We’ve all been there. Running around 20 minutes before we’re supposed to walk out the door, sporting nothing but a towel, trying to figure out what to wear. It’s not just first dates and friends’ weddings that throw our fashion anxiety into hyperdrive. Knowing what to wear skydiving can be just as stressful as any of our biggest life events.
But the reality is, skydiving attire isn’t anything special. You probably even have the best clothes for skydiving right in your closet. If you know what to wear to the gym, then you know exactly how to dress for skydiving.
There are plenty of things for you to worry about besides your outfit on the day of your first skydive. Read on to get some of our best advice on what to wear when skydiving.
It’s All in the Fit
Even though this will be the ride of your life, you’re going to be more than just a passive passenger. Jumping out of an airplane is an interactive activity, and your instructor is going to be counting on you to participate throughout the skydive.
You’re going to find yourself in various positions in the plane, during freefall, and once the parachute opens. You’ll want to make sure you have the right outfit to match the movement. The best clothing to wear skydiving is easy to move around in and sits comfortably on your body. Think stretchy and athletic.
You’ll be crouching, arching, and lifting your legs straight out in front of you. These are all very different positions and require a pretty complete range of motion. If you’re not sure about your skydiving outfit, try these movements at home before you leave for the dropzone!
Another thing to consider is bagginess. The ideal fit is snug, but not tight. If your clothes are too baggy, the 120 mph wind will grab hold and whip the fabric all over the place. That even sounds uncomfortable!
Find an ’fit that sits well on your body, isn’t too snug, and allows for full range of motion, and you will be dressed to the nines as far as we’re concerned!
The higher you go in altitude, the cooler the air gets. Add 120 mph wind to that, and you are going to be flying in a completely different climate than the one you took off from.
In Key West, that can pose a bit of a difficult problem. It’s good to cover your extremities as a barrier against the cooler temps at altitude and the ground on landing. But with the 80 and 90 degree heat of the island, that clothing can be quite uncomfortable everywhere besides the minute you are in freefall.
Consider wearing light clothing that will wick the sweat away while you’re waiting in the heat. You can even bring layers! Wear shorts and a tank top for your time on the ground and bring a second layer to throw on right before you get in the plane.
Sunscreen is also a great thing to wear to the drop zone. Skydiving is an outdoor activity, after all, and is best experienced in the sunshine. Don’t let a throbbing sunburn take away from the memory of one of the best days of your life!
Pro tip: Staying hydrated also helps to regulate your body temperature!
Shoes. The crown jewel of respectable fashion. A good set of kicks can make or break an outfit. The same goes for skydiving, but for different reasons.
You probably don’t want to wear your very best pair of shoes for your first jump. Or any jump, for that matter. There is a chance that they could get scuffed or dirty … or even lost to the wind! In this case, it’s best to focus on function over form.
Just like the clothing on your body, you want your shoes to be comfortable and easy to move around in. That means sneakers, tennis shoes, and skate shoes are your best options. The main things you’re looking for in skydiving shoes are closed toes, good laces, and a flat bottom. You want your foot to be protected and your shoe to stay put.
Absolute no-gos for jumping out of an airplane are sandals, slip-ons, heels, or boots. Anything that could come off your foot will come off your foot! That freefall wind is just jonesing to steal a good loose shoe. Heels and boots come with different problems. Clunky and elevated footwear is difficult to move around in, and parts of those shoes can even be a snag hazard when the parachute is opening.
Just like your outfit, as long as your shoes are simple, secure, and comfy, you should be good to go!
The best accessory for skydiving? Your smile! (Especially if you get video – and you should definitely get video!) Of course, it’ll be hard not to smile while you’re experiencing the thrill of freefall. The real message here is that you should plan to accessorize with your smile, but not much else. Jewelry and other detachable accoutrements add a few risks during your skydive.
First of all, it’s very likely that whatever you’re wearing will get lost – that 120 mph wind isn’t very forgiving when it comes to things that dangle. Similarly, it would be an understatement to say that being smacked by a piece of metal around your neck or hanging from your earlobes at that speed is uncomfortable. Even if they look super rad, it’s best to leave the danglies on the ground.
Bonus tip: this goes for hair, too. It’s a good idea to tie your hair up if you’re able. Otherwise, you might want to invest in a good detangler!
One exception to this rule is glasses. How fun would skydiving be if you couldn’t see this spectacular Key West view?? Answer: not very. If you are someone who needs your glasses to see, not to worry. We have special goggles that will fit over your glasses and protect them from the wind of freefall. This way you get to see what’s going on around you and keep your glasses until you land. Win-win!
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