Contrary to what many people say skydiving is safe as long as you follow some basic guidelines. There are a few deaths from skydiving each year; an average of 35 or so out of around 2 million jumps. Other things that may factor into the safety of jumping:
- The aircraft – all aircraft are required to meet certain safety standards by the aviation industry as well as skydiving regulations. Make sure the center you choose has outstanding instructors and a track record you can trust.
- The equipment – a lot of people who are afraid of skydiving say that the possible failure of safety equipment is what keeps them from going. In actuality, equipment rarely fails. Again, check the center’s track record before you decide to jump with them.
- Procedures – Most injuries and deaths related to skydiving have to do with a lack of understanding. You have to pay attention to, and make sure you fully understand, the procedures and the judgment calls you may have to make.
The government does not regulate the age or physical health of skydivers. However, most skydiving centers require that jumpers meet the age requirement of 18. Skydiving is physically strenuous. If you have any questions about your health you should go to your doctor for a physical. There is no “top age” for skydiving. Some physical conditions that may affect your ability to skydive include heart problems, epilepsy and obesity.
There is standard safety equipment used during every jump. They include:
- A helmet – the landing can be a little difficult at times. A helmet will protect your head in the event of a rough or hard landing.
- A jumpsuit – a jumpsuit is the thing that will protect you from wind and any debris. The initial shock from the cold when you jump is something that does not need to be added to your already nervous mind and body.
- A harness – The harness needs to fit properly. Make sure your jumpsuit and harness work well together and do not create any openings or gaps.
An automatic activation device – this opens the parachute at a predetermined altitude and is a great tool for first time jumpers.
An altimeter – this piece of equipment measures your altitude.
The instructor/trainer – he or she teaches you what you need to know and if it is your first time skydiving it is recommended that you do it with an instructor.