Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Newbie with gear questions....


cshare14  (A License)

Nov 3, 2012, 2:07 PM
Post #1 of 3 (788 views)
Newbie with gear questions.... Can't Post

Hello all....I just got into the sport at the tail end of summer and am completely hooked. I'm progressing through the AFF program and enjoying every second. I would like to start getting my own gear...not a complete rig....but Altimiter, Helmet and Jumpsuit and have a couple questions.

First, for helmet do folks recommend open or full face for students? I like the Oxygyn A3 but want to ensure it is right for me and there aren't drawbacks to full face helmet.

Second, Jumpsuit. I have looked all over and see things like "freestyle", "general work"...I don't know what I'm looking at and wondering what is a good suit for a student that I can continue to wear after licensed.

Thanks to any that have insight.

jzzsxm  (C License)

Nov 3, 2012, 5:58 PM
Post #2 of 3 (723 views)
Re: [cshare14] Newbie with gear questions.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Not a rigger and I've only got 55 jumps, but having just gone through this process I think I can offer some help. Feel free to correct more-wizened-jumpers.

Helmet -
Open of full face is completely user-choice. I assume you've been jumping with an open-face during AFF, see if you can borrow or try a full-face. In general they reduce noise and wind smashing against your face. Some people dislike that aspect of skydiving and go for the full-face, others love it and stick with open. It's up to you.

As for jumpsuits, there are two primary types that you'll see most often around DZs - freefly suits and RW (relative work) suits.

RW suits are likely what you've been wearing during training. They have grippers (handles) on the arms and legs that are used for grabbing and making formations during skydives. They're designed for flying on your belly and doing things with other skydivers who are doing things on their belly.

Freefly suits are designed for freeflying (makes sense). They typically fit looser/baggier than RW suits and lack the grippers.

Other suits out their include wingsuits, tracking suits, and other variations (freefly pants, etc etc).

Most peoples' first jumpsuit is an RW suit. All of the recent A-licenses at my dropzone got RW suits (and coincidentally we all got Bev Suits).

Before you pull the trigger on ANYTHING, talk to the people at your DZ. I chatted with well over a dozen people asking about different suits, helmets, altimeters, etc. I had people show me the different suits, examples of different materials and gripper sizes, etc etc. Use the internet for cursory research, but there's nothing quite like seeing the real thing and getting advice from people in real life.

Divalent  (C 40494)

Nov 4, 2012, 5:58 AM
Post #3 of 3 (623 views)
Re: [cshare14] Newbie with gear questions.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Right now you probably don't know exactly what you need, or want. And probably won't for a good while. So at this point, IMO better to get something basic and inexpensive until you know what you want to invest serious money into.

Altimeter: get a Altimaster Galaxy (used would be fine: check the classified here), just like the ones you were issued to use as a student. Simple, durable, proven technology, and very reliable. And it might be the only altimeter you will ever need. Later you might decide you really need a digital/electronic one, but even then you will probably always want the have this in your gear bag as your backup (when batteries fail, etc). (~$160 new, ~$100+ used) You won't have "buyer's regret" getting one of these.

Helmet: Start with a Benny or Protech: inexpensive, reliable, functional, durable. (~$40) You are unlikely to be making a fashion statement with them, but, even when you move on to something 5-10 times as expensive, you will have a servicable backup. Then as you get more experience in the sport you will have plenty of time to investigate what will be right for you (looks, color, style, etc) without feeling like you have to make the right decision now. Again, you're unlikely to "buyer's regret" getting either of these (or if you do, not a huge $ loss).

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