Practically anyone can enjoy a skydive as it is one sport that has very few restrictions and limitations. However a certain level of fitness is required and there is a height/weight ratio that needs to be adhered to in order to maintain the safety of both the jumper and any instructor making the jump with them. The medical declaration forms that all jumpers need to fill in regardless of knowledge and experience ask for this information in order to ensure that those who jump are provided with the right equipment to ensure a safe landing.
Sky Diving Limitations
- Those who sign up to make a jump must be over 18 years of age, as they need to sign a contract and legal waiver.
- The average skydiving weight limit for tandem jumps is 100kg (220lbs)
- The average skydiving weight limit for line or AFF jumps is 109kg (240lbs)
- All those aged over 70 who wish to jump should contact the skydiving school first to discuss ability and requirements.
Not everyone that wants to make a jump will be able to. Weight plays a big part in the decision as the parachute equipment in use is designed to operate safely within a specified skydiving weight limit. In tandem jumps the weight of the student, plus the weight of the instructor is added to the weight of the equipment which all needs to come in under the skydiving weight limit to ensure safety on the jump. Even if you weigh under the skydive weight limit you may not automatically be a fit candidate to make the jump, as BMI and body shape are also important factors.
Body shape may not seem important but for those who qualify to dive within the skydive weight limit could find the following:
- Apple or pear shaped people tend to have a larger thighs which makes the parachute harness incredibly uncomfortable. The strapping has been known to cause loss of circulation, nausea and in some cases unconsciousness during descent.
- In some cases the harness may not fit due to the body shape.
- It can be difficult to raise the legs for landing with an apple or pear body shape, making landings very uncomfortable and often painful.
- Jumping is not about just setting the harness and floating down to Earth, the AFF jumper is required to not only deploy their parachute but also maneuver and steer plus deal with any type of emergency that may arise during the jump and descent. The heavier the person the heavier and larger the parachute needs to be and the more effort is required in steering and landing.
- Body shape and excess weight could mean that a student is not able to reach parts of the harness, deploy the chute effectively or cope with emergency situations.
Skydiving weight limits are not there to exclude or discriminate against anyone, they are there to enforce safety and limit the risks taken by all involved.