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## What Height Do Skydivers Open Their Parachute?

Skydiving is an exhilarating experience that involves jumping out of an airplane and freefalling for a period of time before opening your parachute. The height at which you open your parachute is a critical decision, as it affects your safety and the duration of your freefall.

Factors Influencing Parachute Opening Height

The ideal parachute opening height depends on several factors, including:

– Exit altitude: The altitude from which you jump out of the plane.
– Type of parachute: The size, shape, and performance characteristics of your parachute.
– Weather conditions: The wind speed, temperature, and visibility at the time of your jump.
– Skill level: Your experience and proficiency in skydiving.

Recommended Opening Heights

Generally, the recommended opening heights for skydivers are as follows:

– Beginner skydivers: 5,000-7,000 feet
– Intermediate skydivers: 8,000-10,000 feet
– Advanced skydivers: 10,000 feet or higher

Reasons for Opening at Different Heights

Beginner Skydivers: Beginners typically open their parachute at a lower altitude to reduce the risk of malformations or injuries during freefall. A lower opening height allows for more time to stabilize the canopy and ensure proper deployment.

Intermediate Skydivers: As skydivers gain experience, they may increase their opening height to enjoy a longer freefall. Intermediate skydivers usually open their parachute around 8,000-10,000 feet, providing ample time for maneuvering and practicing various maneuvers.

Advanced Skydivers: Advanced skydivers, who are highly skilled and experienced, often open their parachute at altitudes of 10,000 feet or higher. This allows for maximum freefall time and gives them the opportunity to perform complex formations and canopy control techniques.

Considerations for High-Altitude Openings

Opening your parachute at a high altitude requires additional training and specialized equipment. Factors to consider include:

– Oxygen requirements: High-altitude jumps require supplementary oxygen to prevent altitude sickness and hypoxia.
– Pressurization: Skydivers may wear pressurized suits or oxygen masks to maintain normal air pressure at high altitudes.
– Equipment malfunctions: Equipment malfunctions at high altitudes can be more dangerous due to the limited time available for corrective actions.

Safety Considerations

The primary concern when determining parachute opening height is safety. Always prioritize:

– Adequate altitude: Ensuring there is sufficient altitude to allow for a safe and controlled landing.
– Wind speed: Opening your parachute in high winds can increase the risk of canopy instability and dangerous landings.
– Visibility: Good visibility is essential for locating the landing area and avoiding obstacles.

Importance of Training

Proper training is crucial for making informed decisions about parachute opening height. Skydivers should undergo rigorous instruction and practice to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to safely jump from various altitudes.


The height at which skydivers open their parachute is a critical decision that depends on factors such as experience, skill level, equipment, and weather conditions. By understanding the recommended opening heights and safety considerations, skydivers can maximize their safety and enjoyment of this thrilling activity.

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