Skydiving Equipment

Safe equipment for diving through the sky

In recent years, more and more people have taken up skydiving as a hobby. Many who tried it once found they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and return to it again and again. Even so, most people don't know everything they need to know before they commit to taking the plunge. Learning about skydiving equipment and how parachutes work are the first steps to making this a safe and enjoyable activity.

Essential Skydiving Gear

Proper skydiving equipment is indispensible. Skydiving gear ranges from helmets and altimeters to parachutes and goggles. Skydiving jumpsuits are also important. Since the equipment available on the market comes in a wide range of styles and offers differing usability features, it's important to make sure your skydiving equipment is always of the highest quality. Recommended pieces of optional skydiving equipment include portable audio units that help partners stay in contact, specialized harnesses for free-fall safety and video cameras. If you're just getting started, you'll also get a lot of use out of instructional videos and books.

Buying, Renting or Borrowing

If you are learning with a skydiving school or club, most of the equipment you'll need will be available for rent or included in the cost of your lessons. As with used scuba diving equipment, it's crucial to pay close attention to the condition of any used pieces of skydiving equipment you're considering for purchase. The most important thing you'll need to do is ensure your parachute is packed properly.

Professionals understand how parachutes work, and you can ask them to make sure yours is safe and ready for use prior to each excursion. Normally, it's recommended that you purchase skydiving jumpsuits on your own rather than borrow them, since comfort and personal preference will more often than not be the deciding factors.

As a general rule, purchase or rent any skydiving equipment that needs to be calibrated or maintained with the input of experienced professionals. Remember: there's no room for error when you're tumbling through the sky in a free-fall.

How Parachutes Work

Both the main and reserve chutes of a parachute must be packed according to specific guidelines. When you release the parachute, it remains attached to the rest of your skydiving gear. Even though parachutes are very lightweight, they have a very large surface area. This allows you to catch the air and create a drag, which slows you down and allows you to fall to the ground safely.

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