Article was written by Greg DiFortuna, PussFoot Athlete, IBA Rated Instructor, and USPA Coach
Since the beginning of tunnel flying, the evolution of tunnels has opened doors to new fabrics and ideas of whats needed in a jumpsuit.
With the advancement in wind tunnel technologies, jumpsuits began to slim down a bit. In the beginning due to weaker fans and poor technology large baggy suits were the design creating drag and thus creating more lift.
lol -- flappy
The need for such aggressive drag has changed since new tunnel designs have created faster wind speeds and stronger airflows allowing the flyer to hold more vertical and static positions without much effort reducing the amount of drag one would need for lift. So we’ve gone from big flappy cotton suits to tighter, more fitting Cordura suits with a little drag on the arms and legs to help support certain body movements.
Enter the skin suits. Nowadays its popular to see flyers of all skill levels flying skin tight, lycra like suits. These suits came out the necessity to fly your body fast and clean without having the drag of a suit adding input. With dynamic and freestyle discipline more people are flying faster and more efficient reducing the need for any drag at all allowing the flyer to use more of their body inputs rather than using the power or drag of a suit.
For me, suits are like tools. As an instructor, coach, and flyer I wear different suits for different students and training. I wear my BoogieMan Skin for personal flying, more of an all-around suit for instructing which has thicker material and a little drag on the arms and legs for power, and depending on my students size I'll actually wear one of the free student suits provided by the tunnel because it allows me to fly at slower speeds with smaller people because of the material and the large amount of surface area it creates. The bottom line is demo different suits and find something you like. I need different tools for different days but when it comes to my personal flying I fly quality and whats comfortable.
See you in the wind and blue skies!
To learn more about Greg, check out his athlete profile page