Published: October 10, 2017
Every waiver in the skydiving industry clearly states the same home truth: Skydiving is inherently dangerous, and participants can be killed while participating in the activity. Yikes, right?! You should know, however, that the actual skydiving safety statistics that describe tandem skydiving safety in statistical terms are also unequivocal in their statement: Skydiving is safer now than it has ever been. We would argue (pretty passionately, actually) that skydiving is well worth the tiny risk you're undertaking when you make that life-changing tandem leap. Here's what you really need to know about skydiving safety so you can make your decision with confidence.
Skydiving is a sport with risks. You're jumping out of a flying airplane, after all. But every sport is a sport with risks, no? Indeed, anything remotely interesting that you do on any given day involves a degree of risk involved--from jumping out of a plane to crossing the road. We believe that it's the investment in that risk that pays off bigtime in a sport like skydiving, when the level of inspiration and self-confidence returned to you for your effort is so vastly disproportionate to the risk you've undertaken.
You'll also be interested to know that the skydiving community upholds an ongoing commitment to mitigating that risk. Evidence: the technological advances in our equipment, the comprehensive training we each dedicate to and the well-learned processes we maintain to keep ourselves--and those with whom we share the sky--safe.
As we mentioned before, parachute safety has undergone an elemental revolution in the past couple of decades. In fact, skydiving is getting safer every year in the US. The most recent data from the United States Parachute Association (USPA)* illustrates that point, showing that a fatality rate that's at its lowest rate in history--just 0.006 per every 1,000 jumps completed. The first ever record of skydiving fatalities in 1961 showed an average of 3.65 fatalities per 1,000 skydives. Our modern number stands testament to the great leaps that have been made, n'est-ce pas? To put that in perspective: That means that it's more mathematically likely to die from a lightning strike, a dog bite, a wasp sting, a bicycle accident, by choking or--very much so--in a motor vehicle crash, per the National Safety Council.
It's not just fatality, though, is it? It's injury, too, that you're thinking about as you fence with the idea of making that jump. Skydiving injuries, of course, are far more common than skydiving fatalities--but they're still far less common than you might think. In 2015, out of about 3.5 million jumps, there were 1,920 injuries requiring medical care--or one injury per 1,806 skydives. Often, injuries occur when jumpers try something outside their skill envelope; in other cases, it's as simple as somebody landing on an ankle in slightly the wrong way or tripping over a gopher hole as they're landing their parachute.
Safety will always be a massively important consideration for potential skydivers. And it should be! Managing risk is one of the core skills we hone in our sport, and starting early with a well-considered approach to tandem skydiving safety will serve you well in life as well as in jumping.
Skydiving is a landmark life experience. Don't let your fears hold you back! Book your tandem skydive today. Feel free to contact a member of our team with any questions! We're here for you.
*The USPA is the advisory body which establishes and maintains the best practices in our sport and records of the number of fatalities and injuries amongst its members. There are more than 35,000 USPA members across 230 affiliated skydiving centers worldwide!
"A memory to last a lifetime!"
» Lee L.