We receive a lot of questions regarding skydiving, so much so that we thought we would take the most common ones, and create a resource for everyone to see the most common questions and answers in one place.
Is Skydiving safe?
It really depends on your definition of the word safe. If your definition of the word safe means “no one has ever gotten injured doing it and never will”, then no, skydiving is not safe. At the same time, by that definition, neither is riding a bicycle or crossing the street. If your definition of safe is “very few accidents and the industry is highly regulated” then yes, skydiving is extremely safe.
About 60 people on average die every year in skydiving related accidents. While that might sound like a lot, 60 deaths is very low considering how many thousands of people jump every year. Most of those deaths are also from experienced skydivers getting cocky and trying dangerous moves, rather from beginners not knowing what they’re doing.
One of the common expressions in the skydiving community, is that skydiving is safer than walking across the parking lot at Wal-Mart. If you’ve been to Wal-Mart recently, you might just feel more comfortable in a plane you’re about to jump out of.
Do I need to do a training program before I go skydiving?
Yes, but you can do this in a couple hours immediately before going skydiving. There is no need to show up early or days before, or to try and prepare for this training session. Once you arrive at the drop zone, there will be instructors around who can teach you all the things you need to know about skydiving before getting started.
They will teach you how to use and put on your gear, as well as what to do in case of an emergency, which is very unlikely to happen. After just a couple short hours, you’ll be all ready to take to the skies for your first jump.
Can I do any tricks in the air on the way down?
Sure! In reality though, it will be your jumpmaster doing the stunts, you’ll just be strapped in to them while they do them. Depending on your jumpmaster, they might instruct you on how to do a barrel roll or similar maneuvers, but they will always be the ones in control to prevent problems if you start spinning too fast or too much. Always trust your jumpmaster – they know what they’re doing and can prevent any accidents from happening up there in the air.
Will skydiving affect my health insurance?
It all depends on how your life insurance was set up, but in most cases, no.
If you never planned to become a skydiver when you took out a medically underwritten life insurance policy, but decided to take up that hobby later in life, no, skydiving would not void your policy.
If you were a skydiver when you took out your policy, and put it on your application, and purchased a policy that covered it, skydiving would not void your policy.
If you took out a simplified or guaranteed issue policy that did not ask about skydiving, your policy would not be voided by skydiving, either.
The only way it might be voided is is you lied about skydiving on your application, then died from a skydiving accident.
What this basically means is if you already have life insurance and decide to go skydiving, nothing will change. If you are planning on or already involved in skydiving as a career though, and refuse to state that fact, then your life insurance may be null and void if you suffer an accident directly related to skydiving. For regular skydivers, here’s an article about skydiving insurance.
What kind of clothing is best for skydiving?
Comfortable, loose fitting clothes will always be best for skydiving. Skydiving gear is not known for being overly comfortable, so you want to make sure you wear comfortable clothes to not make the situation worse. Also, it can get pretty cold up there, so you want to make sure you wear warm clothes. No need to wear a puffy winter jacket, but you should have long pants and long sleeves at a minimum to cut down on wind resistance.
You should also make sure you have closed-toed shoes which can be tightened. Anything less, and they could come off your feet during free fall, which poses a threat to other jumpers and anyone who is waiting below on the ground.
I’ve seen people skydiving naked, can I do this too?
Skydiving naked is more of a gimmick, than something people actually do on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Keep in mind, skydiving naked is going to be COLD, even if it’s currently warm on the ground. On the way down, the wind will be whipping against your bare skin, and it probably won’t feel all that nice.
Also keep in mind, that unless you’re an experienced skydiver, you’ll be jumping strapped to a jumpmaster, and they need to be OK with you being naked and strapped to them. Since most jumpmasters are male, they will probably be OK with females jumping naked (although you as a female probably won’t be at that point!) but it’s unlikely they will allow a male jumper to be naked. Can’t blame them for not wanting to get strapped right to your bare butt!
How much does skydiving cost?
It really depends on where you are. In the US you can usually go skydiving for less than $200. Things can be even cheaper once you start traveling to countries where the costs are cheaper across the board.
When doing that though, you need to be even more prudent about checking into their safety records. While in the US safety standards are ridiculously high and regulated by the government, this is not true of all places. While there are still relatively few skydiving accidents, some operators internationally are just not as concerned with safety.
Also, going for the lowest cost provider is not always the best option. Some might cut corners on quality while others will cut corners on safety. If it comes down to spending a bit more or potentially risking your life, just shell out a few extra bucks for the peace of mind.
What is a jumpmaster?
A jumpmaster is an experienced, certified skydiver, who can assist new skydivers and jump with them in tandem dives. By definition, a jumpmaster needs to have a minimum of 500 jumps under their belt, although the large majority will have well over 1,000. Your jumpmaster should make you feel safe the entire time, since they will be the ones controlling everything in the air.
I really want to go skydiving but I’m scared. What should I do?
First, you should understand that skydiving is not dangerous at all when done in a controlled environment with trained professionals. There is very little chance of an accident if you are jumping with a jumpmaster who works for an accredited operator.
If you are still scared though, you can try indoor skydiving first. Indoor skydiving is basically a wind tunnel, which mimics the feeling of skydiving and lets you get an idea of what is involved, without having to jump out of the plane first. Most people have so much fun indoor skydiving, that they can’t wait to go and try out the real thing very shortly afterwards.