It’s the world of the unknown – the planes, the mysterious equipment (jokingly called the magic backpack), the noises, the training, the lingo…. there’s so much to know! We’re here to help unveil some of the unknowns as you venture into this wonderful world of skydiving!
Question 1 – Is skydiving safe?
Well, skydiving is inherently dangerous. There’s no 2 ways about it. As you enter this world you’ll be asked to sign a release of liability because of the risks involved. With that being said we attempt to mitigate these risks every way possible so our guests have an incredible experience. But don’t just take our word for it:
From the article, “Recreational Skydiving—Really That Dangerous? A Systematic Review” published in 2023 states:
With modern equipment and training methods, fatalities occur in less than 1 per 100,000 cases, and serious injuries requiring hospitalization in less than 2 per 10,000 cases. This puts the assessment of skydiving as a high-risk sport into perspective.
In 2021, the annual fatality count hit a record low of 10. Tandem skydiving—where you’re attached to an experienced skydiving instructor for your jump—has an even better safety rate, with one student fatality per 500,000 jumps on average over the past 10 years.
Question 2 – How Long Does it Take to Make My First Skydive?
Although there is no definitive time frame, we do our best to run operations efficiently and get you in the sky shortly after training. Therefore, we generally say that the whole experience will take a few hours, but plan on spending half a day. In skydiving we must be flexible as there are a few things that determine our day.
Skydiving is a weather dependent sport and conditions such as low clouds, rain, and high or turbulent winds will keep us on the ground. Sometimes the weather clears, other times it doesn’t and unfortunately, we cannot exactly predict what it will do. When guests arrive late, then can set back the rest of the day. Sometimes we can also experience aircraft delays which all play into how the day will unfold. We do our best to communicate and accommodate our guests.
Question 3 – Can I Bring My Own Camera?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. We definitely understand you want to capture this epic experience. However, as we stated above, skydiving is inherently dangerous and tandem skydiving isn’t just a carnival ride – you play an active role as a student in skydiving. That said, USPA also states that skydivers must have 200 skydives or more and requires training prior to wearing a camera, and our instructors also have requirements before they can take one to capture their students.
Yes, of course we’re biased and we want you to get one of our video packages! But we only say that because we once were new and often hear the biggest regret is not getting video and pictures. So although we need you be focused on your tandem skydive, we do have professionals that can capture the experience for you! Check out our packages HERE.
Question 4 – Can I Jump With My Friends?
Depending on the group sizes we can fit 2 tandem students and 2 instructors in our Shark plane. Sometimes we will bring in a large plane for specialty weekends and will be able to accommodate a group of 4. These are posted HERE on our Social Calendar.
Question 5 – How Old Do You Have to be to Skydive?
In short, you need to be at least 18 years of age with proof of ID to skydive at Skydive Shenandoah. Due to the nature of our sport, we abide by the say so of our national organization and manufacturers recommendations for age limits.