Five Things To Wear And Not To Wear When Going Skydiving

Two people skydiving in tandem, wearing blue and black jumpsuits, above a cloudy sky with a landscape below in green and brown land with mountains and rivers.
Jumpsuits Protect Skydivers Against Cuts and Bruises

Wearing the right attire when skydiving is important so you can maintain the right position and sit on your harness comfortably during the freefall. But, what should you wear on your first time tandem jump?

Here are the five things to wear when going skydiving:

  • Wear Comfortable and Stretchable Clothing
  • Put On Tight Lacing Shoes (That Are Allowed To Get Dirty)
  • Protect Your Neck and Throat With A Neckerchief
  • Keep Your Hair From Falling In Your Face
  • Wear Contacts and Eyeglasses If You Normally Wear Them

On the other hand, five things do not go along with skydiving:

  • Avoid clothing with zippers, strings, metal grommets, rhinestones, or other details
  • Skydiving does not mix with Skirts, Dresses, and Jeans
  • Skip your favorite Sandals, Heels, and Slippers
  • Do Not Try To Look Good With Accessories Or Jewelry
  • You Are Not Allowed To Jump With Any Camera Device

When choosing the skydiving right attire you need to consider these top two priorities. First, it should be safe and lastly, comfortable. No one wants to jump from a plane at around 10,000 feet at a speed of 120 mph and then realize that they got the wrong outfit on their special day.

They will have a hard time maintaining the right position and sitting uncomfortably on their harness from freefall to the canopy ride. It will already be too late, so here’s a one-step guide to picking what you need to wear on your first jump.

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Here Are the Five Things to Wear When Going Skydiving:

No need to worry since you will definitely have the items listed below in your closet. Skydiving is a fun-filled and low-maintenance sport so you do not need to wear fancy clothes and just stick to the basics.

Wear Comfortable and Stretchable Clothing for Skydiving

Skydiving requires you to wear the right attire. Just like attending an occasion or doing any other sports, you are expected to dress accordingly. The key to choosing the right clothing on your first jump should be comfortability. Any clothing that is stretchable and comfortable would be your best choice. 

During tandem jumps, you will be attached to an instructor using a harness so you should be able to freely move to the right position when instructed during the canopy ride. When approaching the ground, you should also be able to lift your legs to a 90° position to avoid injuries or hard landings. Any clothing that will hinder you from doing those movements is simply a no-no.

For example, the activewear that you use when exercising or doing yoga is a great choice for skydiving. They are designed to be well-fitting, flexible, and functional which are important to skydiving so you can move freely, be comfortable, and be protected. 

For the top, a simple shirt will do especially during summer. You can opt for a round or crew neck as long as they are comfortable. Just make sure that they are not too loose or too tight. But if the weather is colder, it is best to wear layers or thermals to keep you warm since the temperature is chillier when you are 10,000 feet above the ground. 

For the bottoms, you can simply wear any comfortable shorts, sweatpants, and joggers. Leggings can also be used but depending on the weather. If it is too cold then you use a legging underneath your choice of bottoms to keep you warm during the entire freefall.

If you want to look like a professional skydiver in photos and videos, you can also go for a skydiving jumpsuit since most skydiving companies provide them for free (i.e. it is already included in the price). A jumpsuit will also protect your clothing from common damages such as rips, tears, and grass stains.

Are you a skydiving newcomer and will you conduct your first tandem jump soon? If yes, make sure to check out my article about how tandem skydiving works before your jump! It covers all safety aspects and provides practical tips to make your jump as enjoyable and memorable as possible!

Put on Tight Lacing Shoes (That Are Allowed to Get Dirty)

You can choose to wear a pair of your most comfortable shoes such as your everyday sneaker or soft-soled tennis shoes. Choose shoes that have no allowance (snug fit) and can be tightly laced up. 

The goal is to make sure that your shoes are firmly secured since it needs to withstand a speed of 120 mph during the freefall. Otherwise, you might end up losing them in mid-air altogether, and finding them will be impossible.

You also should not wear any valuable shoes such as limited edition Nike sneakers. During the landing, it is common that your shoes get dirty specifically if you land on a grassy, soft, or muddy area of the dropzone. In order to avoid any regrets afterward, use your valuable shoes for other sports or fashion events.

Protect Your Neck and Throat With A Neckerchief When Skydiving

The temperature above 10,000 feet is much colder compared to the temperature on the ground. If you have a neck problem or are simply sensitive to cold air then it is advisable to wear your most comforting neckerchief. 

