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 5 essential pieces of skydiving equipment:
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably shouldn’t board the plane. This is a must have piece of equipment, and it’s important to know the basic components of your parachute. When you jump, the parts involved with your parachute include the container (basically a backpack), the main canopy, and a reserve canopy. Of course you have pull strings for both canopies properly labeled with colored tabs, but your dive instructor will go over those details with you. Average cost for a standard parachute rounds out at about $3,500.
It might seem pointless. What would a helmet do if my parachute failed and I fell 13,000ft? But a lot can go wrong even if your canopy does deploy, and in those cases, better safe than sorry.
The majority of injuries related with skydiving have more to do with hard landings. Hard landings can cause the jumper to lose their footing, especially on uneven landing areas. People have been known to take nasty spills once their feet touch or don’t touch the ground.
You have your choice between two types of helmets: soft hats and hard helmets. Soft hats cost around $100, while some helmets can reach upwards of $400. Of course, the extra chunk of change can go a long way in protecting that mug of yours.
Ah yes, a skydivers’ best friend. Besides, there is no real point in skydiving if you can’t see what you’re doing. And who wants to catch a fly to the eye at that speed? There is a wide variety of goggles varying in style. The bargain shopper can find a pair for $10 or so bucks, while the Fabio’s of the sky are looking at $200+.
Though some find that this tool isn’t really a must have, it never hurts to know how much farther you have got. If this is your first time, altimeters will give you your altitude and keep your from popping your shoot too early. There is a sharp change in pricing, low-end deals are around $150, while top-of-the-line altimeters run about $350.
Automatic Activation Device. If it isn’t obvious enough what this tool does, the AAD will pop your shoot at a set altitude. This would take the place of an altimeter and act as an added safety device. AAD units usually run around $1200.
Renting gear for your first few times isn’t a bad option. But if you see skydiving becoming a common fixture in your life, it wouldn’t be a bad investment to purchase these tools.