Parajumping or skydiving isn’t just getting on a plane, jumping off and letting gravity do the rest of the work, it is about surviving and enjoying the jump. In order to do that you need the right training and equipment. Thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies have been jumping from planes for decades but for the most part they all take whatever precautions they can to make sure it is done safely. Here are some of the essential parajumping gear that you are going to need.
- The Parachute
Hands down, the parachute is most essential piece of equipment that you are going to need. The parachute is what slows you down and allows you to reach the ground at a reasonable speed that you can survive. Most jumpers also have a backup parachute in case something happens. Unless you are really passionate about jumping and do it several times per month you will probably rent one from the drop zone. It is cheaper and easier than maintaining your own.
Jumping and traveling at those speeds exposes you to the elements, particularly strong winds and cold, you can’t jump wearing just anything. A good jumpsuit is wind resistant, will help keep you warm and protect your body. Landing can also be rough and the jumpsuit will help protect you from getting scratched or cut when you land.
If you want to free fall you will still need to pull your parachute once you reach a certain altitude in order to make sure you can safely land. If you wait too long the parachute won’t slow you down enough and if you open too early you can rip your chute. The altimeter tells you the perfect time to pull the cord and open your parachute. If you ever plan on jumping at night then the altimeter is crucial to your survival.
- Pads and Helmets
It should go without saying that you need a helmet and other padding to save you from injury on landing. Helmets, elbow and knee pads are all essential but you might consider adding some type of spinal protection to your gear. If you land on your back then you definitely want protection.
Parajumping is an adrenaline rush that very few things compare to, it is defying the elements and the laws of physics and there is no feeling quite like it. But even defying the elements requires the right safety gear so you can live to jump another day.