What’s the Difference Between the 14,000 ft & 18,000 ft Skydive?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Most dropzones in the United States only jump from one skydiving altitude – usually 10000 ft or 14000 ft. At Oklahoma Skydiving, we offer the option of choosing whether you want to skydive from 14K ft or 18K ft! So what’s really the difference between the two heights we jump from? The obvious answer is that the difference between a 14000 ft skydive and an 18000 ft skydive is 4000 feet. But what does that really mean?

Go the Distance

Best Planes for Tandem Skydiving

Due to the extreme nature of our sport, most people think of skydiving as a “go big” scenario. And if you’re going to go big, why not go even bigger? While skydiving from 14000 feet is a mega-amazing experience – and is the highest altitude most dropzones would fly to (in part because any higher and pilots need supplemental oxygen) – 18000 feet is taking the experience to a whole ’nother level. 

When you skydive from 18000 feet, you score more time in freefall. That extra 4000 feet  equates to about three fourths of a mile – so nothing to sneeze at! Plus, your instructor will typically deploy the parachute at around 5000 feet, regardless of how high you start from. Yes!

Time of Your Life

We know a greater height gets you more time, but how long do you fall when skydiving? It’s a good question, with a little bit of a complicated answer –

The first 1000 feet of freefall takes 10 seconds, because you are building up speed until you hit terminal velocity, and then every 1000 feet thereafter takes about 5 seconds. So, jumping from 14000 feet yields about 60 seconds of freefall, and about 80 seconds from 18000 ft. You may not think that an additional 20 seconds is anything to write home about, but in truth it’s significant. 

Breathe Easy

14000 ft skydive

Although there is plenty of air to breathe at 14000 ft and even at 18000 ft, a higher altitude does mean less oxygen. The reason for this is because as you go up there is less pressure pushing oxygen molecules together, so they spread further apart. This means that there are less oxygen molecules per breath high in the sky than there are on the ground. 

For the short time skydivers are at altitude, the decreased oxygen would most likely not affect you. But because the thinner air can cause hypoxia (inadequate oxygen for your body), we provide supplemental oxygen on the ride up in the plane for skydives from 18000 feet. This is a unique opportunity most skydivers don’t get since oxygen is only required when flying above 15000 feet.

Smiles for Miles

Freefalling and flying under canopy on a skydive is unlike anything else in the world. It’s a feeling of pure freedom that seemingly stops time altogether, and yet the skydive is always over too soon … which is why you should get the video!

18000 ft skydive

There’s a decent chance that skydiving isn’t going to be something you do more than once (but it totally could be … jump again or check out our student program!). Even if you do, you only have your first skydive once. Don’t miss the opportunity to relive your incredible, life-changing experience over and over again.

Those jumping from 14K feet can opt in to video and/or stills, and the 18K feet high altitude skydiving package includes both video and photos.

What is the best height to skydive from? Jumping from 14000 feet is an out-of-this-world skydive experience, and jumping from 18000 feet is an opportunity of a lifetime; it’s up to you! We’re ready to help you make the leap whenever you are – and from whatever height you want! Let’s go!

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