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SkyDivesAreUs

Are jumpsuits that important?

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Hello everyone! I'm still a student so I have to wear one every jump I do as of now but I'm going to be getting my license really soon (damn weather preventing my fun time >:()and was wondering just how important they are. I know they help your fall rate but during student progression you learn fall rate control and was wondering if that would be good enough if you practice it.

I'm assuming if you're really light jumping with someone really heavy than controlling your fall rate might not be enough but I honestly just don't like jumpsuits lol I mean if they're somewhat vital to jumping with people and keeping up with them then I'll just suck it up and get one because at this point nothing is going to stop me from jumping (especially something as trivial as what I'm wearing while doing it lol) but as of now I'm still piecing together my own rig and money is kind of tight since I bought a harness/container and a reserve and was wondering if it's worth the expense.

Main reason I'm asking is because I've watched enough videos with people jumping without them and people at my dropzone jumping without them and having no problems keeping up with each other to make me wonder just how important they actually are. Sorry if this is a dumb question, still relatively new to the sport and there's just so much to take in and just wanted opinions from experienced jumpers.

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SkyDivesAreUs

... but during student progression you learn fall rate control and was wondering if that would be good enough if you practice it.

I'm assuming if you're really light jumping with someone really heavy than controlling your fall rate might not be enough ...



The deal is that you can only do so much in learning how to adjust your fall rate. If the people are different enough in size, it is going to be a lot of work to adjust. If everyone is wearing a jumpsuit that gives them an "average" fall rate, then the skydive will just be so much easier.

Having said that, there are plenty of skydives that you will do with people about your size where you can skip the jumpsuits (when it is warm enough) and have a great time.

When you get more jumps and with different size people you will understand all of this better.

But in the mean time, have fun!

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One possible safety advantage of jumpsuits is that they don't have pockets, pointy collars, or shirt tail ends that can shift and cover handles. Your shirt can come untucked and do exactly that, leading to a much more exciting jump than planned if you have a malfunction.

Doesn't mean you have to have one, just a feature to make sure and have in your street clothing selection.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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It does help the fall rate to an extent, but like Wendy said it can quickly become a safety issue and I have seen video of this exact thing. Another reason is if you do any kind of group skydiving it is easier to dock on someone with grippers than to try to grab a hand full of t-shirt flapping in the 120 mile an hour breeze. If you are not very efficient at landing your canopy yet and you slide in or take a no wind or slightly down wind landing faster than you can run the jumpsuit might minimize the skin donation;)

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I'm 5'11" and 250lbs out the door. My normal fall rate was 140mph. I had a helluva time trying to jump with others. And I was tumbling. Our awesome dzo threw me an old big guy jumpsuit with booties. Two jumps later my highest speed was 119mph. And the control was unbelievable, exits too. So my Expert opinion at 80 jumps: it's important.

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As my lawyer always says: it depends .. ;)

In my opinion there are two different views in that issue.
First: Wendy is absolutely right, it is a safety thing.
Especially if you are new to the sport, a suit is one item which covers a couple of possible hazards. Handles are there where they should be and if you imagine a nice piece of sweatshirt flapping around your pc-handle at pulltime, this puts a lot more adrenaline to your blood than a triple shot espresso.
if you then realize that this sweatshirt covers your cutaway and reserve handles as well > wooha!
Serious: a jumpsuit usually eliminates this and your nice trousers stay clean during grass landings ...

Second: Fallrate, Grips, Booties and other things, talking about formation jumps with others.
During AFF, you learn to increase/decrease your fallrate by arching more or less.
A jumpsuit is a tool to adjust your personal fallrate to an average one (more or less, depends on your shape/weight).
Means, you may fall in an average rate in neutral position, so you have range for faster and slower if needed.
Also a jumpsuit has grips and booties.
Grips for a good connection for turning points ore have a solid piece of fabric to hold on to between you and your friends.
Booties help you for faster turns and better tracks.
However, a good track needs a lot more other things than big booties.

If we look at Freeflysuits, those help to adjust fallrate and ensure good airflow for steering your body and doing clean manouevers as well.
If you rush through the air at headdownspeed, every flapping shirt or jeans disturb your performance.
In a sitfly, reaching out your arm for a handshake in a large sweatshirt is more challenging ...

But if you don´t participate in any of the disciplines, saying that you jump alone and just hang around in freefall, it is still the safety issue.

If you look at the competitions, there is a reason why everyone wears a suit, don´t ya think?

But what do I know ....:P
--------------------------------------------------

With sufficient thrust,
pigs just fly well

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I got my A&B licenses at a DZ where a significant amount of fun jumpers eschewed suits, and moved on to a DZ where a good chunk of them wore them. It's a personal decision, really, but I learned in a suit and prefer to stay there. I hate heat, though, and spent a lot of the summer goofing off and doing fun jumps in a sports bra and shorts.

When it was time to do anything over a 4 way, or turning points, it was time for the heavy booties and grippers, and even in 110 degree heat, if you wanted on a bigger-way with the RW fiends, you were wearing a suit. I'm not big on freefly, so I can't chime in on the mechanics of flying with or without a suit there, but for RW, so much hinges on the exit if you're flying it linked that a suit is really important.

When I see Super Serious or Motiv8 or Arizona Airspeed visit my DZ and they're all wearing suits, I think they're probably on to something...
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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I did many jumps in Fl. wearing just a pair of cuttoff jeans. No shoes, no shirt. Feel the air baby. Use your body to adjust fallrate. :)
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

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Short answer:

Yes, they are that important. They provide fall rate control (both faster or slower), more control in freefall than just bare limbs, more power for tracking (booties), places for taking grips (grippers), a smooth, tight surface that won't blow up and over handles and last, but not least, some protection in case of a bad landing (there are TIs out there that have Kevlar panels for the sliding landings they do).

