Technically speaking, you can be any age at all to skydive. Someone just has to find a harness small enough to hold you firmly, and you’re likely to make it to the ground in one piece.
We know that many of those who ask about the minimum age, are first-time skydivers with eager teens tugging at their sleeves. As is the case of the 7 year old Liam, can’t wait until they turn 18, to finally be able to fulfill his dreams of becoming skydiver. Just before jumping, you can see on her face, as she sketches a small smile that reflects emotion, doubts and some fear. But as always, once in the air, Liam managed to relax and enjoy the scenery offered by Ukunda, on the shores of Kenya.
Yes, in Kenya, minors can do tandem skydiving, with the consent of their parents, while Skydiving operations in The United States has a minimum required of 18 year. Other countries in Europe and Australia, for instance, where hop-happy high schoolers have been traveling to get their certifications for many years–don’t have a skydiving age limit. In several countries outside the USA, kids as young as 12 can have a go as a tandem student. Kids not much older than that are welcome to earn their solo skydiving license.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that other countries are less contentious than USA. In the USA, the very real threat of lawsuit prevents any dropzone from allowing legal minors to make any kind of jump–no matter who signs on their behalf, and no matter how good, talented, smart and responsible a kid they might be. There are, unfortunately, absolutely no exceptions to this rule. See graph below for more info on minimum skydiving age limit for various countries.
The minimum age of skydiving is in place to ensure that the people who jump have the maturity to fully understand their choice. Skydiving is an incredible thing, but it also comes with inherent risks as found in all adrenaline sports.
However, age is one factor in skydiving, but once you’re old enough, other factors come into play. There are some general limitations of great importance when practicing skydiving. Which means not everyone can skydive. For example the weight, there are many variables to skydiving and weight is just one of them. The parachute systems have a maximum designed weight limit. On a tandem jump, we add up the total weight of the passenger, the gear, the Tandem Instructor to make sure we are not outside the limits of the equipment. If you are elderly, then there is a whole host of questions we would like to discuss with you to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for a skydive.
Liam is not the youngest skydiver. The youngest person to have skydived is four year old Toni Stadler, the child of German parents living part-time in South Africa, where the jump was made in 2000.