Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
How soon did you start buying gear?

 


JamesBond  (No License)

Aug 8, 2018, 4:05 AM
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How soon did you start buying gear? Can't Post

Sup folks,

I知 about halfway through my AFF course, and I知 thinking about the time when I値l need to buy my own gear for when I知 licensed and know what I知 doing, what I like jumping with etc. However, is it too early to start thinking about this stuff? The main reason I知 thinking at this stage (apart from fantasising about when I知 going to be a real skydiver Tongue) is because I知 going overseas for a holiday soon, and I can save on tax if I purchase gear now (tourist refund scheme).

The main things I知 thinking about are a (full faced) helmet, alti and gloves. I知 not at all considering getting a rig as I have no idea what size I値l want at this stage.

Primarily I was hoping for some insights into getting an altimeter. I don稚 need my own at all, because they池e supplied when you池e a student or hire gear to jump. However, since I plan on getting my own at some point, I don稚 mind buying early, unless my preferences change over time.

For example, right now I have a preference for analogue altis, because I like that it tells me how high I am, but also I read it like I read my analogue watch e.g. at 4:12pm, I know it痴 4:12pm but also that I知 a few minutes from quarter past, this far from half past, and that far from 5:00pm, all at a glance. My reading of the analogue alti seems to work the same way. I imagine with a digital one, I壇 only be using it to check when the number drops close to my deployment height, and not necessarily being height aware. However, I知 also contemplating getting an audible eventually, which don稚 come with the analogue ones as I understand it?

The helmet I知 pretty set on. I知 not a huge fan of the hard hat + goggles set up I知 wearing through AFF, ESPECIALLY the goggles which I resent Pirate. The helmet also allows me to wear my glasses as opposed to contacts if I feel so inclined. Likewise with the gloves, being a Sydneysider I am used to the heat, and loathe the winter. The gloves really help.

What do you guys reckon? How soon into your skydiving lives did you start buying your gear? Did you buy everything at once? Did your preferences drastically change as you gained more experience?



Maddingo

Aug 8, 2018, 4:11 AM
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Bought the (full face) helmet and analog alti before starting AFF... guess I knew I will love it xD

During AFF I added gloves, which I was allowed to use after I have finished the AFF. I like them because it protects your skin from scratches, burns and bruises. Feeling wise it is better without them.

Then bought my basic free-fly suit which I don't wear often since it is very hot here. I rather have some sport windproof long sleeves over a t-shirt and regular short sports pants. I use the suit only during the colder months.

Bought an Optima II after 1 year in sport.

I bought my own system this year after 2 years in sport.

Next season I'm thinking about moving to a Viso because of the canopy piloting progression, but for general use I still prefer analog over a digital one. The visual cues are much easier to read in freefall.


(This post was edited by Maddingo on Aug 8, 2018, 5:03 AM)


benlangfeld

Aug 8, 2018, 5:47 AM
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JamesBond wrote:
For example, right now I have a preference for analogue altis, because I like that it tells me how high I am, but also I read it like I read my analogue watch e.g. at 4:12pm, I know it痴 4:12pm but also that I知 a few minutes from quarter past, this far from half past, and that far from 5:00pm, all at a glance. My reading of the analogue alti seems to work the same way. I imagine with a digital one, I壇 only be using it to check when the number drops close to my deployment height, and not necessarily being height aware. However, I知 also contemplating getting an audible eventually, which don稚 come with the analogue ones as I understand it?

You could try the Altitrack (https://www.lbwebstore.com/altitrack.html), which has an analogue face but is in-fact digital (with the precision benefits of digital) and behaves as a log.

As for an audible, yes they are all digital, but you can't see them during the jump so your preference for an analogue face has nothing to do with it.

JamesBond wrote:
The helmet I知 pretty set on. I知 not a huge fan of the hard hat + goggles set up I知 wearing through AFF, ESPECIALLY the goggles which I resent Pirate. The helmet also allows me to wear my glasses as opposed to contacts if I feel so inclined. Likewise with the gloves, being a Sydneysider I am used to the heat, and loathe the winter. The gloves really help.

I'd encourage you to try on various models of helmet in various sizes. I tried two or three sizes of both the Cookie G3 (just didn't like the shape of it at all) and the KISS (which fit great).

JamesBond wrote:
What do you guys reckon? How soon into your skydiving lives did you start buying your gear? Did you buy everything at once? Did your preferences drastically change as you gained more experience?

I bought a helmet, altimeters (Viso & Brilliant Pebbles audible), jumpsuit and gloves when I got my A. The jumpsuit and helmet are the most important, because student gear is disgusting.

It's normal to buy several jumpsuits as you progress through different kinds of jumps. I bought a short (sleeves and legs) freefly suit to begin with because I just needed something that has been washed this century and I jump at a DZ that is regularly 35C and I was bored of dripping. I then got into FS and bought a suit with booties and big grippers. I use both all the time. If I get into freefly at a cold DZ I'll buy a full-length FF suit, and if I get into camera work, a jacket with wings.


