Choosing a suit
When it comes to flying in the tunnel, the suit is the most important part. It’s like choosing the right bicycle. A mountain bike has very different properties than a road bike and even though you could use either for any setting, they’re not exactly ideal. Here I will outline the different types of suits in the market right now and how to choose between them based on your preferences and goals.
Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion and I am going to try to be as fair as possible even though I am partially sponsored by DEEM suits.
Your suit needs to fit you well, and I mean REALLY well. If the suit is too tight, you won’t be able to move. If it’s too big, it’ll beat you up by flapping too much. A perfect fit is when you can still move your body with a reasonable amount of freedom without having to force it. Of course this all comes down to what you like and are willing to compromise. I like my when my suits let me move 100% freely, and I’ll sacrifice a bit of tightness for that if needed. This fit comes from two places, the person that measures you and the suit manufacturer. Be sure the person measuring you is precise and measures TWICE. Some companies (Tonfly) make you do some quick math to check you got some of the measurements right. The manufacturer is important because some are obviously better than others. Ask around to see what other’s experience has been like. It is important to note that no suit will ever be perfect but the more research you do and the more precise you get measured the better.
Loose suits, tight suits, and flexy suits
These aren’t the official names for these suits but this is how I categorize the three main suits sold in the market right now. Loose suits are suits that are made for bigger people, we can only crank the wind up so much, and if you need the lift, a loose suit is the way to go. Tight suits have a few options available, most of the time your torso, upper arms, and thighs will be skin-tight. The lower arms and lower legs have some loose fabric to make it easier to get some lift. And flexy suits fit completely skin-tight, meaning they are not very good for static but give you perfect feedback when flying dynamic and freestyle. This helps a lot when trying to fly with razor sharp precision. These suits also dive faster which makes them ideal for dynamic at top speeds.
Again, this is all personal preference and 3.5 years of talking about suits almost every day with a ton of people. There are 4 main companies active right now: DEEM, Tonfly, Vertical, and Boogieman. When I choose a company to buy a suit from, there are a few factors that I look at: How accurate they are with their measurements, how long they last, how they feel when flying, and the wait time. DEEM, Boogieman, and Vertical, for example, are able to be rushed. This means if you don’t want to wait too long you can pay a bit extra to put it in the front of the line (DEEM even offers 2 week rush). Tonfly doesn’t offer this at the moment. Verticals are known for their durability, but sometimes they don’t fit exactly how you want them to (in my experience, Boogieman can be tricky as well). DEEM suits fit awesome, and so do Tonfly suits. Some of the flexy suits are reasonably durable, but new materials come out constantly so these are ever-changing. In my personal opinion, DEEM makes the best flexy suit for freestyle (the DNA), but Tonfly isn’t far behind with their Flex. And the boogieman Marvel is FAST and I’ve seen them fit perfectly but they’re not too flexible. In terms of speed I’m not sure which one is faster. Eventually I’ll do suit reviews on the Podcast (On The Air with Nico Gonzalez) but for now we’ll settle with that.
There you have it! I tried to keep it short but I am too geeky with suits to be able to do that. Choose wisely! And ask around before you buy one, someone might have one laying around that’ll fit you.
The Neosport wet-suit liner is pretty damn good as a flexy suit for costing $40, just saying.
This article was written by Nico Gonzalez, instructor & coach at iFly Westchester and indoor skydiving ninja extraordinaire. Nico has been an indoor skydiving coach and instructor since 2014. He placed first in open freestyle at the Woodlands IBA Competition in 2016 and competes year round. He also runs an amazing podcast dedicated to indoor skydiving: ostrichflight.com