How High Are Skydiving Jumps?

If you’ve never made a jump before, the thought might have just occurred to you: how high are skydiving jumps?

In skydiving, altitude is everything. In general, the skydiving height equation is pretty simple: the higher the altitude you jump from, the longer you’ll get to experience that sweet, thrilling freefall!

But to answer the question, “how high are skydiving jumps?” In short, we’d say it depends on the type of skydiving you’re doing. If you’d like an answer a bit more in-depth than that, we would love to explain. You see, though the range of civilian skydiving exit altitudes can range anywhere from 3,000ft to 18,000ft (with military operations occurring from heights of up to 35,000ft), there are some skydiving industry standards across the board.

Average Skydiving Height

Because of aircraft restrictions at the majority of dropzones, the typical skydiving height is 10,000ft. At about two miles above the earth, a skydive from this altitude is still pretty impressive. In general, skydives from this height offer participants a freefall of around 30 seconds. The reason for the lower altitude has to do with the type of plane that is commonly flown at skydiving operations. The reliable Cessna 182 is truly the workhorse of the industry. It’s typically the first plane a dropzone can afford, and many love the experience they get with the added fun of climbing out on the strut. However, this plane is not able to safely fly much higher than 10,000ft.

Now, if you come across a dropzone with a turbine aircraft, you’ll see the typical skydiving height averaging somewhere between 13000-14000 feet. Skydives from this height offer participants a freefall that lasts anywhere from 45-60 seconds.

How High Are Skydiving Jumps? | Skydive California

Low Altitude Skydiving a.k.a Hop-n-Pops

Some licensed skydivers actually prefer to jump from lower altitudes. This is particularly common with skydivers who want to focus on their canopy flight skills. These individuals prefer to spend their time beneath their parachutes practicing different maneuvers as opposed to experiencing freefall. This type of jump is often called a “hop-n-pop” because you “hop” out of the plan and “pop” your parachute. These types of jumps normally occur between 3,000ft and 5,500 feet.

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High Altitude Skydiving

It is entirely possible to skydive from heights above 15,000 feet. Typically, these types of jumps are conducted by highly experienced skydivers as they attempt to build large formations. However, to complete a skydive above 15,000 feet, a jumper will need to use supplemental oxygen. Scientifically speaking, as you ascend to higher altitudes there is a steady fall in atmospheric pressure. As this happens, the oxygen molecules in the air are spread farther and farther apart. This means the oxygen content of each breath taken in is incrementally less. Simply speaking, in higher altitudes, the air is thinner. To avoid the altitude sickness that can occur with deficient oxygen, jumpers must have supplemental oxygen to participate in jumps above 15,000 feet.

Typical Skydiving Height at Skydive California

At Skydive California, we are lucky to have a Cessna 208 Caravan in our fleet. This bird is equipped with a powerful turboprop engine that can get our jumpers to 13,000 feet in about 15 minutes. Because of our aircraft’s capability, our typical skydiving height is right around 13,000feet.

Wanna see what all the hype about skydiving height is about? Visit us at Skydive California and see for yourself!

What Is The Maximum Height You Can Skydive From?

Skydiving! If the idea of jumping from a plane miles in the sky excites you, then skydiving is just the outdoor experience you’re missing out on. When you go for a skydiving experience, there is a wide range of altitudes offered, from 7000 feet to 18000 feet. If you’re a first-time sky driver, the height to jump from is one of the most important decisions to make.

What’s the maximum height you can skydive from? Read ahead to find out!

While experienced skydivers can fall from a variety of heights, the range becomes shorter for tandem heights and depends highly on the institute you’re diving with. In tandem skydiving, you’re attached to a certified instructor who does all the hard job for you, all you have to do is enjoy the astounding landscape and revel in the freedom of flying through large expanses of sky. But first! Why does the height matter? Well, a typical skydiving experience is made up of 4 parts. The aircraft journey to the height, the jump, the freefall, and the parachute. The aircraft size increases when the height increases, the jump remains the same for all experiences, and the freefall and parachute time depend on the height you dive from.