(This post was edited by benlangfeld on Aug 8, 2018, 6:17 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Aug 8, 2018, 5:58 AM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think many are convinced an analog alti will result in less time wasted staring at it compared to a digital alti. I can understand that it seems logical to make that conclusion.

I have noticed some videos recently where people spend an awful lot of time staring at their analog alti each time they "glance" at it. Real people in freefall might not match up with what seems intuitive.

Hopefully you've already asked your instructors about what they will allow and when concerning helmets, goggles, gloves, altis...


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on Aug 8, 2018, 5:59 AM)


Westerly

Aug 8, 2018, 11:15 AM
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I bought my altimeter and helmet right after I finished AFF. I got my first rig when I had about 50 jumps (received in the mail, not ordered).


tabouare  (A License)

Aug 9, 2018, 8:55 AM
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My dropzone supplied all the gear(Alti, jumpsuit, audible, helmet) to jump free of charge except the rig but I wanted to jump my own stuff.

7-8 jumps - Motorcycle goggles so it would stop hurting my face
14 jumps - Gloves because winter
21 jumps - Full face helmet (KISS) + audible altimeter(brilliant pebble)
32 jumps - Freefly jumpsuit (Vertex)
35 jumps - Altimeter (Aon X2)
No rig yet but planning on buying that this winter.


(This post was edited by tabouare on Aug 9, 2018, 8:57 AM)


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Aug 10, 2018, 4:08 AM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

Analog vs Digital is mostly a personal preference.

I prefer analog, I wear analog watches.

Don't worry about an analog affecting getting an audible. You wear the audible in your helmet, not on your wrist.

Do check with your instructors about getting and using a full face. Some places don't want students to wear them, for a variety of reasons.
If you want glasses instead of contacts, you can get the bigger 'over-the-glasses' goggles (dork goggles). There are also options for goggles/tight fit sunglasses (gatorz among others) that can be had with prescription correction.

Gloves can be a good thing (I almost always wear them), but the selection is important. You need enough 'feel' and dexterity to be able to grab & pull what you need to when you need to. One suggestion I like is that you should be able to tie your shoes with them on. I've used 'mechanic's gloves', baseball batting gloves and 'skydiving specific' ones (the white ones with fabric back and leather gripping surface).

As far as your question, I started buying my own stuff fairly soon. Maybe ten jumps. Altimeter, gloves, goggles & helmet (cheap ProTec).


kat00  (C License)

Aug 10, 2018, 10:06 AM
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My DZ had a deal for AFF grads for basics like helmet and stuff. My helmet was definitely the first so I could get the full face and ditch the goggles. Digital altimeter came shortly after. I actually wore the digital and analog for a day since positioning was different. After my A license, I added the audible.

Definitely, don't rush into gear. Work with your instructors on a downsizing plan. Then once you stabilize find gear for your size. If you want longevity look for gear that has the current canopy as the max for the rig. Then you can safely downsize it a step later.


JamesBond  (No License)

Aug 14, 2018, 5:10 AM
Post #9 of 16 (1375 views)
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Hey guys,

Thanks so much for all the comprehensive and detailed responses. It's been really insightful, and I have a much better idea of what I'm going to be looking at getting.

In the meantime, I shall continue fantasising about being a real skydiver as I work through my AFF
Tongue


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Aug 14, 2018, 8:19 AM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

JamesBond wrote:

...In the meantime, I shall continue fantasising about being a real skydiver as I work through my AFF Tongue

Pfft.

You jumped out of the plane, right?

You maintained stability and control during freefall, right?

You pulled for yourself, right?

You flew and landed the canopy, right?

Maybe you had someone holding on to you at first. So what? I'm usually holding onto or being held by someone most jumps.

Maybe you had some guidance by radio for landing the canopy. Again, so what? You still had to control and land the thing.

You may not be licensed yet. You may not be able to jump when, where & with whom you wish yet.

Again, so what?

You are a 'real' skydiver.


JamesBond  (No License)

Aug 17, 2018, 2:02 AM
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:
You are a 'real' skydiver.

Lol well, it's an interesting one. When I talk about skydiving to people, I tell them I'm learning. I'm not sure when I'd consider myself a "real skydiver". If I tell myself it'll be when I have my A license, I feel when I do, I won't feel like a real skydiver until I get my B. And so on.

In future, when talking to those not in the skydiving community, I plan on saying something along the lines of "I'm a licensed skydiver so sometimes I jump out of planes as a hobby" - try to make it sound low key so that I'm not showing off about how exciting I am. For now, definitely consider myself only a student. Cheers though mate



massis

Aug 17, 2018, 4:49 AM
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Started AFF in April. Bought my audible at 27 jumps in june upon advice of my FS instructor.

Went in for surgery, bought my fullface (G3) at 28 jumps but end of July.

