Ready to start your journey toward TR1 or FF1? You’ll need a coach and the right equipment. The aim of this post is to outline specifically what equipment you’ll need so that once you have it, you’ll be ready to get coaching.
Remember, you can always seek advice from an instructor or coach at the drop zone and our coaches will always check over your gear for you too.
A freefly friendly rig
Your rig must be suitable for tracking / freeflying for you to start your tracking / freeflying journey. But what does that mean?
Top line is that your rig must remain closed until you are ready to deploy. Any accidental deployments or pulled handles must be avoided and the best way to do this is with proper equipment.
You should ideally have a freefly pud, rather than a hackey, as your main handle. A freefly pud is lower profile than a hackey and therefore less prone to getting accidentally caught.
Your BOC (bottom of container) should also be in excellent condition and tight enough to hold the pilot chute properly in place. A weakened or stretched BOC will not be suitable for FF or TR.
All flaps should be properly fitted and closed. Modern containers will be built in such a way that flaps are not at risk of coming open in freefall but if you have an older container or one which includes Velcro, this will need to be checked prior to you making an FF or TR jump.
An audible altimeter
An audible altimeter is not prescribed by the Ops Manual but it is recommended in the Freefly and Tracking Manuals written by British Skydiving and here at Skydive Langar, all of our coaches will require you have an audible altimeter when taking part in an FF or TR jump.
This is to ensure you maintain altitude awareness even if seeing your visual altimeter is more difficult than it is in the belly-to-earth orientation. The audible altimeter is a back up which should not be relied on in its entirety but is a good tool to have in place to remind you of important heights.
A suitable jumpsuit
When tracking or freeflying, you’ll need to wear a suitable jumpsuit. This will serve the purpose of keeping your clothing from intefering with your handles and will have also have the benefit of aiding your flight, depending on the suit. For example, some people like to have drag, or a lack of, in certain places to help them.
If you’re not sure about your jumpsuit, you can always ask your coach for advice. We do have some suits you can borrow in the kit store but not a large range and it will always be better to have a jumpsuit made for you. Check out this blog post for further advice in this area.
Velcro and other bits
If you have Velcro on any of your equipment – probably on your altimeter strap or perhaps on your gloves – it’s worth checking that it’s in good condition and not going to come undone easily in the higher speeds of freefly or tracking.
The same applies for any excess on your chest strap or helmet; making sure any excess is well secured with a good condition bungee will keep everything in place and avoid unnecessary flapping or movement.
As always, if you have any questions or are uncertain, please speak to a coach or instructor.