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man skydiving

Photo by Henry Li from Pexels

The sensation during freefall is the same you’d feel when you put your hand out of the window of a fast car. The wind forces your hand back, but the weight of your hand keeps it from going backward. This is the same experience you’ll get when you’re in free fall, the air below puts upward pressure on your body, and you feel like you’re floating through the air. For a 10,000 feet jump, you’ll be in freefall for 30 seconds, and this comes up to 60 seconds for a 14,000 feet jump. The rest of the journey is with the parachute opened, which takes more time and is a much calmer experience.

What is the maximum height you can skydive from?

The first time you skydive, the height won’t matter. If you have skydived before, you’ll understand why the extra free fall seconds higher jumps provide the matter. In tandem skydiving, the maximum height you can skydive from is 18,000 feet. Chattanooga Skydiving Company, in the US, provides this height for tandem jumping. The altitude gives you a whopping 2 minutes of freefall!

Before you hop on for an 18,000 feet jump, here’s an important fact: This fall will require you to wear an oxygen mask. If you’ve ever climbed a mountain, you’ll notice you feel less air at a higher height. It’s not that there’s less air, it just becomes thinner which makes it harder to breathe. You’ll feel this especially when jumping from 18000 feet, the inadequate oxygen supply makes for an uncomfortable experience, and takes away from the pleasures of skydiving. The lack of oxygen in the cells and tissues causes Hypoxia, which leads to slower reaction times, altitude sickness, poor decision-making skills, and can even have fatal complications.

Obviously, these extreme high altitude jumps require professional jumpers, specialty aircraft, and supplemental oxygen.

What is the maximum height you can skydive without needing oxygen?

If you’re not thrilled with the idea of wearing an oxygen mask while skydiving, we hear you! While the higher jumps give you more freefall time, using an oxygen mask takes some fun away. Your face might feel constricted, and where’s the fun when you can’t scream at the top of your lungs?

Typically, the maximum height you can skydive without needing oxygen is 15,000 feet. You still get a little more than 60 seconds in freefall, giving you plenty of time to revel in the breathtaking landscapes the experience brings.

skydiver freefalling

Can you skydive from 35000 feet?

When even the 18000 feet jump fails to excite you, HALO skydiving has your back. High Altitude Low Opening skydiving was originally developed as a means for tactical military to deliver military equipment, supplies, and personnel to distant or enemy areas. Simply put, you jump from a height anywhere between 15000 and 35000 feet and deploy the parachute at a lower altitude.

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So why choose HALO skydiving? Well, freefall time is related to height, and higher heights give you a greater freefall time. With a 35000 feet jump, your freefall time increases to 3 minutes. For those three minutes, you’ll experience slowly falling through the air, feeling like a bird, and enjoying the splendid scenery around you.

Well, can you go higher? The record for the highest free-fall parachute jump is 135,890 feet, on October 24, 2014, by Google Senior VP Alan Eustace. The freefall lasted 4 minutes and 27 seconds, the longest ever recorded.

For commercial skydiving, however, the maximum height is 35000 feet, which still gives you plenty of freefall time.

Skydiving Maximum Height

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

What is the lowest height you can skydive?

If you’re a first-time skydiver, it might be a good idea to start small (well, as small as skydiving can get!) Generally speaking, the lowest height you can skydive is between 7500 to 9000 feet, depending on the company you skydive with.

There might be a number of reasons why you might want to start small, the most common is the price factor. For a first-time experience, you don’t necessarily care about the freefall time, so a lower-cost option is a perfect fit for you. You can always choose more expensive packages for the greater height they provide, but a 7500 feet jump will still be enjoyable if you’re new to skydiving.

What about the freefall? Well, for a 7500 feet jump, you’ll experience 20 seconds of freefall.

The Bottom Line

The average industry range for tandem skydiving is 7500 to 18000 feet. The minimum height to tandem skydive is 7500 feet which gets you 20 seconds of freefall. The maximum height for this category is 18000 feet which increases freefall time to 2 minutes, but anything above 15000 feet will require you to wear an oxygen mask. For people looking for higher heights, HALO skydiving accomplishes 35000 feet.

If tandem skydiving is too scary for you, try indoor skydiving, it’s safer!




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