Skydiving in the Cold

What To Know About Skydiving in Cold Weather

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The thermostat outside reveals a temperature that is steadily dropping, and the more it does the more it taunts you because you’ve got the drive to skydive! But just trust us, while a chill in the air may pave the way for the season of brotherly love, holiday cheer, and the perfect excuse to bundle up in comfortable clothes, the winter is not the best time to make a jump. We have aircraft safety and your enjoyment in mind and close for the winter season from November until March and will resume jumping in April.

If you happen to come on a chilly spring day in April when we open our doors or feel a cool autumnal breeze in fall and catch the inclination to skydive, here is what you need to know about jumping in the cold.  

Trust the Professionals

You should know, it is much more fun to skydive when it is not freezing. The temperature changes about three degrees per every thousand feet you ascend. That means it is about around 30 degrees cooler at altitude!

In the summer, your skin will glisten a bit with perspiration on the ground, but as you ascend, you’ll quickly feel the gentle cool of the altitude.  This is a stark contrast to the skin-tingling slightly burning experience of a winter skydive. Frostnip is a thing, and as you reach terminal velocity going 120mph, your exposed cheeks will definitely feel the chill.

While the enjoyment of a skydive is not directly correlated to the temperature outside, it certainly does have an effect. Licensed skydivers and seasoned pros will let you know, you will enjoy your jump much more when its warm. The bite of a winter chill really takes an enjoyable aspect of the skydive out of the equation. Consider, also, if you are purchasing a photo and video package, better pictures can be taken when you aren’t wrapped up like a mummy from the tundra.  For some, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not wait to make it perfect.

Be Prepared and Come in Layers

Wearing layers is the key to chilly skydiving success, and like any cold-weather wardrobe, base layers will be your best friend. A thermal layer beneath a long-sleeve shirt and a pair of long-johns or thermals on the bottom can make all the difference when you are in freefall. The specialty fabric of the thermal layer helps with moisture-wicking and can keep the chill of the wind from cutting through to your skin.  Layers also allow you to modify your ensemble if the weather does warm up as you wait to make your jump.

Keep Your Digits Covered!

Here we mean your fingers and toes. Your feet do not want to be forgotten. Be sure to wear thick warm socks and sturdy tennis shoes. While the drop zone provides gloves, it may benefit you to bring a pair of tried and true gloves or liners along. For your time on the ground, consider bringing along Hot Hands or Toasty Toes, and if there is room, you can slip these beneath your socks or gloves. These relatively cheap air-activated warmers can help keep you feeling comfy even when the temperature dips.

winter skydiving

Dress like a Professional

Most sports have a specific wardrobe associated with them. For skydiving, this would be the jumpsuit. The jumpsuit adds an additional layer of protection for your clothing and skin, helps to keep potentially loose clothing contained (a baggy shirt flapping at 120 mph feels a lot like being whipped), and, last but not least, looks pretty darn cool!

This paired with the layers you’ve come in will help set you up to successfully enjoy your tandem skydive!

This One’s for our Neo-Flyers

Don’t let the winter leave you rusty! Newly licensed skydivers and seasoned pros alike should use the downtime of the winter season to practice EP’s, and seek to maintain currency or be prepared to make re-currency jumps as the weather warms. Keep in mind that bulky layers affect maneuverability in the sky and gloves may affect tactile recognition and make it more difficult to feel your hackey or pud. Practice touches on the ground and on the ride to altitude can help get you accustomed to this difference.  

There you have it: what you need to know about jumping in the cold. We look forward to seeing you first-time flyers and licensed skydivers in the spring to kick off another safe season!


Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

I drove more than 2 hours to jump with Tecumseh because I wanted a reputable company and I was not disappointed. They were very safety minded and professional. The staff was very friendly and made the whole experience fun! If you're only doing it once, pay the extra and get the video package. Very well done, you won't be disappointed.

Ken Reeves