If you have recently received your certification to be able to skydive by yourself, then you may consider buying your own set of equipment. While most skydiving gear buying experiences go well, there is still a chance you will end up with equipment that you don’t want, or worse, you can’t use. There are things to keep in mind while shopping for your skydiving gear. The following are some of our recommendations:
New or Used?
Traditional advice suggests that if you are shopping for your first set of gear, you should buy it used. Buying used gear allows you the flexibility of deciding what kind of gear you like best, as well as eliminating the commitment that is involved with buying brand new equipment. You also save money because you’re likely to only use your first set of gear for the first 100 jumps or so.
There are four main components that make up a rig: the harness/container, the reserve parachute, the Automatic Activation Device (AAD), and the main parachute. It is important to consider the order in which you purchase your gear since there are so many components that are required to harmoniously work together.
It is important to pick a reserve that is appropriate in size. You want your reserve to be sized according to your wing loading. For most skydivers, it is recommended to get a reserve that is at least one size bigger than the main parachute you intend to jump with.
Prior to purchasing a harness/container, you must first decide what size main parachute you will be using (you may decide on the specific type later). With so many different brands out there, it is crucial that you research which brand of harness or container you want based on the features that are important to you. You’ll want to pick a size that fits the reserve and has a description of “normal” or “soft”. Stay away from “tight” reserve fits at all costs. Once you find the harness/container that you think fits, retrieve the serial number from the seller. Contact the manufacturer and confirm what size the harness was designed to fit. Most manufacturers store data on each rig they have ever built. This eliminates the guessing game in purchasing your equipment. The only exception to this is if the harness is resized, which is not common.
There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what kind of main parachute to purchase. It all depends on your overall goal. Things like location, winds, traffic, weight, and elevation will help you narrow down exactly what type of main you need. There are so many mains on the market today, some of those are semi-elliptical, air locked, cross-braced, hybrid, 7-cell, and etc. Talk to your instructor directly to determine what type of parachute works best for what you’re looking for.
Automatic Activation Device (AAD):
The last, but definitely not the least important of equipment to consider when shopping for skydiving gear is the AAD. It is critical to guarantee that the AAD in question is within its service life. It should be maintained at the proper interval, operate normally, and be approved for the harness/container you have purchased, or plan to purchase.
Shopping for skydiving gear can be stressful. This is gear that your life relies on! We suggest speaking directly with your instructor before rushing to purchase equipment. Our staff at Skydive Georgia has been in the industry for more years than we can count. If you have any other questions about purchasing skydiving equipment, give us a call at [custom-phone].