Tandem Skydiving Weight Limit

IS THERE A WEIGHT LIMIT FOR SKYDIVING? - Yes. All Drop Zones must implement a Tandem Skydiving weight limit to stay within the tested parameters of the equipment.

IS THERE A MINIMUM WEIGHT LIMIT FOR SKYDIVING? - There is no set minimum weight limit. However, harness fit is critical. A body type/shape/size that is too small or too large to be fitted correctly in a harness will be unable to make a skydive, regardless of weight.

WHAT IS THE WEIGHT LIMIT FOR SKYDIVING? - At Skydive Midwest, the weight limit for tandem customers is 250lbs. However, each skydiving center can determine their own weight limit to a certain extent. Usually 230-260lbs.

Tandem parachute opening

Why is there a weight limit for skydiving?

The maximum weight limit for a tandem skydive is primarily determined by the TSO (Technical Standard Orders) of the equipment. For most tandem skydiving gear that limit is not to exceed 500lbs of suspended weight. The total weight includes the weight of the tandem student, the tandem instructor and the weight of the gear being suspended from the reserve parachute.

Skydiving equipment is extremely durable and well-made. The harness alone can withstand thousands of pounds of force. However, safety is our number one priority and we always abide by manufacturer specifications, federal regulations and USPA requirements.

tandem skydiver with video

Will I be weighed before skydiving?

Yes. Each customer must step on a scale during the check-in process to confirm their weight. If you’re self-conscious about your weight, don’t worry. The display is behind the counter and only our customer service representative will see your weight.

Tandem skydiving weight limit

Will I be charged extra based on weight?

Skydive Midwest does NOT charge a surcharge based on weight. However, many skydiving centers choose to set a lower weight limit and charge what is known in the industry as a “fat tax” for each pound or increment over the “limit.”

An example from a competitor is as follows:

Jumpers weighing 200lbs - 220lbs will be charged a $25.00 surcharge

Jumpers weighing 221lbs - 240lbs will be charged a $35.00 surcharge

Jumpers weighing 240lbs - 250lbs will be charged a $45.00 surcharge

Tandem Skydive

Why do some skydiving operations charge based on weight?

There are several arguments for a fee based on weight; work load, safety, wear and tear on equipment and increased fuel consumption. While some of these arguments have validity, we find that most of them are just an excuse to get more money from customers.

INSTRUCTOR WORK LOAD - Additional weight can create more work for instructors. This rational, we agree with. More weight does equal more work sometimes. However, punishing a customer based on their weight and hitting them with additional, “hidden” fees on an already expensive activity seems like bad business to us. Some jumps are harder, some jumps are easier and hopefully it balances out at the end of the day.

If you want to reward your instructor for their efforts, consider leaving gratuity. For information on if/when you should tip and how much, check out our blog; Tipping in Skydiving.

SAFETY - Some skydiving centers will claim parachute performance and safety are an issue when it comes to weight. Our argument is that charging someone an extra $45 based on weight will not make skydiving any safer. Either a skydive can be conducted with some measure of safety or it can’t, charging a fee will not change that level of safety.

WEAR AND TEAR ON EQUIPMENT & INCREASED FUEL CONSUMPTION - Claims of additional wear and tear on equipment and increased fuel burn as a result of weight, are negligible and charging based on weight is more of “money grab” and shady sales tactic than anything else.


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