Whether you’re a teenager looking for a new pastime or an 80 year old looking to fulfill a life long dream, skydiving has something to offer for everyone. But with each jump, whether an experienced tandem jumper or a new AFF student, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself. Skydiving can be one of the most beautiful and fulfilling experiences of a lifetime, but with all high speed activities,it carries with it some risks that can easily be avoided by simply being honest with yourself
1. Do you have any heart conditions which could cause an emergency while in the air, during the jump or on the ground? High blood pressure is bad anytime, but at 10,000 feet in a plane or during the jump, your options will be limited for medical help. Remember, you will not only be competing with the thrill, but also the altitude and the stress caused by fear.
2. Can your body take the opening and the landing? Many people underestimate the impact of the parachute opening, and while it could be unlikely, remember operated on joints may not find the sensation pleasure-able. As for the landing, you should be in good hands on a tandem, but instructors are not perfect, and if you’re on your own, accidents do happen.
3. Are you willing to sign off on the risks? Instructors take their jobs very seriously, and as such, you must be willing to accept a waiver that, if injured, it will be your own responsibility in all cases except extreme negligence. Be aware of possible complications before you jump.
4. Is your general health good enough? Heart problems aside, are you at a healthy weight and able to physically manipulate your body in the air? All rigs are manufactured to handle certain weights, be them tandem of AFF, so be sure to in a proper weight range and always make sure your instructor has weighed you in, in full gear.
5. Are any of your medications going to affect your abilities? While operating a rig may not be the same as heavy machinery, you will need to be 100% in the game mentally an physically. This means that certain types of medications, be they for pain, heart health or even depression, could have an effect on you during your experience.
Skydiving is a safe and fun sport, but sometimes people don’t think about the stresses that the body undergoes during a jump. So if you have any concern over your own safety be sure to ask your instructors. Like you, they want to enjoy the experience and get back to the ground in one piece. You owe it not only to yourself, but also your instructor, to make sure that you have no preexisting conditions that could hamper, or worse, endanger, the experience for either.