A guide to skydiving requirements and tips

Plan your first jump with these skydive requirements

Ever dreamt of soaring down from the skies, the wind whipping all around you? Well, consider your dream fulfilled with tandem skydiving! This adventure sport not only gives you an adrenaline rush like no other but also memories of a lifetime. 

However, as with all adventure sports, it comes with a reasonable amount of risk, and that’s where safety guidelines and rules come in. Read on to understand the skydive requirements before you take the leap.

Age requirements for skydiving in Australia

While skydiving looks like a lot of thrill and fun, there are several minimum requirements for the sake of safety. Here is what you should know about the age requirements:

  • Legal age: In Australia, the minimum legal age for tandem skydiving is 16 years. Those below 16 years of age cannot participate in this activity.
  • Parental consent: Divers who are below 18 years of age need the consent of parents or guardians to do so. A parent or guardian must also be present on the day of the dive. 
  • Upper limit: While there usually is no official upper limit for divers, older divers will be assessed on their fitness. Once you’re cleared of any health complications, you will be able to proceed with your tandem skydive.

Weight requirements for skydiving in Australia

For the safety of all participants, this adventure sport also has certain weight requirements that must be met. This is because of the body’s interaction with air pressure, gravity and other technical factors like climb rate, equipment management and fuel allowances. Here are some more details:

  • Maximum weight without surcharge: The maximum weight allowed for a guest without the application of surcharges is 95kg. The weight assessment will be done at the dropzone and will include the weight of your shoes and clothes as well.
  • Maximum weight with surcharge: 110kg is the weight limit with surcharge. The Safety Officer on site will have to assess the fitness of those who are in this category to eliminate any heart and back problems. The officer reserves the right to disqualify participants if deemed unfit for the dive. 
  • Surcharge rate: The approximate surcharge for guests who are over 95 kg is AU$50 and for those over 105 kg is AU$75. These may differ depending on the dropzone. This charge is levied because of a number of factors — more frequent equipment maintenance, specialized tandem masters who are equipped to guide those over 95 kg and others.

Physical health requirements for skydiving in Australia

Adventure sports like skydiving may be unsuitable for those with certain health conditions. Therefore, a proper health check before participation is one of the key skydive requirements. Some conditions that may be grounds for disqualification are:

Recent injuries, surgeries or illnesses

If you have been injured recently or have had surgery done, it is best to inform the skydiving staff before your dive. If you have flu symptoms or blocked sinuses, there may be complications during the dive because of the high altitude and low pressure.

Chronic conditions

Long-term conditions like heart problems, hypertension, epilepsy, respiratory issues, un-balanced insulin-treated diabetes and others may cause temporary loss of consciousness or oxygenating problems at such an altitude. These participants are usually not allowed.

Back problems and mobility issues

The harness is fitted in such a way that a lot of the pressure falls on the back, neck and groin areas. Plus, participants are required to get into certain positions to help with aerodynamics. Therefore, those with difficulties in movement or existing pain should avoid this sport.


Fluctuating blood pressure, oxygen intake, tension and other stressors can be dangerous to pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant guests are not allowed to skydive. Chances of noise exposure, miscarriage of the fetus, and other pregnancy-related problems may increase.


Those who have gone scuba-diving within the last 24 hours before their skydive appointment are not allowed to participate. This is because massive changes in the altitude and pressure between the sea and the sky can lead to bubbles forming in your blood and tissues due to Decompression sickness, which is extremely fatal.


All disabilities are not the same and, therefore, do not have a blanket rule. If you do have a disability, you may need a doctor’s medical certificate attesting that you are fit to skydive. The chief instructor at the dropzone will then assess to see if you fulfill all skydive requirements.

Weather requirements for skydiving

Skydiving is as much about the weather as it is about the participant’s fitness. It is an entirely weather-dependent sport and may sometimes get canceled due to unforeseen changes. Some weather-based skydive requirements are:

  • The sky must be clear. Low cloud covering around the dropzone can make it difficult to see the landing area and pose great risks.
  • Skydiving is not possible when it is raining. You may have to wait out the rain or the jump may be rescheduled. 
  • Strong winds can be dangerous during skydiving, especially during landing. Wind speed of 25 knots is generally the limit, beyond which dives are rescheduled.
  • What if my skydive is canceled due to weather conditions?

If the weather is unfavorable, the dive may be rescheduled to another day of your choice. If another date cannot be arranged based on your preference, you may be given ‘limbo’ credit, which will be valid for 12 months from your original activity date. 

  • Can I pick a different experience or dropzone? 

