I remember how hard it was to buy my first jumpsuit. I finally got it from a guy in Belgium. However, it was the wrong one. Not that the skydiving jumpsuit wasn’t good or that the jumpsuit was not the right fit for me. Here is the real deal. What is good for me? What questions should I’ve made before spending money on my jumpsuit? I was a new skydiver, still working on the fear of getting off of the plane. How could I know what was better to wear to skydive?
The skydiving suit I purchased was for winter, we were in the summer. Honestly, I didn’t know the difference. However, as soon as I went skydiving on a hot day, I understood. The material was so thick and heavy; it was killing my vibe. I’m not talking about the brand in particular, I’m just saying that I bought the wrong type of jumpsuit. Although, it could be used when I was in Brazil jumping during the winter.
After a few years in the sport, I learned more about jumpsuits. Including how they can affect both my safety and performance.
Why do I need advice
I want to write about skydiving gear, and the jumpsuit is a piece of equipment that most skydivers will use at some point. Regardless if you are a student, or you are competing in the USPA Nationals. Sooner or later, you will need a jumpsuit. I’m writing this for people who are beginning in the sport. In the past, I purchased two or three wrong jumpsuits. Which can affect significantly how fast you are able to learn new stuff (both in the sky and in the wind tunnel).
Belly jumpers usually have booties on their jumpsuit. They also have grips on the outside of their legs and arms. Depending on how serious you are about the discipline, you’ll need grips inside your legs too. If you want to Freefly, you will not use that much material, you are looking for something slimmer that gives you more mobility.
I’m a speed skydiving competitor. Therefore, I want to go as fast as I possibly can. To reach + 450 km/h (+280 miles/h), we need to work on a jumpsuit that will cut the air, like a samurai sword! Last year, Vertigen Fly and I collaborated and developed an effective jumpsuit. It was a very light material, super slippery. And so it was able to cut the air and took me to my new personal record of 477.30 km/h or 299 miles/h.
Jumpsuit companies can use many different materials. For example, the zipper can be windproof or not. Or the fabric that they will use can give you more lift or something that makes you cut the air quickly. It is relevant if you want it to be more malleable or stiff. Usually, companies have different products that help adhere to what clients wish to use it for. E.g., FS, Dynamic, Freefly, Wind Tunnel, Camera Flyers, etc.
The best point is to choose through one of the categories and then try to understand what you are looking for. In my opinion, when a new flyer wears a slim (tight) jumpsuit with a very malleable fabric, without any specific need, it can make the students learning process much harder. However, we see SkyGods flying these tight suits, and so we want to wear the same. I understand that, but we should think if that is adding any value to our personal training.
Height and weight
All bodies are different. If you are tall or short, fat or skinny, that will affect your choices. At this point, I try to consider the people I will fly with, when wearing the suit. Basically speaking, if we are taller than most people and are above average weight, we will need more drag. That helps us stay at the same level as other people in the sky or in the wind tunnel.
In my case, I’m 6’1 and 180 pounds. When I started skydiving, I wanted a little more baggy suit. That helped me to keep with other people’s levels in the sky. It also gave less relevance for the body posture mistakes I used to do when flying. When I began to raise my skills up a bit, I modified my jumpsuit (asked someone at the DZ). It was tightened up a little on my body.
The jumpsuit from Vertigen Fly, which I use today, has a jeans touch material that gives me more lift. However, it is very tight on my body. I can use it to fly in the tunnel and in the sky.
Hayabusa Formation Skydiving Jumpsuit
Hayabusa is the most incredible skydiving team. They are winning formation skydiving competition since before I ever thought about skydiving. They are an excellent example for all skydivers around the world. That’s why I asked them to explain how to develop a new jumpsuit and how much this equipment can help their team in the sky and in the wind tunnel.
Hayabusa and Vertigen came together to build a prototype jumpsuit. Vertigen worked with the Hayabusa inputs to create the best suit for the belly jumpers. Karen and Fernando, the CEO’s of Vertigen Fly, were no strangers to the team, and that made the process much easier. After getting the right guidance, Vertigen came up with a prototype that was an immediate success. The team started to pass creative ideas to make the first FS competition suit, and the ROK was created.
This skydiving jumpsuit has pushed the industry since day one, and Hayabusa loves to fly the ROK. This relationship stands out because of the mutual trust between the team and the jumpsuit manufacture. Using a unique way to approach new ideas, this partnership will keep improving and creating products that will help the entire skydiving community.
