Published: July 25, 2019
Skydiving Equipment Basics
Skydiving gear, it's what makes our wonderful sport possible. Skydiving equipment comes in many different forms. From the seemingly obvious, the parachute, to the seemingly insignificant, goggles, each piece of skydiving equipment plays a very important role in the participant's overall experience.
At Skydive Newport, we've got you covered and provide you with all the skydiving gear you need for your tandem skydive.
What do we mean? Keep reading as we cover the basics of skydiving equipment.
You'll notice many of the skydiving personnel at Skydive Newport sporting helmets. While customizable, these helmets are more than a fashion statement. As in many other sports, skydiving helmets are used to help keep our sensitive noggins safe from harm. Composed of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic shell, skydiving helmets help shield our heads and protect our brains in the event we're bumped by an elbow, knee, or even foot (we've seen it all!) in freefall.
Upon request, we can also provide our tandem students with a soft leather helmet. In the biz, we call this a frap hat. Frap hats can help provide abrasion protection as tandem students enter and exit the aircraft. These leather helmets can also help prevent long hair from getting tangled in freefall and can provide additional protection on landing in the event a rock or other small piece of debris is cast up.
The human eye is incredible, but also an incredibly sensitive organ. As you can imagine, there's quite a bit of wind as you freefall at 120 mph, and skydiving goggles help prevent our eyes from becoming too dried out on the way down.
Skydiving goggles are much different than goggles used for swimming or skiing. They are uniquely designed to avoid obstructing the wearer's view. Additionally, skydiving goggles are often constructed with several small holes worked into their design for ventilation. This keeps the air circulating as you freefall and prevents the goggles from becoming fogged up.
At Skydive Newport, we also have skydiving goggles which have been specifically designed to be worn over glasses. So even if you've got a mild case of myopia, you won't have to miss any detail, no matter how slight, of your amazing skydiving experience.
In skydiving, altitude is everything. Altitude tells us how high up we are, informs us of how long we have to continue to freefall, indicates when it is the appropriate time to deploy the parachute and provides us with important reference points for our landing patterns while under our parachute. This is why you will see every skydiver, no matter how experienced, sporting an altimeter.
Altimeters are pretty neat little pieces of skydiving equipment. By measuring barometric pressure, altimeters are capable of expressing tiny changes in air pressure as accurate measurements of altitude.
An insider tip for if you want to get really involved in the action on your skydive? Just ask your instructor for an extra altimeter. You'll really have perspective for just how fast your falling when you see how quickly your altitude ticks away and changes!
Check out our article dedicated to the ins and outs of skydiving altitudes.
Parachute Equipment Basics
Each tandem student is outfitted with a skydiving harness and attached to an instructor via a series of connection points. Each tandem instructor wears a single container, dual parachute system, known as the skydiving rig or parachute rig.
Parachuting equipment comes under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration, and as such, these tandem parachute systems have undergone decades of development to become the reliable pieces of skydiving equipment they are today.
As we mentioned, within each parachute rig are two parachutes. These parachutes are known as the main parachute and reserve parachute respectively. The main parachute is the primary parachute. This is the parachute the skydiver typically deploys, and it sits at the bottom of the container (the bottom of the backpack). The reserve parachute is the emergency or back up parachute. This parachute is deployed in the case of an emergency. The reserve parachute is stored in the top center of the container, between the jumper's shoulder blades.
As a further failsafe, within each tandem skydiving rig is an amazing piece of gadgetry known as the automatic activation device (or AAD). These specialized computers can calculate the rate of descent and altitude and will activate the reserve parachute if there is an issue at a pre-programmed altitude.
Other Skydiving Equipment
At Skydive Newport, there's no need to bring any additional equipment. We provide you with everything you need.
Ready to get suited up with all the right skydiving equipment? Head to Skydive Newport today!
The plane ride up was breath taking as it was so clear you could see Boston, Providence, Martha's Vineyard, and Block Island.
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