Are you looking for the best skydiving equipments? Wondering what to wear for skydiving? There are nearly 40,000 amateur skydivers in the U.S., of which nearly a third have participated in 1,0000 or more jumps. And believe it or not, nearly 23 percent of all parachuters are age 60 and over.
Although the skydiving set is a tiny fraction of all sportsmen, approximately 350,000 people participate in the sport per year.
So what equipment do you need for skydiving? What to wear skydiving? how to choose a parachute? How much is a skydiving parachute? And what are the best place to buy skydiving gear? We’ll try to cover it all in this article?
Defining parachuting vs skydiving
The first element we need to discuss is defining parachuting vs skydiving. When people say the words parachuting or skydiving, in their mind’s eye, the two sound identical, but they are not.
Parachuting refers to the old school type of jumping out of an airplane and the chute was pulled automatically by a static line. At most, the parachutist fell a second or two before his chute was inflated. In addition, parachuting, as used by the Armies of the world, used old fashioned, round parachutes that slow the parachutist down to around 13 miles per hour.
The military uses traditional round parachutes and while modern military parachutes may be more refined, traditionally making a military parachute ride has little steering capability, Hundreds of soldiers died each year landing and countless soldiers were injured in trees or other dangerous places during military jumps.
With skydiving, the skydiver uses a more aerodynamic rectangular or elliptical parachute that travels much faster but is also much more maneuverable.
The main thing however with skydiving is that skydivers free fall. Although skydiving movies such as Point Break may imply that sport skydivers will freefall for several minutes, the truth is that the average skydiver will freefall from between 30 to 90 seconds depending on the altitude they are dropped at.
So speed, freefalling, and maneuverability are what modern skydiving is all about. Skydiving is a sport for fun, parachuting is transporting troops with heavy packs out of military airplanes.
Progressing in the sport of skydiving
Before talking about parachute gear and skydiving gear and covering skydiving equipments, and what you need in the way of skydiving supplies, a few words about how you progress in the sport.
There are 4 levels of parachute licenses in the USA, classes A, B, C, and D. Even before they begin of course, most people take that first skydiving jump. For some of these people, they are hooked up to a static line that will pull the parachute open in seconds. For others, they will be connected to a trained instructor in a tandem jump.
Tandem jumps typically cost between $180 and $250. Once one has become hooked on the sport, then people will progress to getting their A license. To obtain the A license, a person must complete at least 25 jumps and prove proficiency in a number of skydiving practices and pass a US Parachuting Association written and oral exam.
Having an A level license lets you skydive out of an airplane unsupervised. After that, there are three more licenses, the B, C, and D, each of which has its own criteria for licensing. Requirements for the B license start at around 50 jumps. The vast majority of skydivers participate in hours upon hours of instruction which is why there are only around one fatal accident a year for each of 220,000 jumps. Statistics show you are more likely to be bitten by a shark than die of a skydiving accident.
Our skydiving equipment list includes the following:
An essential if you do not wish to hit the ground at 120 miles per hour.
Okay, maybe you will make your first couple of jumps in a pair of jeans and a warm flannel shirt, but look around and you will see all the experienced jumpers wearing a skydiving jumpsuit. Very quickly you’ll want to get one of your own.
Yes, it’s an investment that may cost up to $500 or more, but it’s worth it if you are serious about the sport.
Automatic activation device (AAD)
The purpose of your AAD is to activate your reserve parachute if your primary skydiving chute fails.An AAD can save your life, so you want the best you can obtain.
You need to know how high off the ground you are after free-falling you are to activate your chute and the only way to do that is with an altimeter. Altimeters come in both analog and digital type meters. Both are good and it’s up to your preference.
Goggles protect your eyes when going freefall as 120 miles per air, and in addition, there can be a lot of dust and debris in the air. Some people wear tinted Goggles, which supposedly protect your eyes from the sun, but to be honest, most people wearing tinted goggles just wear them to look cool. Vanity definitely has its place in the sport.
