Skip to main content

Fun Facts About Skydiving: 12 Surprising Tidbits Every Thrill-Seeker Should Know

tandem skydiving experience in the airplane
tandem skydiving in the airplane

Skydiving isn’t just a sport, it’s an exhilarating sport that captivates our hearts and minds! And, it peaks our curiosity. Beyond the breathtaking views and heart-pounding shreds, there’s a world of fascinating skydiving facts and quirky tidbits ready for the taking. Let’s soar through history, docking on some fun facts about skydiving along the way! We’ll answer some frequently asked questions, too, like:

  • Does the FAA regulate skydiving?
  • What is the survival rate of skydiving?
  • What percentage of skydivers are female?
  • What is an interesting fact about skydiving freefall? 
  • How fast is skydiving?
  • What is the highest skydive by a human?
  • What is a fun fact about a parachute? 

Important Facts About Our Sport

#1. The USPA & FAA Govern Skydivers

Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association (USPA) is one of the governing bodies for skydivers. They regularly take surveys, collect incident reports, and lobby for us! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs the US aerospace system, which includes the aeronautical activity of jumping from perfectly good airplanes. 

#2. The Fatality Rate Is Extremely Low

In 2023, about 3.65 million jumps were made, 10 of which were fatal. Running the numbers, the fatality rate is pretty dang low: 0.00274% (or 1:370,000). For comparison, the fatality rate of car accidents is 1:93

Our worldwide community is committed to a culture of safety and we strive to get the fatality rate down every year. It is with our deepest sincerity when we say every single loss in the skydiving community is forever etched into our hearts. 

#3. Female Skydivers Make Up 14% Of The Sport

A 2023 USPA survey shows that females make up only 14% of the sport! We are lucky to have tons of rad ladies on our staff and are pumped for the future of female skydivers. Bonus fun fact: There’s a group called Sisters In Skydiving (SIS) that regularly hosts events all over! 

Skydiving Records

#4. The Fastest Freefall Was 843.6 Miles Per Hour

Felix Baumgartner’s 2012 jump from the edge of space currently takes the cake for fastest freefall speed at just under 850 mph! How fast is skydiving, typically? Skydivers fall at the speed of ‘terminal velocity,’ which is around 120 mph. Big difference!

#5. The Highest Skydive Was From 135,899 Feet

In 2014, Alan Eustace set the record for the world’s highest skydive from almost 28 MILES above the earth! For reference, today’s skydivers usually jump from about two miles up!! The average freefall time for non-world-record-breakers is 45 seconds to one minute, but Eustace’s was four minutes and 27 seconds. 

Sometimes jumpers choose to lessen their freefall time and focus on their canopy skills. They can do this by leaving from a lower altitude (called a hop ‘n pop) or deploying their canopy shortly after exit from a higher altitude (called a high pull). 

#6. The Women’s Wingsuit World Record Was Set In 2023

Last year, 19 dedicated female flyers flew their Freak’s in a diamond formation over the Golden State to set the Women’s Wingsuiting World Record. Their forward speed was over 100 mph! Incredible!

Fun Facts About Parachutes

#7. Parachutes Were Originally Linen

OG parachutes were linen stretched over a wooden frame (sketchy!!), then the Japanese started making them out of silk, and finally, Leslie Irvin of California made them out of nylon, which we still use today. Mr. Irvin is also credited with the first parachute jump that entailed freefall and deployment of the canopy with a ripcord in 1919! 

#8. Is No Parachute Possible? Yep, From 25,000 Feet

Here’s one of the most astounding parachute facts. In 2016, Luke Aikins made a skydive without using a parachute (intentionally) and survived. He jumped from 25,000 feet, landed in a special net, and walked away unharmed. The possibilities of our sport are endless!  

#9. Tandems Use A Drogue, Solo Skydivers Don’t

Because tandem skydiving involves two people, tandem pairs accelerate faster than solo jumpers and, therefore, need a larger parachute than solo skydivers. At the beginning of freefall, tandem instructors toss out a drogue, which looks like a mini-parachute and is designed to decelerate the jumpers. There’s a common misconception that the drogue is the same as a solo jumper’s pilot chute. Although they both aid in deploying the main canopy, they are not the same. 

Bonus fun fact: Skydivers (unlike BASE jumpers) have two parachutes – a main and a reserve. In 2023, fewer than 5,000 reserve rides were reported out of 3,650,000 jumps! 

Awesome Skydiving Events & Groups

Cessna Caravan Skydive Cross Keys

#10. There’s A World Skydiving Day

The first World Skydiving Day EVER is set for July 13, 2024. The second Saturday in July is dedicated to honor the sport of skydiving by encouraging jumpers (and tandem students) to take to the skies in unison. If you want to mark skydiving off of your bucket-list, this is the day to do it – it’s going to be historic! 

#11. Skydivers Support Good Causes

There are plenty of skydiving initiatives that support good causes. One example is a group called Skydivers Supporting Sobriety (SSS), and it is exactly what it sounds like! SSS is open to anyone on their journey to sobriety, or those who are in support of sobriety. SSS hosts an annual boogie where members learn and grow with one another and in the sport! 

What’s a boogie? An awesome skydiving-filled event that entails load organizers, games, super sick jumps, and all the good vibes. 

#12. There Are College Skydiving Clubs!

Once you’re 18, you can jump whenever the feeling strikes … but wouldn’t it be so much more fun to do it with your friends in a school club!? The USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships is the oldest competition in the sport, dating back to the ‘50’s! Skydivers can compete in various disciplines among their peers while growing in the sport in a safety-oriented environment – there’s nothing better!


Want to experience the joy of flight for the first time and discover more interesting facts about skydiving? Take our skydiving quiz! The world of skydiving is a fascinating realm that we hope you’ll dive into! When you’re ready to jump, we’ll be here to support you. Blue skies!

12 Tandem Skydiving Myths Debunked: Separating Fact From Fiction Previous Article Skydiving Safety Statistics for First-Time Tandem Jumpers Next Article