The weight limit for tandem skydiving here at Skydive Monroe is 225lbs for men and 170lbs* for women, including clothing and shoes, to be measured on an official scale at check-in. If you’re frowning at how draconian that sounds, please don’t take offense: the weight restrictions for skydiving at Skydive Monroe haven’t been set because of any kind of prejudice. They’ve been set because the simple physics of our equipment demands it, and our dropzone is absolutely dedicated to safety.
This is where the nitty gritty comes in and why there is a disparity between the maximum weight limits allowed between men and women – shape. A 5’6” individual weighing in at 200lbs will have a different body shape than an individual who is 6’3” weighing 200lbs. This isn’t black and white and through the years have found that the typical cut off point for women’s body mass index ratio is around 170lbs. We can host ladies who weigh more than 170lbs – but it’s dependent on height and health. Also, while we generally can host men weighing up to 225lbs, this isn’t a hard and fast rule for the same reasons. Not all men would be permitted to jump under the published weight restriction based on body shape.
Based on the information above, if you are unsure if you qualify to make a tandem skydive, we invite you to make an appointment to come out to the dropzone to be sized in the harness to ensure that there is a good fit. We recognize that the issue of weight can be stigmatizing and we are sensitive to this. We will happily and professionally consult with you without making you feel bad or lesser than. Our priority is ensuring everyone feels safe.
As an added note, tandem harnesses only adjust to a certain point; past that, a tandem harness becomes not only tough to adjust within safe parameters, but also super uncomfortable to wear on the plane, in the air and suspended under the parachute. Your comfort is important as we want you to love the experience!
Parachutes are aviation equipment, pure and simple. Just like all the other tools that fly, they only operate safely under strict weight ranges. If the parachute’s weight limit is exceeded, the person (or, in the case of tandem skydiving, people) using that parachute might end up in a dangerous downward situation: for example, dangerously fast deployments, snapped parachute lines and unacceptably speedy landings. It’s important to note that the maximum weight allowance takes into account the weight of the tandem instructor, tandem student and the gear itself.
If a parachute is designed to carry more weight, it necessarily has to be a bigger parachute — which weighs more, is bulkier and of course drives up costs. The weight restrictions published here are typical of the skydiving industry and the threshold for size and weight has been optimized as far as it can go using today’s best technology without it becoming inefficient.
Here’s some real talk to help frame the issue. If you did manage to find a dropzone that allowed you to make a skydive that exceeded the weight limit for skydiving safety and comfort, it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort. For all the reasons we explained above, it would be less comfortable, and more dangerous. If this would be your first time tandem skydiving, we think you agree that you deserve better!
We’ve jumped with many brand-new skydivers who used achieving the skydiving weight limit as one of their life goals — and nailed it. Skydiving ends up being a celebration of reaching these awesome goals and they often inspire us!