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Skydiving is exciting … or scary … or even both at the same time. Because of how stressful jumping out of an airplane can be for some people, we are often asked two questions: “can you skydive while drunk?” and “can you skydive while high?” The answer to both: absolutely not.
We get it. Skydiving for the first time is a HUGE deal. There are plenty of reasons to want to alter your state of mind when it comes time to jump out of an airplane.
Maybe you are so nervous you can’t think straight and just want something to slow your roll. Maybe you’re so amped up that you feel like adding a little mind-altering something-something will make the experience that much better. Or maybe you just partake regardless of what you’re doing.
No matter the reason, it is NOT a good idea to consume alcohol or drugs before skydiving. Even if it’s the night before, alcohol, weed, edibles, and other substances can negatively impact your skydiving experience. Just because you won’t be met with a breathalyzer or drug test the morning of your skydive doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of reasons to skip the substances before you take the leap.
Sure, it’s a bad idea, but is skydiving while drunk illegal? There are indeed government regulations against participating in aviation-related activities while drunk or high.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is the governmental organization that sets the rules for all things aviation. As a member of the USPA (United States Parachute Association), Wisconsin Skydiving Center adheres to all of these regulations, including the ones pertaining to drugs and alcohol. Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 105 Sec.105.7 states:
No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a person to conduct a parachute operation from that aircraft if that person is or appears to be under the influence of-
While you’re not going to get arrested if you show up to the dropzone drunk or high, the FAA’s rules are the law of the land. Nobody is allowed to skydive while under the influence, regardless of whether it be your first jump or your 10,001st jump.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t skydive while drunk or hungover. First and foremost, it’s against the rules! We know, we know, we told you already. Sometimes we can be real squares. But rules are important when it comes to safety.
What happens if you drink alcohol before skydiving? Rules aside, you won’t have a good experience if you decide to try to skydive after drinking. You won’t be mentally present for your jump and you’ll miss out on the best experience of your life! Think about other times you’ve been drunk. Impaired judgment, fuzzy memory, and slow response time. None of these things are a great way to experience your first skydive.
Alcohol also affects you physically. Your tandem skydive is not just a ride-along. You will be an active participant in many aspects of the jump, and drinking alcohol won’t make that any easier. Even being hungover from the night before can be a real drag. No one wants to experience freefall feeling nauseous, dehydrated, and fatigued.
A word of advice – save the partying for the after-jump celebrations!
When it comes to skydiving, weed is the same as alcohol. Anything that slows your response time and clouds your mind is a bad idea. You’re going to be hurtling toward the earth at 120 mph! Do you really want to be anything but fully present? You didn’t muster up the courage, time, and money just to throw it all away by not remembering the experience. Or worse, having a bad time.
Skydiving is all-consuming mentally and physically. Sure, your instructor will be handling the big stuff, but you do need to be able to think and respond quickly, and you need to have complete control over your body.
So, can you skydive if you smoke? Generally speaking, yes … but not if you smoke on the day of your jump. Wait until you get home to wind down from all that adrenaline.
Bottom line – do you have to be sober to skydive? Yes! If you show up for your jump drunk or high, someone will notice. And we’ll have no choice but to turn you away from skydiving that day. Don’t let a little thing stop you from enjoying your big day!
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