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Skydiving is an incredible experience; one that excites and frightens individuals in equal measure. Whether you’re after the physical rush or looking for a more spiritual experience, as you toy with the notion of jumping from a plane, at some point, you’ll start to wonder, just how dangerous is skydiving?
Assessing potential danger before diving headfirst into a new thrill is, undoubtedly, a wise decision. It means you’re taking the experience seriously and looking to be as prepared as possible.
Without devaluing the necessity of proper research, when investigating the relative safety of any activity, it is also important to acknowledge that exposure to danger is a natural byproduct of living. Short of putting yourself in an airtight bubble, there is no way to completely eliminate risk. Likewise, there is no activity on earth that can be considered “completely safe.”
The question at hand for skydiving, then, is not just how dangerous is it, but is skydiving worth the risk? With the information below, we hope you’ll have the data you need to determine if skydiving is worth the risk for you.
The allure of the wild blue yonder is hard to deny. Just look at the numbers. Every year, roughly 3.3 million skydives are made, and this has been true for nearly the last decade. Although, as we mentioned above, skydiving is not “completely safe,” as far as risk assessment is concerned, the chance of dying from skydiving is incredibly low.
According to the most recent data gathered by the United States Parachute Association, of the 3.3 million skydives that were completed, there were 15 skydiving fatalities. Based on this data, that is a 0.00045% chance of dying on a skydive. The statistics for dying on a tandem skydive are even less. Over the course of the past decade, there has only been one tandem student fatality per every 500,000 jumps, which is a .0002% chance of dying.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of these unfortunate deaths are not caused by malfunctioning skydiving equipment or failing parachutes (today’s parachutes are wonders of modern engineering and are very safe). Rather, many of these skydiving fatalities are the result of professional skydivers pushing the limits with advanced maneuvers beneath their parachutes. The majority of the skydiving deaths which are recorded are the result of a pilot error, not a parachute failure.
Comparing skydiving to other sports can sometimes be like trying to compare apples to oranges. Is skydiving more dangerous than tennis? Probably. Is skydiving more dangerous than scuba diving? Nope! Is skydiving more dangerous than another aviation sport like hang-gliding or paragliding? Doubtful. The risk quotient for these analogous activities is about the same, if not, actually, erring toward the side of hang-gliding and paragliding being the more dangerous options.
The facts are immutable: adventure sports involve inherent risks. The difference lies in how these risks are managed.
Skydiving is not without risk, but the mitigation strategies that are used within our sport, and specifically at Wisconsin Skydiving Center, allow us to minimize the risks that exist. By enforcing stringent safety standards, adhering to training policies, and employing thorough training programs, skydiving becomes safer each year. With over 13,000 skydives to his name, the owner of Wisconsin Skydiving Center, Bo Bobavic, is a living, breathing, skydiving testament to the relative safety of the sport.
Truly, the answer to whether or not skydiving is worth the risk is going to require individual reflection. Though, based on what we see during our daily operation and statistically, based on the 3.3 million jumps that occur each year, it would seem that for many, the experience of a skydive is definitely worth the risk. Why is this? We believe it is because skydiving is more than a thrill: it is an opportunity to embrace the journey. It isn’t just a wild ride, it is a life-affirming achievement. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
If you’re looking for more information on tandem skydiving, including pricing info, or for specifics regarding safety precautions taken here at Wisconsin Skydiving Center, feel free to contact us. We believe we offer the best skydiving experience in the Midwest and we hope to share the skies with you soon.