Skydiving is a recreational sport that requires the jumper to jump from a
high altitude or from a plane. Therefore, during the jumper’s free fall,
he relies on the equipment and presence of mind for his safety and
Skydiving schools provide their students with all the necessary equipment
during training. Upon graduating from the school, skydivers may continue
to rent equipment but most of the graduates purchase their own.
The most important equipment of this sport is of course, the parachute.
A skydiving parachute actually has a lot more to it than just a fabric
canopy. The drogue chute is used to open the main chute. There is also a
reserve chute, in case something happens with the original parachute.
Another safety precaution that comes on sky diving parachutes is the
automatic activation device or AAD. AAD is a device which automatically
opens at the chute approximately 800 feet altitude if for some reason the
jumper does not open the parachute. It is a device required to student
jumpers and worn mostly by veteran jumpers.
Both the original parachute and the reserve parachute are ties into a
backpack. This backpack is strong, durable, and tied by nylon straps
that make up a harness. The harness is buckled around thighs, chest, and
shoulders of a jumper. All these harnesses and lines make sure that the
parachute stays connected to him during the dive.
No parachute is 100 percent reliable. Most malfunctions result from
human error. Some reasons for parachute malfunctions can be traced to
improper packing, poor technique at the time of deployment, or inadequate
pre-jump inspection. A reserve static line or RSL is attached to the
main parachute to activate the reserve parachute if the main parachute is
jettisoned during an emergency.
Any type of clothing can be used by the skydivers. But there are special
jumpsuits that have better aerodynamic performance. These jumpsuits have
handles or grippers so that fellow jumpers can grasp into while doing
maneuvers or aerobatics.
Aside from this, there are fabrics that control the speed of the descent.
Tight and slippery jumpsuits allow for faster falling rate for small
people. Large, canvas-like jumpsuits provide a slower fall for bigger
Aside from jumpsuits, comfortable shoes are also important. There are
skydivers who recommend athletic sneakers for easy landing. A helmet is
also needed to protect the head. To record the great experience, there
are helmets equipped with cameras. Helmets used in skydiving range from
aviator-style hats to full coverage motorcycle-like hard helmets.
A good altimeter is also a great equipment, this would help you track the
altitude during your descent. There is an alarm that goes off reminding
the skydiver to open the parachute when he has reached the altitude when
to deploy the parachute.
In order to protect their eyes from rapid descent as fast as 150 mph,
skydivers wear goggles. They might even have light gloves, should the
conditions during the jump be cold.
Skydiving can be expensive. Lessons, flight time and equipment can lead
to about $100 to $1000 depending on the level of commitment. You can
rent the skydiving equipment if you plan to do it once or twice. But if
you’re planning to do it regularly than you would have to invest on your
The United States Parachuting Association estimates $2,000 to $6,000 cost
for an airworthy equipment.