skyding weight limit

Why is There a Weight Limit in Tandem Skydiving?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Let’s talk about a heavy subject: the weight limits in skydiving! If you’re curious about this, you’re certainly not the only one: skydiving searches with the term “weight” in them are performed an average of more than 1,200 times per month in Oz. Clearly, this subject is weighing on a lot of Australian minds. At Skydive Ramblers, the skydiving weight limit is 100kg, and that is anything but arbitrary and/or frivolous. We enforce a weight limit for tandem skydiving because we care about your comfort and your safety. After you check out these three must-knows, you’ll understand exactly why.

Weight Hangups

Image that you’re at a trash and treasure market, and discover the most amazing painting you ever saw. It’s big enough to fit perfectly over the couch, and it’s already done up in a nice, heavy frame. As you try to figure a way to cram it into the boot, you’re already picturing the way it’s going to brighten up the room. Time to get some hardware to hang it up!

 

When you stroll into the hardware store and explain what you’re looking for, the first thing they’ll ask you is how much the painting weighs. Why? Because those hooks are rated according to weight. If that store only has hooks available that are rated to 20kg and your painting clocks in at 40kg, your art’s destiny is obvious: a huge crash at 3am and a scene of destruction when you run into the room to find out what just happened.

 

It follows: would you restrain your Rottweiler with some promising-looking twine? Would you cross a rope bridge with your loved one, passing a clearly-posted sign that says it may break if more than one person crosses at a time? Or bungee jump if the bungee cord is only meant for a child? Probably not, right? Your instinct to–well–not do it should certainly apply to skydiving, too.

“Maximum Suspended Weight” is Maximum Suspended Weight

In parachuting, we make our judgments according to the “Maximum Suspended Weight” that the parachute is rated to carry. That’s given by the tandem skydiving parachute manufacturer, and it tells us the maximum total weight that the manufacturer approves for use with the equipment that label is attached to. It’s a structural limit, not a helpful suggestion. If the weight exceeds that given limit, we know that the tandem skydiving gear is much more likely to tear, to break the lines that attach the parachute to the skydivers, or even to disintegrate during the course of deployment. Suffice it to say, this is serious stuff.

Landings Are Important

Better think about the landing, too! Landing with over-the-weight-limit passengers is dangerous for the tandem skydiving instructor as well as the passenger. An overweight aircraft (because that’s what a skydiving tandem is, realistically speaking) is harder to safely maneuver, faster than it really should be, out of balance and generally a lot less likely to end without injury. We don’t want to put our team of professional tandem skydiving instructors at risk like that–nor you!

 

Frustrated? We have some great advice, dear reader: lighten up. We want you to love skydiving, and we’ll be here waiting for you when you’re ready to make that first tandem skydive.

As a SCUBA Instructor, I'm watchful for safety and professionalism in other extreme sports and the staff, buildings, equipment, plane and even other customers at Ramblers all gave me a feeling of safety and comfort in addition to being genuinely welcoming as newcomer to their sport. If you haven't been and have been wanting to skydive - this is a GREAT place to start your newest addiction. : )

Mary Alice Miller

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