Can You Get Altitude Sickness From Skydiving?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Congratulations, you decided to skydive, and you finally booked your first tandem!  The website FAQ page at Skydive Tecumseh should address the most commonly asked questions going through your mind right about now. One of the less common questions is, can you get altitude sickness while skydiving? 


The symptoms of altitude sickness are dizziness, headaches, and nausea. This is caused by reduced oxygen at higher altitudes. Generally, anything over 8,000 feet will put you in the zone for developing the disorder, but you would ordinarily need to remain at a high altitude for more than thirty minutes before the lack of oxygen would cause illness.

Skydive Tecumseh offers jumps from 9,000, 14,000, and 18,000 feet, but even at those heights, the disorder is uncommon. The average time to altitude in one of our planes is under twenty minutes, and the exit to free fall is almost immediate.  That means the time spent above 8,000 feet is very minimal before exiting for your tandem skydive. The return to normal oxygen is rapid as you descend through free fall and under the canopy.

altitude sickness skydiving


There are a few tricks of the trade if you are prone to motion or altitude sickness. These same tips apply to skydiving even if you don’t have any of these issues. Taking note of these suggestions should help you to be prepared for an awesome tandem jump and prevent any kind of illness after skydiving.


Your body needs plenty of water and the right fuel to get you through the day. Hydrated means water, not alcohol! Try to avoid drinking alcohol the night before your jump and eat light but healthy foods.  Alcohol is dehydrating and can lead to dizziness and the feeling of altitude sickness. Eating a big greasy meal is not a good idea either. Save the beer and fries for the after-party! 

What to eat before sykdiving2. SHOW UP WELL RESTED

We know, easier said than done. You might be tossing and turning instead of sleeping while thinking about jumping out of a plane. Do your best, practice some deep breathing, and maybe go to bed early for a change. Starting your day well-rested will help both mind and body to be alert and fully engaged in every moment of this epic adventure! 


Everyone has an idea of what constitutes light food. Just be sure to eat adequate protein, and the right carbohydrates for your body and pack some snacks to keep you fueled all day. Skydiving is an extreme sport, and thinking like an athlete is the best way to prepare. 

It is uncommon to feel any sickness while skydiving, especially since the time spent above 8,000 feet is very minimal. Remember to do your part by showing up well-rested, fed, and hydrated. We will take care of everything else!

Are you ready to fly?  Book your tandem at Skydive Tecumseh today! 

Tandem Skydiver in freefall at Skydive Tecumseh

It was my first time skydiving and I was so impressed by the staff at Skydive Tecumseh! Everyone was friendly and professional making you feel comfortable from the minute you arrive. The experience was unexplainably awesome! The free fall was such a rush, the parachute release was much less of a jolt than I anticipated, the landing was super smooth and Ken Beach is the bomb! I will be back for my second jump soon.

Kendra Pifher Doriot