So how high can you skydive without oxygen? You ought to have this question if you are passionate about skydiving and want to experience new heights.
If the thought of freefalling for thousands of feet from a plane appeals to your sense of adventure, skydiving is the type of outdoor activity you will love.
It is possible to skydive from heights as low as 7,000 feet and as high as 18,000, or sometimes more. But, ultimately, you have to decide how high can you skydive from without oxygen?
Typically, you can jump from a height of 15,000 feet without needing oxygen.
Understanding Skydiving and Tandem Skydiving
If this is your first time jumping out of an airplane, you likely have a lot of questions about the process.
And when thinking about the right height for you to jump from, you will have to consider many things.
And that is when you have to learn a bit about tandem skydiving.
Tandem skydiving is a term you may have heard, but you may not fully understand what it entails.
When you go on a tandem skydive, you leap with another person and are connected to them. It is the opposite of a solo skydive where you have to jump using your own personal parachute.
Tip: Always check the weather and dress appropriately to ensure you thoroughly enjoy your skydiving experience.
Picking the Best Height When Skydiving
While seasoned skydivers can jump from a wide range of altitudes, the heights available for tandem jumps are more limited. And it heavily depends on the school you choose to dive with.
While tandem diving, you will have a professional instructor holding onto you at all times.
It means you can freely take in the breathtaking scenery and feel the rush of flying through vast stretches of sky.
But, no matter how you decide to take on skydiving, you will always have to be clear about the height you select.
There are four main phases to a normal skydiving adventure.
- The ride in the plane to the top
- The leap
- The free fall,
- The deployment of the parachute
The duration of freefall and time under the parachute are both proportional to the height from which you exit the airplane. You need to know that the jump itself is constant across all instances.
How Does It Feel to Dive from Various Heights?
The experience of freefall is comparable to putting your hand out of a moving car. The wind pushes your hand back, but its weight prevents it from moving further.
In free fall, the air below exerts pressure on your body, giving you the sensation of floating through the air.
For a 10,000-foot jump, you may be able to enjoy that feeling of being on top of the world for 30 seconds. You can certainly add to this experience by choosing to dive from a greater height.
For instance, you will be able to spend around 60 seconds in the air if you skydive from a height of 14,000 feet.
And if you are likely most people, you would want to add more to that height. But, there is a limit, at least when you want to dive without oxygen.
Tip: Be sure to eat a few hours before the jump but do not forget to hydrate to feel comfortable while diving for the first time.
How High Can You Skydive without Oxygen?
Obviously, you would want to try the highest skydive without oxygen, but how high could that be?
No one would blame you if you disliked the concept of using an oxygen mask while skydiving. While jumping from a height provides greater freefall time, wearing an oxygen mask diminishes the thrill.
Your face may feel cramped, and if you cannot shout at the top of your lungs, what is the point of taking all the risks in the first place?
If you think that way, you would probably be safe to try a freefall from a height of 15,000 feet.
At this height, you can stay in the air for as long as one minute, and that too without needing supplemental oxygen.
Why Would You Need Oxygen Beyond 15,000 Feet?
There are actually many factors making skydives from heights greater than 15,000 feet a lot more hazardous.
Some of these factors include:
- Lower atmospheric pressure
- Reduced oxygen
- Lower atmospheric temperature
- Higher winds and airspeed
At this height, you would have to deal with oxygen deficiency or hypoxia. You should not take it lightly because it can lead to impaired judgment and death.
In order to prevent serious issues while skydiving from high altitudes, you seriously need to think of carrying supplemental oxygen with you.
Is It Possible to Skydive from 18,000 Feet?
It can be tricky to enjoy a freefall from an altitude higher than 15,000, but it is possible.
And you can make it happen with the right equipment, proper training, and of course, well-planned procedures.
Now, if you are doing it for the very first time, you may not have to be that concerned about the height. But, if you call yourself a pro, you might already be looking for a way to stretch your personal best with an 18,000ft dive.
However, keep in mind that you will most probably be going for a tandem skydive when going for high altitudes.
The highest point from which a tandem skydive can be made is 18,000.
Such a height is now commonly offered by many skydiving businesses. What makes it special is that you will enjoy a freefall duration of almost two minutes because of this height.
Important Considerations for Skydiving from a High Altitude
If you are planning on jumping from 18,000 feet, you should know that you will need to wear an oxygen mask.
As anyone who has climbed a mountain knows, the air pressure drops as you ascend. It is not truly because the air pressure drops, but because the air grows thinner.
This is especially true at altitudes of 18,000 feet, where the lack of oxygen will make free fall a less enjoyable experience.
Tip: Work with your instructor to learn how to maintain a belly-to-earth position for a safer skydiving experience.
The Best Skydiving Height for Beginners
Beginning skydivers should consider jumping from a relatively low altitude. But, how low is truly acceptable for first-timers?
Depending on the organization you choose to skydive with, the minimum height at which you can make a jump is anywhere from 7,500 to 9,000 feet.
Starting small is also a good idea if you do not want to make your first dive a lot more expensive. And of course, you might not be all that concerned about the duration of your freefall.
Tip: If you are new to skydiving, a jump from 7500 feet will still be exciting, as it still gives you 20 seconds of freefall, which is awesome.
Another Option to Consider
A great idea for beginners is to opt for a tandem skydive. What is so good about it, you ask? You won’t be alone!
Yeah, that is right; you will be diving with a certified instructor who will guide you through the process.
The instructor will be responsible for handling the dive, opening the parachute, and helping you land safely.
In this case, you can definitely increase the height you choose for a skydive. Still, it is a good idea to stick to 10,000 feet on your first attempt.
Can You Jump from a Lower Height?
Yes, if you are totally new and do not know how it truly feels to skydive, you might consider going with a static line.
Here, you will jump out of a plane at 3,500 feet after around 6 hours of ground training.
The static line is actually a device used to deploy your main parachute. This is a long piece of webbing that has one end tied to the plane and the other to the parachute’s storage bag.
As the jumper free-falls away from the plane, the static line begins to draw the main parachute out of the bag and deploys it.
How Long Will Skydives Last with and Without Oxygen?
If you decide to jump from the highest point without wearing an oxygen mask, you will have to stay content at 15,000 feet. After that, you need to carry oxygen with you.
Now, how long your dive will last definitely depends on the height you choose to jump.
What you need to remember is that the parachute deployment altitude usually stays the same, and is around 5,000ft.
It means you will spend more time freefalling from the airplane if you choose a greater height.
Here are estimated freefall times based on different heights:
- 30,000ft with oxygen: 120 seconds
- 18,000ft with oxygen: almost two minutes
- 15,000ft without oxygen: 60 seconds
- 10,000ft without oxygen: 45 seconds
How high can you skydive from without oxygen? The higher the altitude, the thinner the air becomes, making breathing harder to breathe.
Therefore, you can only skydive from a height of 15,000ft without having to use supplemental oxygen.
If you want to go beyond that limit, you will most definitely have to use oxygen to prevent hypoxia and any fatal consequences.