Love the rush you get from jumping out of an airplane?
If you’re a thrill seeker, you know what I’m talking about. On the other hand, thrill seeking doesn’t mean stupid. Before you take that dive, you want to take good inventory of your skydiving equipment.
Your equipment can mean the difference between a great jump and a trip to the hospital, or even the morgue.
Let’s begin with your parachute. Don’t take chances here – you want a quality chute. Bought new, these can range from $1500 to $3000 and more. The good news is that there are also discount skydiving equipment sources available online, and even some local sporting goods stores are carrying a limited variety of chutes. You want to make sure your parachute is made of quality materials, and inspected and certified by the manufacturer.
Another necessity is your jumpsuit. This isn’t needed so much for your air travel (although it does protect against high air speeds) as it is for your landing. Jumping in the desert? Picture landing in the sage, or worse yet, cactus. You’ll be glad you have a good suit in that case!
An altimeter is a good idea. It’s hard to gauge how high you are when the ground is rushing up to meet you. The altimeter tells you where you are height-wise, which allows you to determine the optimum time to pull your rip cord. You want to enjoy the jump, but you also want your chute to have enough time to deploy before you hit ground. (Remember that gravity attracts at about the speed of light. Simply put, the longer you’re in the air falling, the faster your mph when you reach the ground!)
You may want to consider an Automatic Aviation Device, or AAD. This is a piece of equipment that will launch your backup parachute. It actually measures the speed of your fall, and deploys the backup chute in case you’re not able to get your main parachute opened. The AAD is crucial and could mean the difference between walking away from your jump, or being scraped off the ground.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider additional skydiving equipment, like a helmet, gloves, footwear, and so on. Padding is not a bad idea at all, and you might explore a spinal protector. You only have one body, and it only takes one bad jump to cause some serious injuries.
Make your jump a pleasure and not a nightmare.