Tandem Skydiving: Everything You Need To Know!

Tandem Skydiving: Everything You Need To Know!

Published: April 27, 2020

Hello fellow adventurer! If you've landed on this page chances are you're contemplating making your very first skydive (or you're a freaked-out parent reading up on the safety of skydiving as your son or daughter just told you their plans to take the big leap!) Either way, we've got you covered with everything you need to know about tandem skydiving. Adventurists: get ready for one of the greatest adventures on planet earth! Fearful moms: take a deep breath, this isn't as irresponsible as it may seem!

What is Tandem Skydiving?

Let's start with the basics - a tandem skydive is a type of skydiving created for adventurists like yourself who want to experience jumping from an airplane without the extensive training required to jump solo. With the use of a harness made for two people, a professional skydiving instructor (tandem instructor) facilitates a skydive with first-timers with only about 45 minutes of pre-jump training. It's pretty sweet!

How Safe is Tandem Skydiving?

Great question! Tandem skydiving is pretty darn safe, but let's be clear, it's not without risk. The next sentence is going to freak mom out, so for you moms reading this, take a deep breath. You can die making a tandem skydive. (We thought we'd rip the band-aid off). But here's the reality, nothing in life is perfectly safe. The more important question is whether the risk quotient is acceptable, so let's look at the official statistics on tandem skydiving so you can determine for yourself if tandem skydiving is safe enough.

US Safety Statistics for Tandem Skydiving

According to the United States Parachute Association (we're proud members of the USPA), in the past ten years, about 1 tandem passenger in every 500,000 may die. According to the National Safety Council, a person is much more likely to be killed getting struck by lightning or stung by a bee.

So, while tandem skydiving isn't perfectly safe, it's regarded as a manageable risk. (You can stop huffing in that bag, mom).

Can Anyone Make a Tandem Skydive?

No. Depending on your age and health, tandem skydiving isn't an activity for everyone. Let's start with age. In most countries (except for New Zealand) there is a minimum age requirement. Here in the US, it's 18 for all USPA-member dropzones. There is no maximum age limit, it comes down to flexibility, weight, Body Mass Index, and overall health.

If Under age 18, Can You Make a Tandem Skydive with Parental Consent?

If making a skydive with a USPA Group Member dropzone then there's a simple answer for this one. No.


There is a non-USPA affiliated skydiving center in Colorado that does accept minors. The only other exception is for Make-A-Wish jumps.

What Is the Weight Limit for Tandem Skydiving?

The weight limit for a tandem skydive varies from one skydiving center to another. The most common max weight is 230lbs, but that is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule as body shape is a variable. A person who's 6'2", muscular and weighing in at 230lbs has a much different shape than someone 5'4", 230lbs. Trust us, no shaming here; it's all about safety revolving around how one fits in the harness!

If I've Been Indoor Skydiving, Is Tandem Skydiving Much Better?

We kind of hate having to answer this question because outdoor skydiving is so.much.better. We love indoor skydiving, but nothing compares to the adrenaline-pumping experience of exiting an airplane thousands of feet above the earth with an incredible ocean view. We recognize that we're completely biased, but there's really no comparison. Just keeping it real.

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Does My First Skydive Have To Be a Tandem Skydive?

At many skydiving centers, you do not have to start with a tandem skydive, but it is highly recommended before making the time and financial investment of learning to skydive. At Skydive Ocean City, tandem skydiving is our specialty - it's the only type of skydiving we offer!

Do I Have To Do Anything On My Tandem Skydive?

You betcha! This ain't no roller coaster ride; you will be involved! As you'll learn in training, you will have a key role in helping ensure a fun and safe skydive. You will be involved with the exit, free fall, and landing! Exiting and free falling with stability is important and you will be playing a big role in that! When it comes to landing, you'll need to have the core strength to lift your legs up and out to ensure your instructor's legs touch down first. Be ready for an adventure and be prepared to learn a new term: ARCH. You're going to hear that word a lot!

What Do I Wear for a Tandem Skydive?

Leave your boots and big belt buckles at home, cowboy - this is all about comfort and keeping all snag hazards down to a minimum! So, leave the jewels at home, and plan to wear comfortable clothes that aren't too baggy. If it's cool outside, it's all about layering your clothes - big bulky jackets are not the way to go. Tennis shoes, jeans, and a tee-shirt works great. Ladies (or gents), you'll want to bring some hair ties to keep your main under control - ponytails work great. Men with ZZ Top beards, you'll want to bring some rubber bands if you plan to enjoy our terrific ocean views!

Can Spectators Come and Watch My Tandem Skydive?

Nearly all skydiving centers in the country have a spectator area, but be sure to call and check if that's acceptable while fighting the effects of COVID-19. (You know... that corona thing that's been in the news).

Can You Breathe During a Tandem Skydive?

Some people have said that they're unable to breathe while making a skydive, but you can. Between having your breath taken away from you as you peer out the side of an airplane 10,000'+ feet in the air and having 120 mph winds hitting you in the face, you can indeed breathe. Pro Tip: Scream! When you scream, you'll draw another breath, and then it will be like riding a bike. Breathe in... breathe out. You got this!

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How Much Does a Tandem Skydive Cost?

The price for a tandem skydive varies greatly depending on how many skydiving centers are in a marketplace, the aircraft type flown, and the exit altitude. The range for a tandem skydive can vary from about $139 to $259. Word to the wise: the cheapest is not always best when it comes to skydiving. There is risk and there are costs involved in mitigating risks. Look at skydiving like you would finding a heart surgeon... experience and reputation over cost all.day.long!

Skydive Ocean City offers multiple tandem skydiving packages. Click here to review our rates and options.

Call the dropzone to get a sense of their professionalism and definitely read the reviews!

We hope this article has served as an excellent resource to begin your tandem skydiving experience. Should you have any other questions, please refer to our frequently asked questions page or contact us directly!

Was nervous going up but everything was so professionalized that I had no concerns about safety whatsoever.

» Reza M | Read More Testimonials