It’s not every day you get to see the beauty of Ottawa from a bird’s eye view. But what if you don’t have perfect 20/20 vision? Can you skydive with glasses or wear contacts while skydiving? Standing up to 200 km/h wind is a lot to ask of such delicate accessories, and no one wants to have the experience of a lifetime and not see it!
Being able to see during your tandem jump is also a matter of safety. Sure, your tandem instructor is in control of the skydive, but you do need to actively participate in the jump and that’s a little harder if you can’t see what’s going on.
So, can you skydive with contact lenses or glasses? Thankfully, the answer to this question is a definite yes! There are multiple options for people who need to wear corrective lenses during their skydive. Read on to explore the different options available to ensure a safe, clear, and enjoyable skydiving adventure.
Skydiving with Glasses
Falling through the air at 200 km/h while wearing glasses on your face might seem impossible at first glance (see what we did there?). Glasses could never hold up in those forces without some sort of reinforcement. Enter: skydiving goggles. These handy dandy eye protectors are designed to fit over just about any pair of glasses so that you can see and protect your eyes all at the same time.
Goggles for glasses-wearers are a bit bigger and much more flexible than standard skydiving goggles, and can be adjusted to fit over the bulkier shape of a bespectacled face. These goggles serve two functions: they protect your eyes from the wind and they secure your glasses to your face.
It doesn’t end with goggles! Generally speaking, the goggles will do a good enough job of protecting your peepers and glasses, but we all know how expensive prescription lenses can be. You can add a strap – aka eyewear retainer – to the arms of your glasses for some extra security.
Skydiving with Contact Lenses
How can you wear contacts skydiving? Skydiving goggles have vents in them to promote airflow and reduce fogging, and anyone who wears contacts knows that extreme wind isn’t your friend. Wouldn’t they just blow right out of your eyes?
There’s actually a really simple fix to that windy little problem. You can either wear a pair of goggles with no vents, or we can tape over the vents for you! Some dropzones will have already-taped goggles on hand for this exact situation. It’s also a good idea to make the goggle strap a little extra tight to ensure no air leaks are going to sneak through the seal around the sides.
Of course, eliminating the vents could increase the likelihood of the goggles getting foggy, but this would only be an issue inside of the airplane. Once you exit the plane, the temperature in the sky will take care of any fogging issues you might be having and you’ll be able to enjoy crystal clear views from kilometers above the earth!
Skydiving After LASIK
If you’ve had LASIK surgery, it’s important to wait a period of time before skydiving. Recommendations typically vary between six months and a year. Talk with your doctor about what’s best for you before booking your tandem.
Skydiving With Sunglasses
At Parachute Ottawa, the price of your tandem skydive comes with a nifty cool pair of sunglasses equipped with a secure retainer strap! Wear them on your jump, wear them on your drive home … wear them as the ultimate conversation starter!
Note that Progressive Freefall Program (PFF) students are not permitted to wear sunglasses during their training. You share a lot of information through your eyes and in times when you cannot verbally communicate, like during freefall, it’s important to be able to connect through eye contact. This goes both ways, of course, and so it’s not uncommon for instructors to go sans sunnies too.
Give Your Goggles A Go
It’s important to talk to your instructor about your eyewear before you get into the airplane so that you can work together to make the experience as smooth, rewarding, and safe as possible. If you opt to wear skydiving goggles, you’ll want to test things out before launching yourself out the door.
Your instructor can have you try on your goggles while gearing up to make sure they’re tight enough and fit comfortably. Faces and glasses come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s a good idea to take some time to make sure your goggles work for you!
Alternatives for Students & Licensed Skydivers
There are additional skydiving eyewear options for experienced skydivers. Once a jumper finishes the student program and becomes licensed, there are more choices available for both headwear and eyewear.
You’ll see most experienced skydivers at the dropzone walking around with full face helmets. Not only do full face helmets look cool but they are also very practical. You’re able to wear contacts or any kind of glasses with ease, prescription or otherwise, and they protect the entire face and head. You can even opt for a tinted visor
This is one of the less common solutions due to price, but it is possible to get goggles with your custom prescription in the lenses. This is an option for student skydivers who can only wear an open-face helmet until achieving the A Certificate of Proficiency.
This option is far and above the most expensive, but it’s also the most universal. The benefits of LASIK go way beyond not having to wear glasses or contacts while skydiving and can change your entire life. As is the case with tandem skydiving, be sure to check with your medical provider about the appropriate waiting period or special considerations before skydiving.
Which is Better, Glasses or Contacts?
So which is the preferred option: glasses or contacts? They’re both no big deal to accommodate, so it’s entirely up to you! Whatever method of vision correction is most comfortable is the one you should go with on the day of your skydive.
There’ll be enough new situations and sensations for you to work through during your jump that you don’t need to add eyewear to the list. Wear what feels most natural to you and we’ll take care of the rest!
Are you ready to SEE what skydiving is all about? Book your tandem with Parachute Ottawa! Blue skies.