It will be nice and soothing to stay warm while inside the plane and during the entire nerve-racking freefall. Aside from providing warmth, it can also protect and serves as a defense around your neck and throat area against the cold air. You might not feel the cold and the pressure on your neck during the freefall because you are pumped with adrenaline, however, you might feel a strained neck afterward.

Besides adrenaline your body will also release a number of other hormones that affect your body. If you want to know more about the 11 effects that skydiving has on your body, check this article.

In fact, since Covid-19, skydive centers are expected to implement strict health guidelines to ensure the safety of their jumpers. Wearing a facemask, neck gaiter, neckerchief, and full-face helmet are required inside the plane. So aside, from being a good fashion accessory, you can also use a neckerchief to stay healthy while protecting yourself and the people around you.

Keep Your Hair From Falling In Your Face

When skydiving, the rule of thumb is the tidier the hair the better. If you have long hair, you should wear them up on a ponytail or do a simple braid to avoid it from falling in your face and messing with your eyesight. As these will result in an unpleasant experience.

After jumping from a plane, the freefall will normally last for about a minute and afterward, you will enjoy five minutes of a peaceful and slow canopy ride. If your hair is going all over the place, you will spend most of this time trying to keep your hair out of your face. In addition, you will entirely miss out on the breathtaking view below you.

In the worst-case scenario, your hair might also hinder the vision of your tandem instructor or distract him. This will make it much harder for your tandem instructor to control and steer the canopy to the dropzone for a safe landing.

During tandem jumps, most skydive companies also provide a soft-shell helmet or commonly called a frap hat. Aside from managing your hair, it will also look great in photos or videos. You are more likely to look like a professional skydiver when wearing one. The helmets are made of malleable pig leather outside and super soft felt inner lining such that they are very light, comfortable to wear, and will keep the tandem student warm.

If you are unsure whether you want to get a video or not, I have written another article about the five reasons why you should get a video from your first skydive. This link will bring you to it.

Wear Contacts and Eyeglasses if You Normally Wear Them for Your Skydive

If you normally wear contacts or eyeglasses, you can and should still wear them during your jump. The goal is for you to have 100% visibility of the beautiful and majestic view below you. Even though pressure is executed on the eyes (due to the fast-changing air density), it is not big enough to pose any risks to your eyes if you wear your contacts.

If you are not sure if you should take your glasses or contacts, pick the contacts. Contacts are more advisable since skydivers rarely lose them during the jump. If you prefer to use your handy-dandy eyeglasses, then make sure that you bring glasses straps to secure them. If you have an extra pair of eyeglasses then there is also no harm in bringing them with you as well.

Skydive companies have goggles that can fit right over your eyeglasses, just make sure that it is snug-fitting since you will face strong winds during the freefall. Also, please make sure to inform your instructor, especially if you are wearing contacts so that they can tightly secure the goggles against your face.

What Are 5 Things To Wear And Not To Wear When Going Skydiving?
Overview of the 5 proper and 5 inadvisable things to wear during skydiving

Here Are the Five Things That Do Not Go Along With Skydiving

Now that you know what you should wear on your skydive, let’s go through the list of what you should not wear in order to avoid any problems during the skydive.

Avoid Clothing With Zippers, Strings, Metal Grommets, Rhinestones, or Other Details

In general, any comfortable clothing or activewear can be used for skydiving. However, you should stay away from clothing with zippers, strings, or metal grommets.

Anything that is free-flowing and has holes will easily be entangled with your skydiving equipment. Rhinestones, for example, can also be pulled off by the strong wind or might flap around painfully.

The combined weight of the tandem pair will result in a faster speed such that the skydiving instructor will have less time to resolve any malfunction. For your safety and comfort, it is better to just stick with a regular and plain shirt without any accessories or details.

Did you know that aside from the weight of the tandem pair, there are other factors that affect your falling speed, such as your body shape and altitude? I have an article that explains this and it also covers the ways how to manipulate the freefall speed when tandem skydiving. This guide will get you ready to reach new heights of excitement!

Skydiving Does Not Mix With Skirts, Dresses, and Jeans

It is also not recommended to wear skirts or dresses during a jump. You will need to wear a harness over your clothing and will be tight around the leg area – which will be unpleasant if it directly touches your skin. You will also be suspended in the air and will have difficulty managing your position if you need to manage the loose fabric.

On the other hand, a tight pair of jeans will not give you much room to move. During skydiving, you will need to hold yourself in a stable position and do arch movement which might be hard when wearing a pair of skinny jeans. It will also be more difficult to lift the legs to 90° for the landing.

It might also not be comfortable around the leg area during the 5-15-minute canopy ride since you need to be in a sitting position and strapped around a tight harness.