Believe it or not, a helmet is not required to go skydiving, but most skydiving enthusiasts would feel naked without one. There are plenty of places you can hit your head in skydiving, including hitting the ground hard, so a helmet is really essential.
You need comfortable shoes, but not too fancy. Sneakers would be a good choice. Make sure the shoes are tight and won’t come off, because the are not allowed. Boots or shows that has hooks are not allowed as well.
GoPro HERO6 Black 4K Action Camera
You may also need a professional camera to video tape skydiving experience.
skydiving equipments for beginners What to wear on your first tandem skydive
Most newbies will rent their equipment rather than buy it. Rental fees for skydiving equipment for beginners typically runs around $35 up to around $50.
Never the less, there are certain factors regarding clothing to take into consideration on your first tandem jump. Number one is shoes. You will want to be wearing tennis shoes. No flip flops, high heels, open-toed shoes allowed. We will ask you either to rent our tennis shoes or come back.
Next, you can wear glasses, and we have goggles to fit them, but contacts are preferred. Bring a pair of eyeglass holder straps to be sure you retain them. Also, it’s a good idea to bring your spare pair and leave your best glasses on the ground. In addition, wear activewear clothing. Since you will be arching your back and stretching, skin-tight jeans. Shorts are okay as long as they are full-length, and a stretchy, active, long sleeve shirt.
Look around though, and most skydivers are using a jumpsuit. We wear jumpsuits, and the vast majority of people will rent them. Besides their practicality, they look so much better in photos. As to jewelry, don’t wear anything that is meaningful. Chances are it will go flying all over the airfield. So no Rolex watches, or grandmas favorite pearls.
Earrings and large bulky rings are particularly problematic. They can cut you severely in a problematic landing. The best bet is to leave all jewelry with either a friend or in the car.
As to rental fees, they tend to be quite reasonable but do add up, so once someone has typically done 10 or more jumps, they typically will begin to buy their own equipment. The first skydiving equipment for beginners is normally a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, an altimeter, and possibly their AAD.
skydiving equipments for professionals
Here we do not mean professional in the matter of those few who make their living skydiving, but those who typically have 50 jumps or more and decided this is the sport for them.
Skydiving equipment for professionals, including canopy, container, a reserve chute and your AAD. Serious gear will typically run you around $10,000 new and around $5,000 to $7,500 used. As to the reasons Why you should buy your own skydiving equipments, the answer is simple. Having your own skydiving equipments will better suit your needs. Skydiving and skydiving equipments are suited to people with different weights for example and different abilities. If the skydiving equipment is too advanced for you, you may land at an extremely hard rate. If the skydiving equipments is not suitable for your weight and abilities, it may hinder your progrss.
Choosing the best skydiving equipments is intimately related to finding the best place to buy skydiving gear. This is not the time to rely on either Craigslist or eBay.
Go to a professional jump shop for your purchases, or contact one of the many parachute manufacturers. If you do find skydiving equipments used, purchase them only after being thoroughly checked out by a professional rigger. Only a professional rigger can give you an accurate assessment of skydiving equipments on the used market.
Fortunately, skydiving equipments come up often on the used market, and if you want skydiving supplies that are used for your first 100 jumps or so, we’ve all been there.
Spend too much and you don’t have money left for jumps and instruction.
One advantage of buying new? Besides being the only person ever to use the equipment, many manufactures provide parachute gear packages that can save you big money, and you will be geared up from head to toe for less.
Choosing the right parachute?
This is a very extensive topic and is really only designed by professionals. Get the recommendations of fellow skydiving enthusiasts, talk to the instructors at your skydiving location, and call different manufacturers up to talk about it.
There are also plenty of YouTube videos out there on selecting the right parachute. But narrowing down your choices first and then calling the manufacturer is usually your best bet to get a truly great fit.
