When skydivers first start diving, they usually rent the equipment, and it stays the same for a few more jumps. It is often recommended that beginners should continue to rent the gears until they complete the accelerated freefall course and a dozen more jumps afterward. However, in case the skydiving becomes your mainstay in life, you would need your own set of skydiving gears.
Owning your pieces of equipment can save you a lot of money and time at the drop zones, at least as long as you are properly trained to use them. But, the task of picking the right brand and manufacturer can become an intimidating process for you. Make sure you seek guidance from a well-trusted instructor who knows skills, history, budget, and the right goals.
Basics of Skydiving Gear
To begin with, you will require these skydiving gears.
The jumpsuit is the basic wear that is required to protect the body from stain and wind of freefall. Also, a good suit will also protect you against the scratches and bruises while landing. Regular clothes are not safe for the skydiving fall.
Some professional instructors purchase their jumpsuit as soon as they complete their A license. Since jumpsuits are delicate and prone to wear and tear, it’s recommended that you stick to rental jumpsuit during the training phase.
During this time, you can also figure out what type of jumpsuit you like and would want to purchase. A jumpsuit is one of the first gear that will help you in different ways, such as controlled fall rate and fast progress.
When you are flying down at a speed of 120 mph, you surely want to see the tiny world beneath you. After all, you get a magnificent view from the height of 12,500+ feet, and your goggles would help you dig into the view. The goggles are perhaps the cheapest piece of gear in your equipment list. They can be purchased for anywhere between $20 to $50.
Helmets are another essential wearables for your skydiving. An open face helmet protects your head, ear, and gives you a good vision on the field. Your helmet should be easy to remove and clasp. A well-fitted helmet is an effective way to avoid the wind from your face and also gives you safety against any accidental impact such as collision with birds or another skydiver.
The altimeter is an important gear piece that gives you information about the exact altitude and when to deploy your parachute. United States Parachute Association requires every student to wear altimeters at every point during the fall. There are different types of altimeters, such as wrist-mounted altimeters that are worn like watches and are great to get started. An audible altimeter is worn on the inner side of the helmet and indicates the instructions directly into the ear.
5. Main Canopy
The main canopy is important gear to manage the jumper’s skill and weight while downsizing. The size of the canopy and selecting the right canopy is an important decision that is made to avoid bruises and injuries.
6. Reserve Canopy
The reserve canopy is used to save the jumper’s life in case of the failure of the main parachute. Avoid saving money here and always get the best of the reserve canopy. The repacks, the deployments, and the age of the reserve canopy are the main price influencers of the used canopies. Also, check for the water damage and get the patches checked by some trusted rigger. Learn more about how skydiving parachute works here.
7. Container System
It’s the harness that looks like a backpack which is used to deploy the parachute. Get the exact dimensions of your both parachutes before purchasing the container. You need to get a container that can fit your skydiving equipment and body properly.
8. AAD- Automatic Activation Device
AAD is an emergency device that monitors the altitude and deploys reserve parachute canopy in case your main one hasn’t been deployed by a particular altitude. The device is very important from the safety factor and can save your life if you lose track or become unconscious due to the high altitude or jump. Autonomy and reliability are major key points here.
Used vs. New Skydiving Gear
Skydiving, as many knows, is an expensive adventure sport. If you are serious and can afford to pursue this sport, it’s better to have new skydiving equipment.
Different brands offer these types of equipment at different pricing, and one can get them as per their budget and requirement. But remember, if you buy used gear for skydiving, it could serve you as a viable alternative to the new expensive gears.
There are various second-hand skydiving markets and most seasoned as well as newcomer predominantly buy the used gears. When you purchase the used equipment, make sure you inspect them and get them checked by a professional FAA certified rigger.
So, When to Upgrade?
As you become more experienced in this field, you will understand your preferences and liking. Based on that, you can upgrade the skydiving equipment in the future.
New skydivers don’t have enough experience to know what they want and what they like and due to this sometimes end up buying the gear for a high price that they are not able to find in the market.
However, many skydivers are smart and always seek for cheap gears and stay on the lookout for the used equipment from other veteran skydivers.
The only piece of advice here would be to be smart and see what’s more important from the safety point of view. Any part of skydiving gear which is used as a safety gear should not be compromised. Don’t risk your life and save money to get the right gears.
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