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Newly qualified, what gear?

Suits Suit Helmet New skydiver Skylark

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#1 Beardy

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:59 PM

As the title suggests, I've just got my A licence through the post, and am looking at buying some gear in the near future.

I already have an alti, so the next items on my list are a helmet and suit. I was jumping 290 as a student, so will continue to hire my rig until I've jumped a few times on something below 200, then I will think about a rig.

So in terms of helmet, what is good to buy? Due to work commitments it may be a while before I get my B licence, so it will have to be an open face helmet I think.

And in terms of a suit, which is a good way to go at this point? I'm not a huge fan of one-pieces because I can rarely find anything with enough room to be comfortable in the groin area, so are two pieces worth the money? Does this restrict me to FF suits? Or can you get two pieces with grips for FS?
I've found a company called Skylark that seem to sell suits in my price range, are they any good?

Thanks!
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#2 Joellercoaster

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 04:51 PM

Helmet: If you intend to get a full face relatively soon, get the cheapest thing that fits you. The studenty skate helmet type things (Benny, Pro Tec and so on) are actually good, though you don't look very cool. If you decide you actually like having an open face long term, then shell out for a platinum-plated carbon fibre skydivery one later. But most (not all!) people seem to be going full face, even freeflyers. If you think you're going to do a lot of smaller-way FS, then expect to get kicked in the chops a lot and dress accordingly. All those 4-way competitors do it for a reason, and that reason is that our valuable faces are beautiful and rhinoplasty is expensive ;)

Jumpsuit: Don't buy a two-piece suit. If you are finding borrowed suits don't fit you well, that's not so unusual - it's not a thing about one piece suits, it's a problem about fit.

Buy a one-piece suit from a good manufacturer that is made to measure for you. If you are a particularly weird shape, start by getting one that is made to measure by someone you can also get to alter it if it doesn't fit perfectly first time - ie., someone close to you.

Now for the controversial part: This first suit should be an FS suit, with fat grippers and good booties. The second bit (grippers and booties) is not controversial once you are buying an FS suit (though some oldskoolers still seem think that you might not need them), but there will be people who disagree with the idea that you need an FS suit at all.

My reasoning is this: You are about to start your FS progression, even if you eventually decide you just want to freefly. But even if you do not, you want to get to an OK standard of flat flying to get your FS1 (again, some people will try and cut corners, but you shouldn't). And pick-up social fun jumps, sunset loads and so on, are very often flat to accommodate as many people as possible. This is simply much easier to do in the right suit. Booties make the flying-yourself part easier (FS is all about your lower legs - your hands are often occupied) and the people jumping with you will thank you for the grippers. I coach quite a lot of new jumpers and while there are many factors involved in how well someone makes progress, I can say that the right suit helps a lot. Get an experienced flat flyer (preferably your coach) to help with choices - close/loose fit, different materials, bootie shapes and so on. All of this stuff can make your life much better, and getting it wrong can be expensive and troublesome.
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#3 Fall

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:47 AM

Joellercoasters reply is bang on. A very experienced skydiver who knows his stuff! I can't really add anything onto that but can on skylark.

I jump the canopies and have one of the camera suits. And being a cheaper alternative the quality is spot on. Your dealer for England is Aerosky ran by a guy called Maciej Rybitwa. Get in touch with him.

Where is your home DZ?
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#4 BlueSkyBri

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 08:29 AM

What Joel said. He is very wise. Sometimes. 


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#5 shorehambeach

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 11:05 AM

If you have a large head then I have a black Benny Helmet that i'd happily donate to you  :)

 

bought it new - used it for first 100 jumps 


Edited by shorehambeach, 26 September 2016 - 11:15 AM.

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#6 Beardy

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 12:22 PM

Thanks Joel, your response is much appreciated. I'll have another look then as I was considering a 2 piece FF suit.

And thanks Fall for the info! My DZ is Nethers.

Shorehambeach that's very kind! Where in the country are you? Or how much would postage be?
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#7 shorehambeach

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 02:44 PM

Thanks Joel, your response is much appreciated. I'll have another look then as I was considering a 2 piece FF suit.

And thanks Fall for the info! My DZ is Nethers.

Shorehambeach that's very kind! Where in the country are you? Or how much would postage be?

I'm In Sussex. I can post for free if you have a big head  :thumbs:


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#8 Fall

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:18 AM

Beardy if your DZ is nethers then you're in luck! Maciej is based out of Nethers. 


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