Different types of skydiving suits
There are in general 6 types of skydiving suits. The first one is a Relative Work skydiving suit used in formation skydiving. Among the features is that an RW skydiving suit has grips to hold one another in formation skydiving and also foot booties for power. Next, there is a free fly jumpsuit, possibly the most common. The next type is a wingsuit, and you’ve probably seen people flying like a squirrel on television.
In a transition to wingsuits, many people wear tracking suits, which is sort of a wingsuit baby step. Finally, there are the swoops pants and the sitfly suits, which are old school freefall suits that had a lift on the arms enabling people to situp during freefall. One should pay attention to the fit of their jumpsuit. For example, if a jumpsuit is too tight, it’s nearly impossible to wear warm clothes underneath during cold weather.
And trust us when we say warm clothes can definitely be appreciated in cold weather because the temperature at 10,000 feet or higher can be as much as 30 degrees less than when you are on the ground. During summer, if that’s when you jump, you want to concentrate more on the fit in relation to your rate of freefall. Summer jumpers don’t worry about the temperature, but if they tend to free-fall faster, they might want to have a baggier jumpsuit.
Meanwhile, if they have a tendency to free-fall too slowly, they might wish to have a tighter fit. So, as to the question what to wear skydiving, you will want to wear a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, and altimeter. Just as we cautioned for beginners, be sure not to wear earrings during skydiving, nor have any loose jewelry such as necklaces that will go flying around. Also, pay attention to your hair. In fact, even consider wearing a hairnet underneath your helmet. Flying hair in your eyes and face are no joke. Vision is not overrated.
Other Skydiving Equipments Considerations
There are many skydiving accessories to consider. One of the most practical skydiving accessories is a good pair of skydiving gloves. As skydiving accessories go, this one is one of the most practical in that if you fall upon landing, you can avoid getting your hands scraped over. Another of the skydiving accessories that is imminently practical is having a parachute skydivers logbook.
Another skydiving accessories that is very practical on cold days is a neck gaiter. Still another skydiving accessories piece is radio headset attached to your helmet. This way, instructors can relay important information to you without actually being side by side next to you during your jump.
Finally, a great skydiving accessories is a flotation belt if you will be skydiving over water. Another extremely accessor is a GoPro skydiving accessorie. Sometimes affixed to your helmet, sometimes affixed on your helmet but usually attached to your arm, this will allow you to take spectacular skydiving photos.
Where are the best places to skydive?
Many people ask this question and it’s a hard one to answer. Generally, most people will return to the facility where they first learned. That being said, most jump sites are small-time operations and their quality will vary significantly. Some have the most dedicated, enthusiastic instructors while others are rather cliquish.
Remember always that you are in the drivers seat and have final control over where to do your jumping. Better to have a friendly place, even if their facilities are not quite as good as another, non-friendly place.
Be wary too of places that push their own equipment to buy at inflated prices. Also, while there may be exceptions, a smaller rural jump site may charge significantly less than what you will pay at a jump site closest to a big city.
Frequently asked questions about skydiving equipments
As to the perennial question, what do you wear to go skydiving, most people will spend almost an entire day observing other skydivers and noticing what they wear. If 70 percent of the skydivers wear a certain style of jumpsuit and you like the style, ask a few why they went with that particular brand.
Some will say because they saw others wear a similar style. Others will tell you more than you can imagine about the versatility of that particular suit. A question that parents and family members often ask is what to buy a skydiver as a gift. Most people have come to the conclusion that skydiving associated clothing is best as a gift if you know their size. Another popular gift is to buy a jump certificate at their favorite jump site.
Skydiving is a fantastic sport that people from age 16 to 60 plus can enjoy. Once people have had a taste of free falling, most never look back. They become hooked. It’s not a cheap sport, nor is it a particularly dangerous sport, but people love it, which is a great reason to indulge in skydiving.
Please make sure to discuss this with your instructor to ensure you have the right equipments for your skydiving.