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Parachute Ottawa Posted by: Parachute Ottawa 4 months ago

Knowing what to wear skydiving can feel like one of the mysteries of the universe! How are you supposed to know what makes for proper skydiving attire if you’ve never even been to a dropzone before?? And where do you even get clothes for skydiving? 

The good news is that skydiving apparel is no different than the clothes you would wear in everyday life – no last-minute shopping required. When it comes to what to wear when skydiving, aim for comfy and breathable. The best clothes to wear skydiving are the self-same clothes you would wear to do any other physical activity. 

Knowing what to wear for skydiving doesn’t have to stress you out as much as the actual skydive itself! Read on for the top tips on how to dress for skydiving and plan your adventure-ready skydiving outfit!

Tandem Skydivers

Female tandem skydiving student giving the rock on signal with her hands while in freefall over Parachute Ottawa in Ontario

Tandem skydives are much more than just a fun ride-along. Skydiving is a sport, and you’re going to be an active participant in every part of your skydive. From takeoff in the plane to landing under the parachute, you’ll be involved. And one way to ensure you can successfully take part in your jump is to dress accordingly. 

You’ll want to wear comfortable, athletic clothing the day of your jump, the same way you would if you were going to participate in any other sport. There are multiple body positions involved in skydiving that would be rather difficult to perform in tight or restrictive clothing. 

The outfit you choose should also fit comfortably, but not too baggy. Extra fabric has a way of catching the wind and slapping against your body (not the best feeling in the world). And as far as shoes go, flat bottomed shoes with closed toes and laces are a must. There’s a lot of wind up there, so they need to be able to stay on! And you don’t want to trip up when you’re climbing out of the airplane or landing. 

Footwear choice is also important for skydiving. Again, something comfortable and athletic is best, and you want to make sure it is closed-toe and doesn’t have a heel. And don’t forget about ankle mobility. If you can point your toes well while wearing the shoes, they should be good to go. 

Something that often surprises people is that you can also wear your contacts or glasses on your jump if you need them! We have special goggles that can accommodate eyewear – you’re going to want to see this amazing experience! 

Experienced Skydivers

Licensed skydivers in freefall making a formation over Parachute Ottawa

Fun jumpers seem to have it all figured out. Brave, knowledgeable, skilled, they happily bomb the door as the tandems wait nervously in the back of the plane. But although they often exude confidence on their jumps, fashion is hard! And yes, there is such a thing as skydiving fashion. 

Experienced skydivers follow all of the same rules around clothing safety that tandem skydivers and students do, but fun jump outfits sometimes have additional considerations due to the nature of their skydives. And then add changing trends to the mix, and experienced jumpers have a lot to consider when they get dressed in the morning! 

The easiest way to figure out what to wear as an experienced jumper is to break it down by discipline:

  • Belly flying/Relative Work (RW): RW suits are what people imagine when they picture a skydiver. They have grippers on the arms and legs for taking points and sometimes have booties for enhanced control. Fit is where you can really customize this outfit depending on if you want to fly faster or slower.
  • Freeflying: If there was such a thing as skydiving skinny jeans, freeflying suits would be it. Freeflying is all about speed, so these suites are often more streamlined than those used for belly flying. You can still adjust the fit for your fall rate, but overall, freefly suits are slimmer than other suit types. 
  • Canopy flight: As the name suggests, this discipline is more about what you’re flying than what you’re wearing. But there are special pants that most canopy pilots wear that protect them from abrasion on the ground and have extra pockets to store their equipment after the parachute opens. 
  • Wingsuiting: This one’s easy – you wear a wingsuit, duh! But choosing a wingsuit can be quite the overwhelming process. There are different suits for experience levels and what type of wingsuit flying you’re planning on doing, so make sure you talk to someone more experienced than you before pulling the trigger on an expensive purchase. 

Skydiving gear is highly specialized for both safety and the discipline it’s being used for. Experienced skydivers take their gear, including what they wear, very seriously and invest a lot of time and money into purchasing it and maintaining it properly

We couldn’t do what we love without the right outfit! 

A group of skydivers in an aircraft on the ride of up to altitude at Parachute Ottawa

Consider the Weather

Whether you’re jumping for the first time or the 1,000th time, weather is a factor that impacts every skydiver. And in Ottawa, every season calls for its own weather preparation. Take a look at the average high and low temperatures for each month that Parachute Ottawa is open:

MonthAverage High/Low Temperature (℃)

You’ll want to wear light, breathable clothing during the hotter summer months and layer on some fleece during the cooler seasons. Plan your outfit so you’ll be comfortable in the temperature on the ground. That’s where you’ll be spending most of your time with us, and there will be so many other things going on during your jump you won’t even notice the temperature!

Having said that, if your jump is taking place during the colder sides of the season, feel free to bring gloves or a neck warmer to wear on your skydive. Ideally, bring a pair of gloves that have finger dexterity, as you will still want to be able to use your hands. Comfort is key! 

Anyone who lives in our corner of the globe knows that anything can happen when it comes to temperature, regardless of the season. So look at the forecast and bring a change of clothes if things look iffy. 

What Not to Wear Skydiving

There are certain items that are highly discouraged or even prohibited from coming along on a skydive. Most of the time, they aren’t allowed because they compromise the safety of you and your instructor. But sometimes, it’s just because we don’t want you to lose it in freefall! 

These items include:

  • Boots with hooks
  • Open toe or open back shoes
  • High heels
  • Dangly jewelry
  • Items with extra zippers
  • Expensive or sentimental items
  • Dresses/skirts

Whether it’s your modesty, your emotional attachment, or your literal life that’s at stake, it’s important to leave the risky stuff on the ground. If you’re unsure about being able to wear something on your jump, give us a call ahead of time or ask your instructor during your training! 

Note: You may wonder why your instructor is wearing a helmet on your jump but you aren’t. The instructor is in complete control of the skydive, so it’s imperative that they are protected from losing consciousness or injuring their face. If you were to wear a helmet, the position of  your head could be dangerous for your instructor! 

Close up of a tandem skydiving student and instructor smiling for camera while in freefall over Parachute Ottawa skydiving centre

Why it Matters

Safety is the number one priority on every single skydive, and that includes what you wear. Certain accessories or clothing features can pose a potential risk during your jump, whether it’s a snag hazard during parachute opening or will act unpredictably in the high winds of freefall. 

Hooks and zippers can easily get caught on the parachute lines as the parachute deploys, and we don’t need to tell you that that makes for a bad day for everyone involved. Loose shoes and clothing can blow open or right off, and so can sentimental items. And that’s the last time you’ll be seeing anything you lose on a skydive multiple kilometers above the Earth. 

Certain pieces of jewelry or other loose pieces of fabric and metal can also whip against your body in freefall and cause pain and damage. It’s awfully hard to enjoy a skydive when you’re being beaten in the face by a chunk of metal. 

But it’s not just about your safety, though that is the main concern. You’ve put a lot of planning, emotional stock, and money into making this jump. Everything about it should be perfect, and wearing the right outfit is an easy way to ensure another piece of the experience goes according to plan. 

All dressed up and nowhere to go? How about into the air, with us!? Book your jump today and show us that ’fit!

Tandem skydiving student and instructor smiling while in freefall over Parachute Ottawa skydiving centre
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