So you’re an adrenaline junky who’s giving skydiving a shot? Well you should know a few things before you go jumping 12,500ft AGL (Above Ground Level). Never mind the obvious safety procedures and basic skydiving methods that keep you from being a splat in the mud, you need to become familiar with the basic equipment used during your decent. There are countless add-ons and thingamajigs you can use while skydiving, but only a handful of essential tools necessary for you to enjoy yourself safely. These ‘must haves’ are far more important than what kind of suit you are wearing. If it’s a skydiving suit, chances are it’ll work just fine. So do your research and read up on this list of the important equipment of sky jump.
That’s right! The skydiving parachute is the most important piece of equipment required for skydiving – and experienced jumpers take a great deal of pride in the chute they choose. Parachutes come in all different sizes. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want something a bit bigger and a bit more docile. It’s like starting your driving career with a nice small engine Civic. It’s not going to win you any races but it’s going to get you from A to B.
As you get more experienced, you might want to downsize to something a bit smaller and sportier. It’s like upgrading your Civic to a smaller sports car; it’s quicker, it’s higher performance and you’ll need some extra skills to get the most out of it.
All skydivers jump with two parachutes; a main and a reserve. The reason we have two is that, in the event one has a problem, we can deploy the second.
Parachutes are contained in a backpack, known as a ‘container’, and together, they’re known as a ‘rig’. Rigs come in different sizes depending on the size of the parachutes inside. They’re also made to fit their owner. If you’re buying your own brand new rig, you’ll probably want to choose colors that match the rest if your equipment. If you’re buying second hand, the most important thing is the fit.
An AAD is an ‘automatic activation device’. It’s installed in rigs to deploy your reserve parachute in the event that you can’t deploy either your main or reserve for yourself.
Let’s say for some reason you find yourself unconscious in freefall. The AAD monitors your descent rate and altitude and if you’re still falling at freefall speeds by a certain height, it will use an electrical charge to cut the loop that holds your reserve parachute in.
The next thing skydivers won’t be without is their own jumpsuit. We’re not saying skydiving is all about looking cool… but we won’t pretend it’s not an important part of it! Seriously, check out the skydivers on the drop zone and you’ll be amazed by the array of colors and designs people pick. It’s like something from a 90s rave at times! Though jumpsuits do go through different trends, the choice of a design essentially comes down to the owner’s preference – and it’s a really personal thing.
You cannot go for a sky jump without having these three essential equipment pieces.