Updated: Feb 12, 2019
How many times have you considered doing something for the first time but thought that you were just too old to try it out? We hear this often when talking to people about skydiving. Skydiving is often perceived to be for the young and wild "kids"; the individuals who are a little on the crazy and are adrenaline junkies. However, this couldn't be further from the truth!
Yes of course we get those personality types who live life on the adventurous side and are always looking for those thrill seeking experiences, but that is not an accurate reflection of the majority of people who walk through our doors. Being young in age is not a prerequisite at all. There is a wide range of reasons people come to us for their first skydive. For those that have added skydiving to their life story, it is a common trend they are celebrating a milestone or are looking to fulfill a dream on their bucket list. Individuals who are over 50 are typically wanting to accomplish an experience such as skydiving because it was something they had always been curious to do. With the advancement of the sport and the safety of Tandem Skydiving, it has put the dream closer to a reality.
Skydive Vancouver Island has the privilege to be a part of many skydiving experiences for those over 50 and there are a ton of awesome stories we could share with you. Frank, Lois, Linda, Patrick, and Garry are a few of the stories that really stand out for us. Each of their stories are unique and yet they all share one thing in common ~ No Regrets!
Frank came to us in 2015 and was eager to jump from a plane. At 86 years old he felt no time was better than the present. His inspiration was having heard of our Jump For A Cause weekend where several breast cancer survivors celebrated with a tandem skydive. He figured if these women could do it, he had no excuse not to. He ended up loving the experience so much that he came back 3 weeks later so his girlfriend could watch him do it again!
Lois, a Qualicum Beach resident, came to our drop zone after watching her close friend skydive with us. We got her geared up for her skydive that same day and at the young age of 86, she became our oldest female customer. Her favorite part was when she first exited the plane and the feeling of hanging in space. Just like Frank, she was back at the drop zone a couple weeks later for another flight up!
Linda had convinced her husband to purchase a Tandem Skydive gift certificate at a silent action for the local Legion. Heights scared her but skydiving had been on her bucket list for a very long time. It was also her 68th birthday so with her friends to cheer her on, she embraced her fears and let go to the experience. She couldn't believe how incredible the feeling was to float through the sky at 200km/h but it was the peaceful moments under canopy that created the lasting impression.
Patrick is a keener. He had skydived for the first time at 90 years old and now going on 95 he wanted to share the experience with his grandson. It was his kids who got him the gift certificate for Father's Day. It is like nothing you can ever explain to let go in the moment and see the world from 10,000 feet above it but Patrick summed it up great by saying, "It was exhilarating. It's just an awesome feeling just to be floating through the air." He is super excited to do it again and vows that he will be back celebrating his 100th birthday with us!
On a more personal story, I always share my Dads skydive adventure when people talk about being too old to skydive. My Dad is not only terrified of heights, he also is not the kind of guy you'd think would ever strap himself to another person and trust them with his life. Certainly supportive of what we do for a living running a drop zone, he was still adamant he would NEVER skydive. But he always asked questions about it and the people who did such a crazy thing like jump from perfectly good airplanes. Finally, the stars just aligned (or hell froze over), he agreed to try it. It is a decision he has never regretted. In fact, when he shares his story of skydiving he tells everyone that it was a game changer in his life. At 64 years old, he had accomplished so many things but nothing brought him such a shift in his life like the reward of giving into his fear, embracing vulnerability, and truly letting go to the experience. I was so very proud of him! I asked what he thought of it, he responded so true to the man he is, "It was fricken awesome! I'll never do it again, but it was awesome!"
Yes there are some limitations that may prevent you from the opportunity, but there are not many. The best way to know is to contact our team at Skydive Vancouver Island and we can walk you through everything you need to know. You can head to our Facebook page and see the stories I mentioned in this blog and hundreds more. Don't let your age be your limitation because we certainly won't.
Skydiving is an exhilarating, empowering, serene, lifetime experience waiting for you!