Ok, we’ll admit it. Skydivers look pretty fancy and out of this world wearing all their high-tech skydiving equipment from full face helmets and colorful parachute containers to their slick-looking skydiving jumpsuits. Aside from looking stylish ready to send it in the skies, skydiving jumpsuits, which you’ll see often at Skydiving Paraclete XP, have many purposes. So let’s get to it!
A common question that first-time skydiving students ask is, “Why do I have to wear a jumpsuit when skydiving?” We do not require our first time tandem skydiving students to wear jumpsuits, but we do recommend them. In the summer, it’s nice to let the freefall breeze embrace and cool you down as opposed to wearing a jumpsuit.
As you progress into the student program, you will be required to wear one. Why? Skydiving jumpsuits help protect you from the elements. When it’s cold, it helps keep you warm. If you do a butt slide landing – which are common for tandem student landings – it helps protect your clothes and your bottom end from any scrapes along the ground. A jumpsuit also keeps everything tucked, which keeps things safer for you and your instructor.
When you’re more experienced, jumpsuits take on a whole new meaning. Let’s explore why you wear a skydiving jumpsuit when skydiving as a licensed jumper!
Ok, let’s break it down. Fall rate is the ability for a skydiver to control how fast or how slow they are falling by using certain body positions or by utilizing a skydiving jumpsuit. I’m sure you may be wondering why fall rate is important here.
The goal after you earn your license is to jump relative to other jumpers. In order to meet up in the sky and create formations, you need to control your body and fall rate. Body position can only help so much, though, since everyone is a different weight and shape. This is where the jumpsuit comes in as a tool.
A baggy skydiving jumpsuit, or a jumpsuit with drag, will help a heavier person slow down in freefall. A tighter skydiving jumpsuit, or a jumpsuit with little to no drag, will help a person fall faster. Fall rate control is just one element of why a skydiving jumpsuit is important. Next, we’ll explore how a jumpsuit can also help a skydiver with performance!
Now we’re about to get a bit technical about skydiving jumpsuits. Ready? Skydiving jumpsuit manufacturers make jumpsuits out of different materials to help add performance to certain areas for skydivers who fly different disciplines.
Some skydivers fly belly to earth, some fly feet to earth, some simply hop out the door and pull to fly their parachutes, some angle fly, and some wingsuit. Each discipline – and there are many – have different performance specifications.
Those who fly belly to earth in formations need performance in their legs to maximize their turns. While those who fly head-to-earth do not need any grips, and those who canopy fly usually only wear pants with a big pocket to put their excess gear after their parachute opens. And the most obvious one is the wingsuit. Those skydivers need the fabric to create forward momentum and lift.
This is a great question. You first need to understand the mechanics of body flight and need to be competent with stability in freefall and your pull sequence before you add more technical aspects to a jumpsuit. When you’re first learning, you’ll want a suit that does not have a lot of performance – one that has the same type of fabric used throughout and one that will simply protect you from the elements. You’ll also want to know what discipline you want to pursue as each suit serves a different purpose. In short: When you’re new, start simple.
A skydiving jumpsuit is a relatively small investment compared to the other skydiving equipment you’ll need throughout your skydiving career. However a smaller investment, it’s still a bit of money so you’ll want to invest wisely.
Skydiving jumpsuits can be purchased used. There are gear stores around the country, skydiving jumpsuit manufacturers, a Used Skydiving Gear Facebook Group, and us right here at the XP Pro Shop that posts used jumpsuits for sale. There are also a plethora of skydiving jumpsuit manufacturers to choose from as well. However, if you’re new in the market, it’s best to have a skydiving instructor or someone from our own gear store, XP Pro Shop, help you filter through all the options.
So why do you wear a skydiving jumpsuit? Protection from the elements, fall rate control and performance. Are you ready to try on a skydiving jumpsuit for the first time and experience the thrill of skydiving? Or maybe you are ready to discover solo skydiving? Then give us a click or call! We’re ready to welcome you to Skydive Paraclete XP