Depending on your skydiving facility, you can also get the option of picking a different dropzone or upgrading your experience when you return to redeem your limbo credits. If you go for an experience of higher monetary value, then you will need to pay the price difference.

Free fall position during skydive

When you get training to skydive solo, you may learn many different positions that will help you maneuver yourself in the air. But during tandem skydiving, after you jump with your instructor, the most important position you’ll be asked to follow is the Arch — chin up, neck slightly extended, belly button towards the ground and your hands, knees, shoulders and feet held up in an arch. This helps in maintaining stability and keeps the parachute pointing skywards. 

However, while exiting the plane, you may be asked to cross your arms over your chest or hold your harness with both hands. Just before landing, you will probably have to get into the crouching position, which is lifting your legs up and bending 90 degrees at the waist to allow your instructor to make the landing.

Skydiving tips for first-timers

Skydiving can be a thrilling sport but it may be equally nerve-wracking, whether you are a beginner or a pro. So, beyond skydive requirements, here are some tips that will help you make the most of this unique experience:

  • Dressing: It is best to wear loose and comfortable clothing during your dive. Athletic wear or comfortable casuals like track pants and joggers are ideal. During colder months, you may need warm gloves and jumpers as it is quite cold at such high altitudes.
  • Accessories: You will have to avoid carrying accessories like bags, jewelry, cameras or other items that can easily get lost during the dive. If you have any accessories on your person on the day of the dive, you will be asked to leave them behind in a locker before the dive. 
  • Shoes: You must wear covered shoes when skydiving, like trainers or sports shoes. Hiking boots or heels are not allowed.
  • Food: Eat a light meal before diving and make sure that you are hydrated. Overeating and fasting can both cause nausea. 
  • Preparation: When preparing to skydive, make sure that you have a good meal and get a good night’s sleep on the day before. This will help keep you fresh and fit for your dive. Don’t forget to use the toilet before your flight.
  • Breathing: Sometimes, when going through stress, we forget to breathe. This may cause light-headedness and dizziness. So, while you skydive, it is important to remember to breathe well. You may even do some light breathing exercises over the week prior to the dive in order to prepare.
  • Instructions: The most important thing during a tandem skydive is to listen to your instructor. These are skilled and experienced divers and they are there to ensure a safe and smooth experience for you. If you’re feeling anxious, they can even help you calm your nerves!
  • Recording policy: Many of the experiences offer photo and video packages so that you don’t miss out on recording the memories of your skydive. Otherwise, no personal Go-Pros or recording devices are allowed when skydiving.

Frequently asked questions about skydive requirements

What if I’m only slightly above the maximum weight limit for skydiving?

The maximum weight for skydiving in Australia is 95 kg. If you weigh more than this then you can pay an additional surcharge fee for customized equipment and additional harnesses. The maximum weight with a surcharge is up to 115 kg.

Why is there a surcharge for exceeding the weight above 95 kg?

To ensure your safety is maintained even if you exceed the weight limit, the skydive facility usually charges an additional fee for those above 95 kg. This fee goes towards the additional harnesses required, more frequent safety checks and employing highly experienced instructors who are trained to land those above 95 kg.

I just found out about my pregnancy but I had already booked a skydive. Can I still go?

Skydiving, even in the first trimester, is usually not recommended. This is to ensure that the body isn’t put under too much pressure during the dive. You can always come back for a dive after 9 months. Your limbo credits are usually valid for 12 months, and you can certainly celebrate giving birth to your little one with a skydive, as long as you’ve recovered from childbirth.

Why can’t I skydive while pregnant? Isn’t it healthy to exercise?

The body undergoes several physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy, and a strenuous activity like skydiving can put pressure on the body. The changing altitudes with hormonal changes can make you nauseous. The flight travel and the arch position you’ll have to maintain during the free fall can strain your body when it’s important for you to remain careful. While experienced divers can make an informed decision after a doctor’s consultation, if you’re a first-time skydiver, it would be a definite no-no.

What happens if I go skydiving after going scuba diving?

Skydiving within 24 hours of scuba diving can cause Decompression Sickness. Underwater pressure increases exponentially as you go deeper into the water, which leads to normal gasses inside your body to get dissolved into your blood, like nitrogen. This usually isn’t a problem as long as you give your body sufficient time to allow the nitrogen to escape naturally from your blood. However, if you go skydiving soon after scuba diving, the dissolved nitrogen turns back into gas much faster, causing bubbles in your blood and tissues. This restricts the flow of blood into your organs and oxygen absorption, which can be extremely fatal.