Skydiving for kids near Brisbane
Imagine that you’re flying in a small plane, 14,000 feet above sea level. The plane door is open, and you’re sitting at the opening with your legs dangling over the edge. Your tandem skydive instructor, who you met at the airport an hour ago, is pressed against you and is counting down the seconds until jump time. You turn and take one more look at your children, who are waiting for their turn behind you, and then you take the plunge and begin hurtling towards the ground. After the rush of the freefall, the parachute opens and carries you serenely to the beach below. Behind you drop your children, experiencing what it must feel like to fly like a bird…
Whether this scenario terrifies or enthrals you, it is real! Several operators around Brisbane offer tandem skydiving to thrill seeking kids and their families.
Believe it or not, children can and do regularly participate in tandem skydiving jumps, with or without their parents accompanying them. We asked Tibor Glesk, Chief Instructor of Sunshine Coast Skydivers, to tell us everything you need to know about skydiving with kids.
What are the legal age requirements for skydiving?
Many parents assume that skydiving is an activity restricted to persons aged 18 and over. But Tibor explains that children 12 years and over are legally allowed to skydive, providing they have their parents’ written consent. He also says that in some cases, children younger than 12 can be granted special permission to tandem skydive.
“The fact is, kids can skydive from 12 years of age, and even earlier if they submit a special request to the Australian Parachute Federation,” he explains.
“As long as they can fit safely into a harness and have a genuine desire to do the jump, they will most likely be issued an under 12 tandem skydiving permit. Our youngest skydiver was eight years old.”
On average, Sunshine Coast Skydivers will take a child under 16 skydiving once a fortnight – often they are skydiving as a family activity or as a special experience with one of their parents.
“A lot of the kids have been on the beach and have seen our parachutes coming in for landing and have then been absolutely obsessed from that point on,” Tibor explains. “Some parents have reported being hounded for years by their child to take the plunge!”
Is skydiving for children safe?
According to Tibor, kids are generally far less fearful than adults of skydiving.
“Most of the kids who have had a long time desire to experience parachuting are very brave,” he said. “They come in super excited and smiling and act like they’re about to go for a walk in the park. It’s their parents whose palms are sweating!”
“Some of the kids who have participated in group or challenge skydives have been openly afraid and have asked a lot of questions. By explaining the process and assuring them of the safety procedures, the expertise and experience of our staff and also that a reserve chute is packed they feel a whole lot better.”
So what are the safety procedures? Tibor explains: “We run in strict accordance with the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) and have an excellent safety record,” he said.
“All of our instructors are qualified with APF and undergo regular medicals and training set out by our governing bodies.
“The pilots we have on board all hold commercial pilot licenses and have jump pilot authorisation through the APF and have extensive local knowledge. Our planes are maintained and serviced regularly in compliance with CASA and the APF.
“All our equipment is modern and maintained by qualified people. The ‘Reserve Chute’ is checked and repacked every six months by a specially certified packer. There is also an ‘automatic computer activation device’ which will open the parachute in the unlikely event that the instructor is unable to.”
What are the benefits of skydiving for children?
Tibor describes sky diving as an amazing self confidence booster for young and old.
“When humans face a fear and live to tell the story, they feel exhilarated and empowered; they feel like they can take on the world. Skydiving is an experience that benefits all that do it, and the earlier you do it in life, the better,” he enthuses.
“Plus it gives you a new perspective on life and a heightened appreciation for the beauty of the world around you.”
Skydiving for kids near Brisbane
If you’re convinced, there are a number of operators near Brisbane that offer tandem skydiving for children aged 12 years and over with parental consent. Sunshine Coast Skydiving also offers skydiving to younger jumpers, providing they receive dispensation from the Australian Parachute Federation.
Sunshine Coast Skydivers
Planes depart from Caloundra airport and jumpers land on one of Caloundra’s beaches, depending on wind conditions. For more information on pricing, or to book a jump, visit their website.
Ramblers will also take children aged 12 years and over, and offer three drop zones: Toogoolawah (Brisbane hinterland), Coolum Beach and Rainbow Beach. More information is available on their website.
Dropping in from the air is certainly a grand way to arrive at Bribie Island beach. Maybe you can even convince the whole family to do it? Find out more at the Skydive Bribie website.
Brisbane Beach Skydiving
This operator lands on Woorim Beach at Bribie Island, and will take willing children over 12, providing their parents agree! Visit their website for more information, including frequently asked questions.
This is probably the closest operator to Brisbane, depending on where you live. A meal at one of Redcliffe’s many cafes after you, your kids, (or perhaps all of you) land is a great way to celebrate your skydiving adventure. To find out more about skydiving at Redcliffe, visit the Skydive Redcliffe website.
Gold Coast Sky Dive
This is the only skydiving operator on the Gold Coast, and the landing point is beautiful Kirra Beach. Perhaps an activity to add to the itinerary of your next family holiday? Check out the website for all the details.
iFly Indoor Skydiving – Gold Coast
Kids can now experience the thrill of indoor skydiving at a specially designed simulator with a massive wind generator that lifts you effortlessly on a cushion of air. Children from six years of age can have a go, and parents can watch from the viewing platform. Their website explains pricing and booking information.
Ripcord Skydivers, Crowley Vale
Crowley Vale is approximately 50 minutes west of Brisbane by car and is home to Ripcord Skydivers. This operator offers an alternative to a beach landing, for those who would prefer to skydive over land, and not water!
Another thrill seeking activity that children as young as four can participate in is hot air ballooning. Click here to read our article about hot air ballooning for kids near Brisbane.