come watch skydivers in action, though … and those yearning to jump would likely love a gift certificate when they’re finally of age!! If you have questions in the meantime, reach out! We’re here to support. Blue skies!