The maximum speed achieved by a skydiver in free-fall is usually about 200 kilometers per hour. After jumping out of a plane, skydivers accelerate continuously for between 30 and 60 seconds until they reach the maximum possible speed allowed by their weight and the density of the air.

With practice, skydivers can learn to streamline their bodies, cutting down on wind resistance and allowing them to reach a higher maximum speed. This is primarily achieved by orienting the body to be as straight as possible. Skydivers competing in speed skydiving can reach maximum speeds of up to 480 kilometers per hour.