As an example, there are "No Jumpsuit BFR" jumps at Summerfest some years. The lack of control due to lack of jumpsuits is pretty apparent. Rob promises to buy beer for the load if everyone makes it into the round (one point on the jump). He has yet to buy beer in the 8 years I've been there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9hGpChVogc

The video is from 09. The guy in the neon green rig is Skittles. He was 'base', or if you will - target.

You can jump without if you choose to, but look at how many wear them vs how many go without.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Is a jumpsuit important? At your experience level,Yes! When you have a few hundred jumps you should have the experience to make your own decision but at your level you don't have enough information. Can you jump safely? Probably. Have there been fatalities? Most likely, but those people are no longer here. All the things that have been talked about are factors, handles being covered, loose pieces flapping. Is your life worth spending a few minutes in an uncomfortable jump suit?

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Thanks for sharing that Summerfest video. That second jump (or second video) might have been the funniest thing I've ever seen. Total chaos and no one gets hurt equals grand entertainment. To the OP: In my opinion, right now, it's about safety for you. So if you choose not to wear an appropriate jumpsuit, talk to knowledgeable skydivers about safe(ish) alternatives and why certain clothing is questionable.

__________________________________________

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Thanks everyone for the responses! General consensus seems to be that they're undoubtedly a good idea and much safer, being newer I'm all about safety so at least for the time being I decided I'm just going to end up getting one and sticking with it for a long time to come especially until I'm very well experienced, and even then I might end up deciding to just stick with it haha

Thanks again!

Edit: Sorry for another stupid question, is there anything in particular I should know about or lean towards when getting one? I know there's no one size fits all but I mean should it be as tight as it can be while still maintaining mobility? Somewhat looser? I'm kind of taller and a light guy (almost 6 foot and maybe 145 pounds soaking wet). Or something else all together I'm unaware of? Thanks in advance!

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That sounds like a good idea. You can always try a no suit jump in the future.

Suit fit "depends."

How fast do you fall?

If you are tall and thin, you are likely to fall fairly slow.
If so, then tight and slick will be what you want.

But its impossible to judge on line.

Ask your instructors how your fall rate is. They will be the ones to give you appropriate advice on this.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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SkyDivesAreUs


Main reason I'm asking is because I've watched enough videos with people jumping without them and people at my dropzone jumping without them and having no problems keeping up with each other to make me wonder just how important they actually are.



Jumpsuits really help you learn how to fly. They help you have better control and consistency from inputs. If you are serious and progression oriented a jumpsuit is a must. If you are looking to have a lot of fun and not concerned with acquiring new skills then you don't need one.

Its an expensive sport, get used to that.

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I bought a used, beat up jumpsuit early on to have something consistant to fly in, or if it got cold. You dont need to drop $800 bucks on a fancy top of the line suit.

Most of the jumps I did I wore shorts and tucked in shirts. Be careful of the safety concerns mentioned earlier. I eventually started sewing myself freefall shirts that would not come untucked and just jumped with that and either slim jeans or shorts.

I finally bought a nice jumpsuit when I had about 1500 jumps. It was mainly for the tunnel, but nice for skydives too.

I still wear my FF shirt and swoop shorts for summer, and the jumpsuit for winter and tunnel.

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ironhaigen

I bought a used, beat up jumpsuit early on to have something consistant to fly in, or if it got cold. You dont need to drop $800 bucks on a fancy top of the line suit.

Most of the jumps I did I wore shorts and tucked in shirts. Be careful of the safety concerns mentioned earlier. I eventually started sewing myself freefall shirts that would not come untucked and just jumped with that and either slim jeans or shorts.

I finally bought a nice jumpsuit when I had about 1500 jumps. It was mainly for the tunnel, but nice for skydives too.

I still wear my FF shirt and swoop shorts for summer, and the jumpsuit for winter and tunnel.

Good point on the tucked in shirts. They can become untucked tho. Shirts will cover emergency handles. I learned that early on. Why I jumped shirtless during the hot Fl. summers.
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

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Jump suit fit? It should not be baggy for you due to your slower fall rate based on being tall and thin, as excess material flapping causes drag which can slow you down. But to have it skin tight has two drawbacks. 1) IF you happen to add a couple of pounds during the holidays(sounds unlikely for you) it will be uncomfortable. 2) depending on where you live/skydive, when it is cold it should allow at least some minimal room for an extra layer underneath to stay little warmer in the winter months. Just some things to consider. Buying used for your first jumpsuit is not a bad idea. Be patient and make sure it fits.

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Thanks again!Edit: Sorry for another stupid question, is there anything in particular I should know about or lean all but I mean should it be as tight as it can be while still maintaining mobility? Somewhat looser? I'm kind of taller and a light guy (almost 6 foot and maybe 145 pounds towards when getting one? I know there's no one size fits soaking wet). Or something else all together I'm unaware of? Thanks in advance!



I am 6'1", 170lb and when I first started doing RW after getting my license, I was floating up on most group jumps. I had a simple RW suit that I had bought used. I found I needed speed and lots of it. I spoke to one of the suit makers and told them what I wanted. For the legs, I even opted for plain nylon on the legs, which they didn't normally offer. It is less durable, but I normally landed on my feet, so no real need for rugged material on the legs when I really needed speed. I ended up with a tight fitting slick fabric suit and when I went back to jump with those same guys, I went low on the first jump. I was happy.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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al05r

re. jumping with t-shirts: if you have hip rings you can attach a tandem bungee on either side to hold your t-shirt down
works a treat!



And that will in time abrade the lower junction of MLW and eventually make the rig un-airworthy...

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