What makes for the ideal skydiving outfit is up for interpretation. Typically, you can wear your own clothes as long as you’re appropriately dressed (more on that later) and many, like Oklahoma Skydiving, offer skydiving jumpsuits to tandem students for comfort or if you just want to look the part. The types of skydiving suits worn by sport and competitive jumpers, though, are highly technical in order to help these professionals squeeze every last bit of potential from every single jump.
Let’s get into the particulars of the standard skydiving jumpsuit:
Let’s start off on the same page. What is a skydiving jumpsuit? Think coveralls: long sleeves, long pants, zip up the middle. It’ll protect your skin from grazes and your clothes from grass stains, and you’ll look super cool …
Like all extreme sports, skydiving involves risk. Mitigating that risk requires meticulously maintained equipment, highly trained and experienced instructors, and top-of-the-line gear – and that includes jumpsuits.
What you wear under your parachute harness must not interfere with its operation, so skydiving jumpsuits are both streamlined and extremely durable. The rushing wind of freefall is relentless on flapping fabric, and torn or damaged pieces can potentially get in the way of correct deployment and piloting of your parachute.
So, let’s circle back to that note on appropriate dressing. We’re not talking about what to wear for your close up in this case; we’re talking safety. Be sure your choice of skydiving clothing is free of hooks or anything pokey or spikey. For your safety and that of our instructors, it’s important that nothing on your clothing or shoes has any chance of catching.
As is clear right from the beginning – whether you jump once or make a hobby (or career!) of it – there is plenty of physical activity involved with skydiving, from climbing in and out of the plane, to flying your body and landing your parachute. The materials a skydiving jumpsuit is made from aids with aerodynamics, and is reinforced in key areas, like the knees.
If you are learning to skydive via the AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) program, additional features of the jumpsuit are quickly apparent. The jumpsuit enables uniform drag (important in freefall), and the grippers on either side of the suit that the instructors hold onto keep you stable while you practice techniques.
Those same grippers, as well as fabric that goes over their shoes to make booties, are key to those who practice the discipline of Relative Work Formation Skydiving. They need maximal control while making geometrical shapes in the sky during freefall – including holding onto one another for a predetermined amount of time, and using their feet as wings that bolster precise maneuverability.
(The skydiving wingsuit and the skydivers who fly them is a whole ’nother world that you should most definitely check out!)
The air is cooler at altitude than at ground level. Enjoying your jump means being comfortable throughout the experience and, depending on the season, can involve some combination of base layers, gloves, a neck gaiter, and a jumpsuit.
When you are new to skydiving, you’ll be so full of adrenalin you probably won’t notice the temperature! Follow your instructor’s lead. If they’re lightly dressed, you’re likely to be comfortable in the same sort of get up; if they’re bundled up, you might be wise to do the same.
Ready to get your jump(suit) on? Let’s go! We’ve got nothing but blue skies and sweet Oklahoma vibes!!
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