Even for the most experienced of skydivers, there’s always something to learn when it comes to your gear. For newer divers, we know that the first step in getting the right gear is understanding it, which is why we’ve put together a list of the following critical terms. As an added challenge, see if you can define each item before reading the definition! 


Skydiving Terms to Know


Altimeter – The instrument used to measure the altitude you’re at.

AAD – Automatic Activation Device. This gadget is a must for all skydivers, the AAD detects the altitude and speed of your decent. This piece of equipment is designed to fire and open your reserve parachute automatically.

Canopy/main – The canopy is the largest parachute in your rig often referred to as the main. 

Container – Like a backpack, the container holds your main parachute, reserve parachute and your AAD.

Closing loop and closing pin – Hold the container closed until you release it.

Chop/Cutaway –  where you release the main parachute 

Drogue – A smaller parachute often used in tandems to help stabilise and slow down the freefall.

Goggles – Used to protect your eyes during freefall.

Handles – Handles are a part of your skydiving rig. One set cuts away the main parachute and the other activates your reserve.

Helmet – Used to keep your head protected from injury from bumps that can occur from the plane or other skydivers.

Jumpsuit – Jumpsuits can aid in controlling your fall speed as well as provide better grip when performing maneuvers with other jumpers.

Pilot Chute a small auxiliary parachute that is attached to the main parachute used to deploy the main or reserve parachute.

Reserve – this crucial piece of equipment is your back-up parachute if something doesn’t go to plan with your main parachute. 

Three-ring a release system that allows for an easier deployment of the main parachute and an easier switch to the reserve if needed.

There you have it. If you know these gear terms inside and out, it’s a good sign you’ve advanced in your skydiving knowledge. When it comes to skydiving, the learning never stops!