Skydiving age takes a plunge

Finn Crofts, 12, with his dad Mick after a skydive.
Finn Crofts, 12, with his dad Mick after a skydive. Contributed

MOTOCROSS racing, BMX biking, wind surfing, and countless other extreme sports and pastimes make up many a weekend wish list for the Coast's youngest thrill seekers.

Now, parents can add skydiving to that list following the Australian Parachute Federation's recent decision to drop the national minimum tandem skydiving age from 14 to 12.

Skydive Ramblers Sunshine Coast owner Susie McLachlan said that since posting a Facebook announcement about the new minimum age, two 12-year-olds had booked dates to jump out of a plane over Coolum and Rainbow Beaches.

Ms McLachlan said that in the course of her 20-year career, meeting children as young as 10 who wanted to skydive was not unusual.

"There are around 60 drop zones around Australia and everywhere you go they are actually quite good family environments, because it's not just the adult jumpers there, but their families and children too watching them skydive," Ms McLachlan said.

"So for a lot of these kids, they're already getting into the world of skydiving from a young age.

"Obviously children younger than 10 are still too young to understand the consequences and their bodies aren't fit for such high velocity, or they can be too small to even fit in the harness.

"But I think children over 10 years old can be acceptable, and 12 is definitely okay to jump.

"When you think of what kids are already doing ... all sorts of extreme adventure or action sports, you can already see how skydiving can be no different."

Topics:  extreme sport skydiving youth

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