In short, the answer is no, you do not have to wear a jumpsuit to skydive. But there are many reasons to choose to do so anyway. The aim of this post is to explore some of those so you can make better informed decisions about what to wear on your next jump.
Do I have to wear a jumpsuit for a tandem skydive?
If you’re coming to enjoy a tandem skydive with us, we’ll ask you to dress in a way that is appropriate for doing a low impact sport, like jogging or yoga. The reason for this is that clothing like leggings or tracksuits and similar will allow you to move freely and comfortably, while trainers will help protect your feet as you move around.
Many of our tandem skydivers are skydiving for charity, and ask if they can wear their charity’s t shirt, which you absolutely can! A t shirt can be worn over a jumpsuit, if you like, or over a hoody if you want extra layers to keep warm.
And that is the main benefit of a jumpsuit for tandems – to keep you warm. Especially in the UK winter, it can get very chilly in the sky so we do recommend a jumpsuit be worn as an extra layer.
A jumpsuit will also help to protect your clothes. Often, tandems land in a seated position so if you want to protect your clothing from any grass or even water on the ground if it’s been wetter weather prior to your jump, then a jumpsuit is a good idea.
With that said, you are also welcome to jump without one. On very hot weather days, tandem skydivers will regularly opt to jump in just shorts and t shirt, which can be a very welcome break from the hotter weather down on the ground!
If you have any queries about what you’re planning to wear, speak to one of our instructors and we’ll be happy to help.
Can students jump without a jumpsuit?
For student skydivers (i.e. those learning to skydive via the AFF or Category Systems programmes), you do need to wear a jumpsuit. The reason for that is that the jumpsuit protects all of your important handles and ensures there’s nothing flapping around where it shouldn’t be, thus ensuring you’re able to operate all of your equipment correctly.
On AFF particularly, the jumpsuits are also required for our AFF instructors to take hold of you, thanks to the ‘grips’ situated on the arms and legs.
The suits will also protect your clothing should you have a tumble on landing or need to use a PLF, so we do ask all our students to wear jumpsuits and we have a wide range available for you to borrow if needed.
Experienced jumpers and jumpsuits
Once you’ve achieved your A licence, there’s technically no rule that states you must wear a jumpsuit when you jump. If it’s very hot, it can be nice to try jumping without, but use caution; you must ensure that your handles are easily accessible and that nothing can obstruct them, so you’ll need any t shirts or hoodies to be tucked into trousers etc to keep everything in place.
As mentioned above, another benefit of jumpsuits is that they protect your clothing, so be aware that, should you opt not to wear a suit, you could be risking getting your clothing dirty or even damaged should you take a tumble on landing.
Another reason we wear jumpsuits is that a properly made and fitted suit can have additional benefits, such as aiding our flying. While we never want to rely on the suit (and should instead continue to invest in improving our flying skills), there are benefits to having drag in the right place, for example, or on an FS suit, the use of ‘booties’ provides so much additional power that you would never find a top team jumping without them.
Plus, it’s cold! A lot of the time, here in the UK, we find the temperatures to be rather chilly up high so having a suit on can keep you warmer. Unless it’s a heatwave, as it is at the time of writing this. In which case, a suit-free jump sounds pretty nice to us!
As always, if you have any queries or simply want to check that what you plan to wear is suitable, speak to one of our instructors, we’re always happy to help. Have fun!
Wondering what suit to buy? Check out this post for help.