Had a guy at our DZ who started a group order of suits, so ordered my first suit (Intrudair RW) in June, received it 2 weeks ago, now at 34 jumps.

Don't have my own alti yet, but they're included at our DZ's when you rent a rig anyways, so a clean suit, a fullface helmet and an audible were much more important to me.


mbailey465  (E License)

Aug 18, 2018, 2:09 AM
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Re: [massis] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

Huge +1 for getting an audible as early as possible, in my opinion it's one of the best pieces of kit you can buy early on. They key is to not reply on it and become complacent with your altitude awareness. Depending on the DZ, most are happy to lend you jumpsuits, alti, gloves until you purchase your own gear but I can't imagine there are many DZs that have a spare audible lying around that you can use.

Full-face/open face helmet comes down to personal preference but would also recommend getting one fairly early on (depending on how hideous the students ones are!) as it's not something you will grow out of (like a rig).

PS. you're a real skydiver!


johnmatrix  (E 9999)

Aug 18, 2018, 3:15 AM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

JamesBond wrote:
wolfriverjoe wrote:
You are a 'real' skydiver.

Lol well, it's an interesting one. When I talk about skydiving to people, I tell them I'm learning. I'm not sure when I'd consider myself a "real skydiver".

In my book if you do AFF 1 you're a skydiver.

I know what you mean about talking to wuffos though. I think 'learning to skydive' is what I used to say.

But you're not a wuffo any more. :)


JamesBond  (No License)

Aug 28, 2018, 5:01 PM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

Lol, thanks for the discussion guys. Think I might get a custom jumpsuit at some point, so will leave that for later. At my DZ, they're happy for students to get on to full face helmets as soon as they're off radio, which could be quite soon, so I'll be looking into helmets for sure.

Re: the audible, I will be getting one, but don't want to rely on it, so will set it at a low altitude, so it's only there if I need it. I want to be able to use my eyes and manual reading of my alti to remain height aware until it's burned in my memory Cool

Thanks again all



AtrusBatleth  (B 48817)

Aug 28, 2018, 10:52 PM
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Re: [JamesBond] How soon did you start buying gear? [In reply to] Can't Post

When to buy gear all depends on your experiences and preferences. After a few jumps as a student, you find out what annoys you most, and target buying your own gear that can make things better.

I also hated the goggles + pro-tec helmet combination when I was a student. The freebie/tandem goggles especially; I know this makes me sound like a whuffo, but I had one early jump where they started coming loose and had blurry vision in freefall, plus they dug into my face painfully, so the first thing I purchased (after 3 jumps) was more comfortable goggles so I didn't have to rely on the cheap ones at the DZ. I still didn't like pulling my goggles down being restricted by the helmet chin strap, but where I trained all students had to wear the DZ's pro-tec helmets even without radios (in hindsight, probably for injury liability since full face helmets are not impact rated).

As a student I trained with a digital Viso hand altimeter. Once I finished AFF (right at 25 jumps), I learned that the digital rentals were only for students, and fun jumpers that rented an altimeter got analog. I did one jump with the analog and hated it (the altimeter; I've never hated any of my jumps Wink). I found it bulky and hard to read with precision under canopy. So after 26 jumps I ordered my own digital altimeter that I was familiar with and a cheap used full-face helmet so I could stop dealing with goggles and helmet chin straps. The full face helmet was a super tight fit (I have a large melon) with no room for glasses and a major scratched up visor, but it served it's purpose (still using it 60 jumps later). With my own helmet and altimeter, I finally started to feel like a "real skydiver" (but I agree with others, you're a real skydiver after AFF #1).

I was going to wait a year or so before investing in my own rig, but a stranger gave me a 50% off a Wings container that was going to expire soon and just too good to pass up, so with only 28 jumps and at the end of the season, I bought the container and then purchased the canopies and AAD during the winter break. It was major sticker shock (it was hard to find used gear at my weight so everything was new), but I definitely do not regret being pushed into the early purchase. Jumping with a custom fit harness/container vs. student rental gear is like night and day.

I purchased gloves when I started jumping in the winter. This was harder than I imagined, because my full-face helmet has a one-hand opening mechanism that requires the fingers to get some traction on the visor, so I took my helmet to stores and tried on many many pairs of gloves before I found ones that felt good.

Next purchase was a jumpsuit and a couple extra altimeters after 66 jumps. I'm beyond "big boy" and more in the "fat bastard" weight class, so I was having a hard time keeping "up" with other jumpers, plus it was hard finding rental suits that properly fit me. I got a new custom fit RW/FS jumpsuit that has really helped to slow me down. And I didn't like being altitude "blind" when I was tracking, so I got an analog with a mudflap mount and an audible.

I've had a blast looking back over my old logbook entries at when I got my various gear. I also noticed I used to document a lot of details on how I packed that I've pretty much given up on (I guess I'm a trash packer now). Have fun finishing AFF and looking forward to being a fun jumper! You've got so much to look forward to.



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