Measurements are related with your personal measures. When buying a new customized jumpsuit, you will need to take your measurements. When buying it online, everyone should ask a friend to help to make the measures. With many years working on the skydiving jumpsuit industry, Fernando from Vertigen Fly, tells me regularly that wrong measurements are what create most disappointment in the skydivers. The secret weapon, ask for help and have someone else make the measurements for you.
“When in a store or dealing with a dealer, life is going to be easier regarding your jumpsuit measurements”. Fernando (Vertigen Fly)
It’s almost impossible to have everything, but we don’t want to feel sick when wearing our jumpsuit because we can’t breathe. Some time ago, I bought a jumpsuit, and the collar and the chest were way too tight. On the wind tunnel, no problem. However, when I was skydiving, I didn’t feel any good. The rig and legs straps kind of were moving my suit and giving me huge issues. Another important point, as a guy, you don’t want to have your balls smashed when you wear your rig. If that happens, something is wrong. Think about this all when buying a jumpsuit. And don’t be afraid to send it back, asking for alterations when you don’t feel right.
Okay so to recap, depending on where you are in your skydiving career, you will need a different jumpsuit. I think you got it. However, there are also various materials that help when added to the right place. I’m going to make a new article about the latest material jumpsuit companies are using very soon. As well, you can ask your dealer about it. They will give you lots of valuable information regarding how the material that can help your safety.
Cordura fabric is excellent way for illustrating my point. Cordura is a comfortable, durable, and tough material. It will protect you from bad landings. Also, it gives skydivers a great amount of lift and power in the sky. My first good skydiving jumpsuits all had Cordura fabric on the elbows, knees, and butt. That creates a stronger jumpsuit which will be less likely to tear on a bad landing. Also, it will protect us from scratches during these not so well landings.
Long and short skydiving jumpsuits
Summer is very hot, and rarely we find a skydiver that wants to skydive with a long jumpsuit. However, the big deal here is that we never know where we will land. When I started skydiving, I had the pleasure to meet Adriano Rodrigues, a swooping competitor who has been skydiving for more than 15 years. The first thing he told me when I asked him about not wearing a jumpsuit was: “Man, do you know what, it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, how many jumps you have, someday we will make a mistake. It can be your mistake, a friend’s error, or even the pilot. It doesn’t matter. You might need to land out, then it is you and only you. That’s why I wear my long jumpsuit every day while skydiving.”
“I use my jumpsuit on every jump, every day just because I don’t know where I’m going to land.” Adriano Rodrigues
Personally, I don’t wear a jumpsuit every jump nowadays. Sometimes it is just too hot. However, we need to know what we are leaving behind when we make that decision. The decision we make by not jumping with a proper jumpsuit can be prejudicial to our safety.
What about my handles
One-piece skydiving jumpsuit also helps to avoid fabric covering up handles. When we jump with clothes not designed for skydiving, we need to make sure to use other mechanisms to ensure we are safe. For example, the Colorful Jerseys have a more extended design to help skydivers avoid safety issues. The best way to use it is by locking it on the legs straps and/or by adding rubber bands to your leg straps rings and before jumping securing the jersey or shirt in place. Keep in mind that a short shirt or jersey can cover up your pilot chute handle, reserve handle, and/or your cutaway handle.
One guy created a very colorful jumpsuit. There is a friend who printed her cat and dog all lover her wingsuit. Certain brands are doing jumpsuits only with the inside mesh (the one with small holes) for summer. Nowadays we can dream of anything and possibly the companies can make it happen.
On the other hand, most of the jumpsuit has a pattern that we need to follow. Sure, we can add a print to it or change its color, but it needs to be done, for example, on the upper part of the left leg. Different companies have different options. Look for something cool but also ask around your skydive community about brand recommendations.
I’ve selected a bunch of cool designs to share with you, check out the gallery below.
Keep coming back
I’m sponsored by Vertigen Fly jumpsuits, and I love the way they work on the brand. Karen and Fernando’s jumpsuits are incredibly comfortable, and they are keen to always develop new jumpsuits to better help the sport. I already tested more than 4 prototypes for Vertigen, and the ones approved are perfect. I’m lucky to get sponsored by only brands I trust and use. Vertigen Fly Jumpsuits is one of them, and I highly recommend you check the website and their Instagram.
Check out the Colorful Jerseys site for colorful cool gear and help us making the sky more colorful.
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