Have you ever wondered how skydivers maneuver their bodies during freefall and safely navigate back to the ground? While it may look effortless, skydiving requires precise control and technique to achieve the desired outcome. In this post, I delve into the different maneuvers skydivers use to control their movements and speed during freefall.

Skip Your Favorite Sandals, Heels, and Slippers When Skydiving

Wearing your favorite sandals, heels, and slippers is simply a no-no during skydiving. Sandals and slippers can cause a lot of distraction during the freefall since it would easily fall off your feet once you exit the airplane and can be easily snatched by the wind during high-speed fall.

Heels, on the other hand, can endanger yourself as well as the instructor during the freefall and on landing. It can be stuck with the lines or other parts of the canopy or since a tandem pair needs to slide during landing it might cause an injury to the wearer.

Are you ready to experience the thrill of skydiving, but feeling a little nervous about the landing? Fear not! In this comprehensive guide to tandem skydiving, I cover everything you need to know about the tandem landing process. Get ready to feel the rush of the freefall and land safely and confidently.

Do Not Try to Look Good With Accessories or Jewelry During Your Skydive

Wearing accessories or jewelry can look good and fashionable on other special occasions but not during skydiving. Pieces of jewelry such as hop earrings, watches, necklaces, or bracelets can endanger yourself and the instructor since they can easily be snagged in your hair, clothing, or skydiving equipment which will result in an uncomfortable situation.

It is best to leave your accessories and jewelry at home or in your car where they are safe. You might end up losing those valuable items from jumping out of an airplane at a height of 10,000 feet. In case you accidentally brought any of these with you, you can leave them to your family members and friends who accompanied you.

Some skydiving companies also offer lockers for your accessories (including your car keys, phone, and wallet).

You Are Not Allowed to Jump With Any Camera Device

Student tandem jumpers are not allowed to bring any camera device with them during the freefall due to safety reasons (and because skydiving companies want to sell their videos). Camera devices might get caught up with any parts of the canopy, and therefore result in a parachute malfunction. They might also get lose and hurt you or your tandem instructor.

Another reason is that the instructor will need to have your undivided attention since you need to follow several instructions for a smooth and safe jump. If you are holding a GoPro or a smartphone, you might be too busy taking pictures and videos and miss any of the safety instructions. You will also not enjoy the skydive so much if you focus on taking pictures.

Lastly, since you are falling at a high-speed, it might also easily fall out of your hand. Of course, you wouldn’t want your most precious gadget to fall on the ground especially since finding it would be very difficult. Even if you were able to find it, it would most likely be broken.

Most skydiving companies offer professional photo and video coverage for a tandem jump. You can opt for a photo and video that will be shot by your tandem instructor using a handheld camera or an outside photo and video which will be shot by a third jumper using a professional camera.

If you are interested to learn more about the skydiving coverage cost and if it is worth the price, you can find more information in this post.

The Difference Between Summer And Winter Outfit For Skydiving

Let the weather dictate the type of clothing that you need to wear on your first jump. Since the temperature in the sky is colder compared to the ground. Bringing extra clothing with you won’t hurt.

During the summer, when the weather is nice and warm you can reduce the number of clothes to wear as long as you feel comfortable and protected. However, during the winter, make sure to wear warm layers or use thermal inner wear to help you manage the cold from top to bottom. No need for fluffy jackets, just bring a whole bunch of thin and close-fitting layers. 

Most experienced skydivers use layers of fleece when they jump during winter since they are light, made of warm and soft materials, and easy to wash. If the weather is too cold, skydiving companies also provide gloves to keep your hands warm and protected.  

Jumpsuits are made to have an extra room so if you opt to use one then it will not be difficult for you to wear layers underneath. It will also be your best go-to skydiving attire during winter and summer, you will look good in photos and videos since they come in bright colors and you will immediately be visible from the sky background.

If you are still unsure whether you should wear that one item of yours or not, call the skydiving company or ask them at the dropzone – they will be happy to help.

Above all, do not forget to wear a smile. Skydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so make sure that your first jump is memorable and one of a kind.

Enjoy your free fall!

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Kai Schmidt

Hi, I'm Kai. The first time I jumped out of an airplane and experienced free fall was one of the most amazing moments of my life. For me, skydiving does not only stand for freedom and independence but being present in the moment and being respectful to others and oneself. Now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

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The image displays the appropriate attire for skydiving, featuring five essential items to wear. Additionally, it highlights five items to avoid wearing, as they may lead to inconvenience or accidents during the skydiving experience.