You’ve made your first few jumps, experienced the unparalleled rush of freefall and the distinctive adrenaline rush, landed back on the ground but not quite the same, and now you’re addicted to skydiving. It’s time to purchase your equipment, regardless of whether you have previously used, rented or borrowed equipment. After all, it’s a lifestyle rather than just a hobby! When buying your first set of skydiving equipment, there are numerous factors to consider, and it’s crucial to do so for safety and financial reasons.
I’m sure you have many questions; should I buy new or used ones? What factors should I take into account while buying a rig? You’ve come to the correct place since we’ll cover all the essentials. Here is all the equipment you need.
A decent jumpsuit has numerous uses. The appropriate instrument for the task! First, it provides a total defence against dents and scrapes, especially while landing! Second, it can aid directional control, control fall rate, and give hand grips for group jumps.
If you can locate one that fits well, you can buy a used jumpsuit if you’re just starting out. The optimal jumpsuit for your body type and weight should be researched as a beginner skydiver because the wrong jumpsuit can seriously impair your jumps.
Helmet And Safety Goggles
Getting an appropriately sized and comfortable helmet to fit your head is crucial because wearing a hard-shell helmet is required at the beginning of your skydiving career. Goggles that are clean and clear are essential if you wish to have a wide field of vision. With an easily accessible but reliable fastening, the helmet should comfortably fit and stay snug on your head.
As they will be in close touch with your face, we advise purchasing these two items brand new; however, you may frequently find nice used helmets. Investing in something of quality that you will have for a long time is worthwhile because it won’t cost you much. Ask your instructor or the DZ owner/operator for recommendations on high-quality brands.
It would be best if you had a rig to avoid looking like Tom Cruise, who jumped out of a plane wearing only a t-shirt and aviator sunglasses. Your rig is your lifeline and the most crucial piece of skydiving equipment, so it’s worth picking one right for you and your degree of experience.
A rig is made up of the following:
- System of a container or harness (the backpack that holds the canopies)
- AAD (Automatic Activation Device)
- Reserve canopy
- Main canopy
The selection of canopies is a topic that could quickly fill an entire page. Still, for the time being, the most important things to consider are your degree of experience and weight, as these factors will define which canopy is the most suitable for you. Before going on to a smaller canopy, your instructors will advise you that you need to demonstrate that you can control the larger canopy while it has a reduced wing loading. When it comes to purchasing these, your greatest resource will be a rigger or an instructor, like the ones we have here at Downward Trend.
Pro tip: You should never purchase your first canopy before getting advice from other experienced sportspeople.
Backpack or a Container
A harness/container consists of a backpack in which your canopies are stored, along with a harness that secures the backpack to your body and holds the container in place. When shopping for a harness and container, the most crucial factor to consider is whether or not the harness is contoured to your body and is the appropriate size for the canopies you want to use. Because there are many different sizes of harnesses and containers, and each model is designed to carry a specific size of canopies, you shouldn’t buy your harness or container until after you have determined the size of the canopies that you will be using.
Automatic Activation Device (AAD)
When getting started in skydiving, the AAD is a piece of gear you need. The Automatic Activation Device (AAD) is a backup device with a preset activation altitude. It will trigger the deployment of your reserve parachute if you have not activated either your primary or reserve canopy before reaching the activation height that has been set. The AAD has the potential to save your life if you are involved in an accident that could cause you to lose consciousness or even if you lose track of your altitude.
You are required to have an altimeter as part of your kit. This device measures how high you are above the ground and alerts you when it is time to open your canopy. There are several trustworthy altimeters available on the market today, and most manufacturers include both visual and auditory altimeters in their product offerings. In most cases, visual altimeters are worn on the wrist, whereas audible altimeters are worn in helmets and emit a beeping sound in the wearer’s ear. Because a skydiver will likely only need to make this purchase once or twice in their lifetime, we advise investing in a high-quality one that is simple to read — you know, when you’re free falling through the air.
Used vs New Skydiving Equipment
The sport of skydiving is pricey. It’s usually nicer and safer to have more recent skydiving gear if you can afford it. Depending on the brand and quality, the equipment on the above list will cost you somewhere between $500 and 8000. But as when purchasing a car, used skydiving equipment can be a cost-effective substitute for pricey new equipment. The used skydiving equipment industry is highly vibrant. Both newbies and seasoned buyers frequently purchase old goods. Before purchasing old equipment, make sure to get it checked out by a dependable FAA-certified rigger.
How to Buy Used Skydiving Equipment
Acquire an inspection before purchasing, and get a competent rigger to evaluate the skydiving equipment. Although it can cost a little more, the added security and quality control are well worth it. Similarly, don’t just rely on your pals, particularly if they’re also somewhat inexperienced jumpers. They likely don’t have a lot more knowledge than you do. Speak with a specialist before making such a crucial choice.
Discussions With Other Skydivers
If you inquire, other seasoned skydivers will be pleased to share information about the equipment they use and where to find discounts. While you shouldn’t rely on their recommendations more than those of instructors or experts, they can point you in the direction of products and producers to research.
Be Honest with Yourself
Purchase a canopy that corresponds to your actual weight rather than your desired weight. Never purchase a smaller canopy in the hopes of losing weight. If anything, you should overestimate your weight by a few pounds.
Belief in Your Gut If Something Seems Off
Don’t buy any old skydiving equipment if it doesn’t seem right or if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Never put yourself in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation to save a few dollars.
Shop When It’s Right
The regular skydiving season lasts from March to September. Everyone is scrambling to stock up on equipment just before and throughout that period. You can save money and take your time choosing gear by purchasing it at the end of the season or during the off-season.
Investigate the market, evaluate producers’ products, and compare their costs. Think about their accessibility and customer service as well. You might think twice about choosing a specific manufacturer if getting parts will be complex.
When to Upgrade the Equipment
You will better understand your personal preferences as you acquire experience, and you may constantly improve your skydiving gear in the future. One error that beginners occasionally commit is seeking out and purchasing the most expensive skydiving equipment they can find. New skydivers frequently lack the experience to understand their actual needs and preferences.
Other rookies might take the opposite tack and shop for the lowest equipment they can find without doing their homework. Given that your equipment essentially supports your life, this could be harmful. Don’t jeopardise your safety to make small financial savings.
We really hope this article was able to assist you out, and now that you’ve read it, you’ll be able to figure out what gear you need to get started skydiving. Just bear in mind that the priority should always be on ensuring your own safety before anything else.