There’s a joke in the skydiving world that you don’t need a parachute to skydive; you only need a parachute to skydive more than once. Crazy, right?! Here at Oklahoma Skydiving Center, we prefer the latter and we use the latest skydiving equipment to do just that. If you’re skydiving on a regular basis and want to purchase your own equipment, keep reading to learn about the main pieces of gear you’ll need.
Note: If you’re planning on doing a tandem skydive, we provide all the equipment you’ll need including your jumpsuit, goggles, helmet and skydiving system so you can sit back and enjoy the blue skies without worrying about needing any special gear.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way up front. Yes, we recommend you have a parachute (actually, two!) when you toss yourself out of an airplane at 14,000 ft above the ground. Both the main and reserve parachutes are kept inside a container and all of this is what is referred to as your rig. Parachutes come in a lot of different sizes so we suggest taking your time to see what you like best. When it comes to your first parachute, most people purchase used skydiving gear and the bigger your parachute, the better. Once you gain more experience, you’ll probably consider gradually downsizing to a smaller, more nimble chute.
AAD stands for Automatic Activation Device which is a fancy way of describing a tiny computer that will deploy your reserve parachute automatically when activated and if certain conditions are met (think low altitude and still in freefall). Sounds pretty critical, right? The two most popular brands are Cypres and Vigil (although other brands exist) because they have been tried and tested over many years.
Depending on whether you prefer a closed vs open-face helmet, that could determine what goggles you may want. Just like your rig, you’ll want to try out a few helmet-goggle combos to decide what you like best. Many times, a fellow jumper will be willing to let you borrow theirs for a jump. You never know unless you ask! When it comes to your jumpsuit, you can definitely buy a used one at a decent price. However, if you want one that fits you perfectly, it’s best to save up and place a custom order. And finally, your altimeter is the watch-looking device that lets you know how high you are over the ground. There are analog and digital altimeters, and even audible variations available and it’s really a personal preference as to which one is right for you.
If you’ve started researching the costs for these items, you’ve probably discovered that they add up pretty quickly. Don’t feel like you have to buy all this gear at once, although if you can afford it, then by all means, go for it! Most new jumpers start with something simple like a used jumpsuit and new goggles and go from there. In the meantime, our rental gear is available to you so you can keep skydiving while you’re assembling your personal setup.
Did you know we are a dealer for many of the industry’s best manufacturers? This means we can help you pick out your new or used skydiving equipment locally at the best prices! We are dealers for United Parachute Technologies (UPT), Mirage Systems, Precision Aerodynamics, Aerodyne, Performance Designs, Tony Suits, Phoenix-Fly, and more. Be sure to chat with one of our riggers or instructors next time you’re here. We’d love to help you find the right gear for you.
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