Published: October 19, 2016
How do you dress to jump out of a plane? If you've never done it, you're probably baffled. You instinctually know that it's probably nothing like dressing for the stuff you usually do for fun, but you might not be familiar with the unique stresses that a skydive exerts on clothing--or how the conditions change from ground to air.
Don't worry! We'll help you attack those wardrobe choices with savoir-faire. Here are our best tips on what to wear skydiving to get you dressed for success.
1. Dress For The Weather On The Ground, Then Add Layers.
Due to a phenomenon called "lapse rate," the temperature at altitude is reliably about thirty degrees lower than the temperature on the ground. Even though you won't be up there for more than a few minutes, the differential can feel pretty severe on a chilly day if you're not prepared. Armed with that knowledge, you'll probably make the right decision: to dress for the weather on the ground, where you'll be most of the time, but bring chill-chasing layers to throw on when it's time for your jump.
2. ...But Not Puffy (or Loose) Layers.
Close-fitting layers that move with you--like fleece, for instance--are the way to go. They'll fit nicely under the jumpsuit we loan you, should you decide to wear it; if you don't, they'll catch less air in freefall, which likes to pick up every flappy bit of fabric it can find and mess mightily with it.
3. Wear Closed-toed Shoes.
The dropzone is, definitively, no place for heels. (Fun fact: Roberta Mancino wears them for jumps on occasion--but she always kicks them off before she lands!) As a rule of thumb: Wear lace-up shoes that you wouldn't mind sprinting fifty feet in. This will guarantee that what you're wearing is comfortable, solid and will stay on your feet when they're up there in the breeze.
4. Plan To Jump Sans Jumpsuit? Dress For Grass Stains.
For reasons of safety, it's not uncommon that a tandem skydive ends up with a landing that gently scoots your majestic posterior across our soft, grassy landing area. That said: Don't wear your shiniest white linen trousers.
5. Vision Correction? No Worries; We've Got You Covered.
Seeing what's going on up there is so important to your enjoyment of your jump, so we make sure that we have the goggles to protect whatever vision correction you need. Glasses? Contacts? No problem.
6. Cameras Are Not Part Of The Wardrobe.
This might surprise you, but it is very unsafe for a tandem student to make a jump with his/her own camera. They're distracting, snaggy devices--so problematic that sport skydivers are heartily recommended to put aside until they've made at least a hundred solo skydives! Luckily, we have a camera team that's more than happy to make your jump with you and capture your giddy freefall grin.
Got specific questions? Costume ideas? Clarifications? Reach out to us. We're happy to help!