Skydiving jumpsuits are more than just freefalling fashion statements. While, undeniably, skydiving jumpsuits add a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the overall look of a skydiver, they also contribute to the performance and, to some degree, the safety of a jumper. Have you ever wondered about the different types of skydiving jumpsuits out there? Keep reading for the insider scoop on skydiving jumpsuits.
At the most elementary level, skydiving jumpsuits are made to provide a level of protection for the skin and clothing of a jumper. For new flyers, both those completing tandem skydives and those at the start of their Accelerated Freefall progression, slide-in landings are quite common. While first-time tandem skydiving students are not required to wear a jumpsuit, we do recommend wearing one to protect clothing from grass stains and to prevent minor skin abrasions that can occur on landing.
If you choose to pursue a skydiving license within our Accelerated Freefall skydiving course, a skydiving jumpsuit is provided for you and is required to be worn. This is for three reasons. One reason is that your instructors will use the grips on the jumpsuit to help hold you stable during your first few skydives. The second reason is to create uniform drag and regulate fall rate as you learn to fly your body. And last, but certainly not least, the third reason is that before you get your “sky legs,” it’s more likely that you will scrape yourself upon landing.
There are a few main types of skydiving jumpsuits: relative work jumpsuits (also known as “belly” jumpsuits), freefly suits, and wingsuits. More specific information on these four skydiving jumpsuits is provided below.
RW jumpers fly together with their bellies relative to the earth and build various formations (hence the nickname belly jumpers). The skydiving jumpsuits used for RW have grippers on the outside of the arms and legs to allow individual skydivers to take grips and link up together. Additionally, the skydiving jumpsuits that belly jumpers use often have fabric booties that slide over a jumper’s shoes to create an additional “wing” for power.
Jumpers that fly in orientations other than belly to earth are often referred to as freefliers. The skydiving jumpsuits that freefliers use do not have grippers and are often more closely cropped to the body. Typically these jumpsuits have a sleek, airstream look to them.
One of the most easily recognizable types of skydiving jumpsuits is the wingsuit. These skydiving suits have a stretch of vented fabric between each wrist and hip and between the legs. The wings of this type of skydiving jumpsuit will vary in size based on the level of experience of the jumper.
The fabric and cut of skydiving suits will vary depending on if the jumpsuit is to be used primarily in the winter and/or a cool climate or the summer and/or a warm climate. Many skydivers will have and use a summer or “shorty” suit for warm weather skydiving. These suits usually have short sleeves or cropped legs as opposed to being full length.
If you’re making your first tandem skydive or going through our Accelerated Freefall course, we’ll pick your skydiving jumpsuit for you.
But, in general, as a licensed skydiver, the skydiving jumpsuit you choose will depend on the discipline you wish to pursue. Although, a great piece of advice for any beginner skydiver when it comes to picking your first skydiving jumpsuit is this: start simple. As we mentioned before, the primary function of the jumpsuit is to protect you from the elements. There’s no need to get too technical too quickly. Doing so can possibly hinder your skill progression and, inevitably, cost you extra money.
Within the community, there are plenty of ways to pick up a used skydiving jumpsuit. Whether it’s a local dropzone “garage sale” or a Facebook group focused on skydiving gear sales, with a little patience, you can find the right skydiving jumpsuit for you. Once you’ve figured out your niche and built up your skills, then you can splurge on the perfect, custom skydiving jumpsuit!
Ready to get suited up for the first time? Schedule your tandem skydive with Skydive Orange today!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.