Skydiving is an all-year sport. In fact, we skydive every day except Christmas Day (weather permitting). The main difference between jumping in the warmer summer months and the cooler winter months is the temperature, and the aim of this post is to share our top tips on how to stay warm as we move into winter.
Should I skydive in the winter?
Yes! Absolutely! There’s no reason not to skydive during the winter, especially if you’ve got the right clothing and techniques to keep you warm.
Skydiving during the winter months has many benefits, too. For example, the sun tends to sit lower in the sky during the autumn and winter, which makes for some beautiful views and even more beautiful photos and videos. Ever fancied skydiving at sunset? It kind of feels like that for much of the afternoon in the winter!
Plus, there are incredibly clear skies to enjoy, with views stretching miles around. That’s not to say we don’t have cloudy days, as of course we do, but when it’s nice, it’s breathtaking.
Wear layers, not thick clothing
The key to keeping warm in the sky, in our experience, is layers. By wearing lots of thin layer, you create better insulation for yourself – and you can remove one or two if it turns out warmer than you expect.
Our instructors tend to have at least one proper thermal layer, and investing in something a little more pricey can be a good idea – just one really good thermal top can last you well for a few years. They also tend to wear multiple other layers on top – anything with thin hoods can also be good, providing they fit under your helmet.
Some outdoor sports suggest materials like merino wool, which keep their warmth well, and other synthetic alternatives are available.
You may see our tandem instructors wearing padded jackets, over or under their jumpsuits. While this can be a nice additional layer, it’s worth noting that it can also feel quite different because you’re more padded, so it’s important to make sure you’re not restricted by your choice of clothing.
Gloves liners vs heated gloves
It’s possible to buy heated gloves which can be charged using a plug or UBS and which you can turn on to provide heat to your hands on the plane and in freefall.
While some of our instructors do choose these, for others, the added expense of something like Sealskinz isn’t worth it when compared to simply choosing a good thermal glove liner to wear under normal winter gloves.
Whatever you choose, it’s important, like your clothing, that the gloves allow you full mobility to be able to operate your equipment correctly. So nothing too thick. And remember, no wool (it can damage the velcro).
Remember, our on-site shop, Air Supply, sells some really good winter gloves.
Thick socks – and bring spares
Thick socks are a great idea when jumping in the colder weather. Having an extra thick layer on keeps your feet warm and, if there is a bit of condensation around, being able to change your socks when you’re done jumping for the day is a good way to keep dry, too.
Some of our instructors have opted for waterproof shoes, too. But again, like your other clothing, it’s important to ensure they’re not restrictive and that they don’t have any hooks or anything that could intefere with your equipment.
Jumpsuits as an extra layer
Over the summer months, we wrote about people opting to jump without jumpsuits – a much less popular choice in the winter!
Jumpsuits serve a variety of purposes, including protecting your clothes and benefitting your flight. They also provide a useful extra layer when skydiving when it’s chilly, meaning no part of you is exposed to the cold.
If you’re not sure about what jumpsuit to buy, check out this blog post on that very topic.
Keep yourself warm when not jumping
Another useful technique to keep yourself warm in the sky is to keep yourself warm when you’re on the ground and in the plane.
What we mean here is that keeping your body temperature at a comfortable level around your skydives will mean you’re less likely to feel the chill during your jump.
To help you with this, we are keeping the planes well heated during the climb to altitude as best we can, though you can help yourself with this by keeping your gloves and helmet on during the ride for some extra warmth.
We’ve also invested in the social and common areas of the drop zone, including the cafe, reception area, Tower social area and the social area of the hangar to give you plenty of snug places to hang out in between jumps. Look out for the log burner in the winter too… amazing!
You can help yourself by ensuring you have a nice big coat to wear when you’re on the ground and perhaps take inspiration from our new line of snazzy tandem frap hats by buying yourself an equally snazzy bobble hat! Remember, the cold drinks are cold and the hot drinks are lovely and HOT in the Skydive Langar Cafe, so be sure to pay Lisa and her team a visit while you wait for your next lift.
What to wear on a tandem skydive during the winter
Are you coming to make a tandem skydive over the autumn/winter months? If so, great! We can’t wait to welcome you.
We suggest you follow all the advice given above for your skydive – lots of layers and thick socks of your own, and we can provide you with nice thick gloves and a jumpsuit to wear. We even have special tandem skydiving hats, complete with added bobble hat for style, that you’re welcome to borrow to keep your ears snuggly and warm too!
If you’re unsure about what to wear for your jump, go with something that you’d wear to do light sports, and choose multiple thin layers – or, if you prefer, one big layer is fine, since you won’t be operating the skydiving equipment for yourself.