It’s true, kids can skydive too
One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “How old do you have to be to skydive?”. It may come as a surprise to some people that you don’t need to be of legal age to jump from a plane. But if you are under age, you’ll need a parent or legal guardian’s written consent.
At Skydive Geronimo, we’ve taken countless minors for tandem skydives. Kids love the natural rush of free-fall just as much as adults do and in many cases, the younger the person is, the less fear they have.
In this post, we’ll address the burning question of ‘how old do you have to be to skydive’ and introduce you to our resident child skydiver (he’s made 6 tandem skydives so far).
What’s the minimum age for tandem skydiving?
The minimum age for tandem skydiving in Australia is 12 years old. This age restriction is set by the Australian Parachute Federation (APF). In May 2012, the minimum age was lowered from 14 years old due to participant and industry demand. That means there were a lot of people under 14 years old wanting to jump from airplanes! And while there are provisions in place to allow kids under 12 to skydive, the APF application process is complex and rarely used by the general public. According to the APF, 90 per cent of applications for skydivers under the age of 12 comes from children born into skydiving families (see Meet Tai, a child skydiver).
Does your parent need to jump too?
Another common question saddled with the skydiver age query is ‘does mum or dad have to jump too?’. And the answer is no. If your parents do not want to skydive, or if they’ve already done it and don’t fancy another adrenaline rush, they just need to sign the waiver to allow you to jump with one of our experienced skydiving instructors. Of course, sharing a plane ride with your dad or mum to an altitude of 14,000 feet is a pretty rad experience and something you’ll both remember for a very long time.
Meet Tai, a child skydiver
Tai did his first tandem skydive on his sixth birthday over the glaciers of New Zealand in 2012. Since then, it’s been a birthday tradition and the young skydiver has now completed 6 skydives, most of them on or near his birthday. His most recent jump happened over the beautiful Busselton Jetty in early January 2019 for his 13th birthday.
Tai comes from a skydiving family. His father is Skydive Geronimo Busselton and Broome’s Chief Skydiving Instructor and Operating Manager, Paul Morton, and his mother is also a licensed skydiver. All of his underage skydives in Australia were put through the APF application process. He even had to write a letter expressing his interest in skydiving.
“I have been around skydiving my whole life and I already know that I want to be a skydiver when I’m older,” he wrote in his letter to the APF dated December 10, 2014.
Once Tai turned 12, he no longer had to apply for a special allowance to skydive with his dad. Since his 12th birthday, he’s done 3 tandem skydives with Skydive Geronimo: 2 jumps over the Busselton Jetty and 1 jump over Cable Beach in Broome.
He’s already talking about skydiving over Rottnest Island on his 14th birthday.
How old do you have to be to skydive?
The minimum age for tandem skydiving in Australia is 12 years old and you must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian until your 18th birthday. Your parent or guardian does not have to do a skydive with you but it sure is a great life experience to share together. The minimum age to learn to skydive to do solo skydives is 16 years old with parental consent.