Skydiving jumpsuits run the gamut from fairly basic to highly technical. At the simple end of the scale, a skydiving suit covers your body without flapping around in freefall. At the more sophisticated end, skydiving clothing is precision-engineered for use by top-performing practitioners of the sport. There are many types of skydiving jumpsuits, and they all generally include considerations in the following areas …
A skydiving suit is essentially a coverall similar to those worn across numerous professions, from mechanics to medics. It’s meant to protect your body while remaining completely out of the way of your equipment. A parachute system (or ‘rig’) has several handles that you need unimpeded access to at all times – which means, your skydiving clothing needs to stay put. Skydiving suits are built to withstand repeated exposure to the high wind speed of freefall and have secure fastenings that remain in place from wheels up to touch down, over and over (and over …) again.
By bouncing the ‘relative wind’ off different parts of your body, you can maintain control during freefall. The basics can be picked up quite quickly, and over time it is possible to achieve incredible precision. Sport skydivers seek every advantage they can to help build their flying skills, and high-end skydiving suits are available to cater to their needs. There are many available options, such as more grippy materials in some places with more slippy materials in others. Suits with more fabric help you to fall slower, while close-fitting suits help you to go faster.
A good skydiving suit should fit properly so you can fly through the air unhindered by restrictive garments around the body. Over time skydivers have learned to fly in any and every imaginable position, and to learn this you ideally need to have complete freedom of movement. This also helps with getting in and out of the aircraft gracefully and efficiently, as skydiving planes are relatively small and mostly full.
Skydiving jumpsuits are built to last. The freefall part of skydiving is not tough on your suit, but a lot of the other parts can be. Climbing in and out of the plane can be tough on the knees and seat of your skydiving suit, as can packing your parachute afterward. Landing is mostly done standing up, but it is definitely possible to fall or slide while touching down. Jumpsuits don’t need padding, but they do need to withstand the odd less-than-perfect landing.
Skydiving is cool. Skydiving jumpsuits are cool. And customized jumpsuits are wicked cool. Choosing the colors that speak to you, or even aligning all of your gear in the same color story, most definitely puts a little extra wind in your sails. Some are less concerned about such coordination, while others – teams especially – take this part very seriously indeed and take great pride in professionally representing the sport.
Tandem skydiving is the most popular way to jump for the first time. A tandem skydive has its own special procedures and rules, as you jump harnessed together with a highly trained and mega-experienced instructor. The jumpsuit considerations are pretty much the same for tandem skydives, but you can often wear civilian clothing as long as you’re dressed correctly.
Now you know everything you wanted to know about skydiving jumpsuits, put your happy pants on and get yourself down here – we’ve got sunshine and puffies to jump in! Let’s fly!!