Welcome to the home of skydiving in the United States!
Serving the largest skydiving community in the world, USPA is home to skydivers, drop zone operators, and skydive instructors. When you arrive at the drop zone and take a peek into the hangar, you'll witness a vastly diverse community. While membership fluctuates throughout the year, there are approximately 37,000 USPA members worldwide.
USPA conducts a member survey each year to take the pulse of our community so that we can better understand how to continue to provide exceptional service and value to our membership.
Who is the USPA member?
USPA members are mature, with 46% falling between ages 30-49 and 37% aged 50-plus. Ages 18-29 are the lowest represented group with only 18%.
***USPA member age data from 2015-2019 is self-reported. USPA removed this question on the 2020 survey and extrapolated using birthdays from our database and will continue with this method going forward. The difference in the data from 2015-2019 might suggest that skydivers age 18-29 are more likely to fill out the survey.
Female USPA members are underrepresented in the skydiving community at only 13%. USPA continues to try to increase female participation with the Sisters in Skydiving (SIS) program. Other leadership organizations such as the Women’s Skydiving Network and Project 19 have begun to follow suit, helping to put skydiving on the map and in the minds of females across the country.
USPA members are diverse in the workforce. Careers in military (8%), health and medicine (7%), and engineering (7%) are especially prominent, with self-employed members at 6%. Retirees account for 11% of the membership.
USPA members are well-educated. 67% of members have completed some type of degree and 23% of members hold a graduate degree.
USPA members are affluent with 60% of members making over $75,000/year and 22% making over $150,000/year.
USPA members are exceptionally active across various other sports. This chart shows that skydivers are likely to also participate in hiking, indoor skydiving and camping. Other popular activities include running, cycling, cross-fit/weightlifting and swimming.
USPA members live across the world, but each U.S. member is represented within one of 14 regions.
What about skydiving data?
Now that you know a little bit about USPA members, let's talk about the fun stuff: skydiving!
The following report is based on the 2020 USPA Member Survey that asked skydivers how many jumps they have made. Generally speaking, after each skydive, a USPA member logs it (sometimes using the assistance of a freefall computer or similar device).
Jumps in 2020
We also asked members approximately how many jumps they made in 2020. On average, a USPA member made 91 skydives last year.
8% reported using their reserve parachute in 2020.
2% reported using their reserve more than once in 2020.
On the 2020 USPA Member Survey, we asked about exit weight and canopy size. The average wing loading from their reported data was 1.29:1, with the most reported wing loading being 1.0:1.
While all USPA members participate in skydiving, our sport is also categorized by 13 disciplines, which can differ year after year depending on current trends and new disciplines and what defines each discipline. Members were asked to select ALL disciplines in which they most often participate.
Many USPA members pursue advanced licenses as they continue to progress in the sport. 23.9% of members hold an A license as their highest license. 16.8% hold a B license as their highest, while 13.2% hold the C. The largest group of members hold a D license as their highest at 32.4%, while 13.5% of members hold no license.
Every year, more and more people are advancing in the sport of skydiving! Currently 3% of members hold the USPA PRO rating. Below are numbers of rating holders by method.
Incidents & Injuries
USPA members reported only 125 incidents in 2020. Incident reporting has not been a viable source of data collection for the last few decades due to the reporting system's lack of participation. Since 2018, incident reporting has increased significantly due to USPA’s significant effort to revitalize the program. In the 2020 survey, we learned that of those who experienced an injury, only 4% took the opportunity to fill out an incident report whereas 79% did not. 16% reported that they were unaware of the incident report.
When we asked USPA members if they attended a Safety Day seminar in 2020, only 37% reported attending, a significant drop compared to previous years. With Safety Day falling in mid-March, it's not surprise attendance suffered significantly compared to previous years.
Perception of USPA
Finally, USPA values members' opinions, so we asked how well we were doing at our core functions.
After taking a look at who our membership is now, we want you to know, our future members matter to us as well! Whether you're looking to experience the thrill of lifetime on a tandem skydive or you are ready to take the leap and become a licensed skydiver, you are invited to join our community! Once a skydiver, one is always a skydiver, both on the ground and in the air.