The Gear That Keeps You Safely Attached On Your First Jump

There is a lot of thought and a lot of preparation that goes on to make skydiving an enjoyable activity that anyone can enjoy, and safely. One major component of that is having the right gear and keeping it properly maintained and serviced.

In this article, we will be focusing on one crucial piece of the equipment you will use on your first time tandem skydive: your tandem skydiving harness.

The Tandem Harness

Jesica, a first time tandem student, with her instructor Lutchy in front of the Silicon Valley Skydiving office

Meet Jesica, a first time skydiver! Here she is with her instructor, Lutchy, after getting geared up in her harness.

For your first skydive, you will be hooked to your instructor via four attachments on a tandem harness. This allows your tandem instructor to make all necessary adjustments before even taking the parachute from their dropzone’s rig rack, ensuring a proper and secure fit. It may be a little tight, but trust us, that’s what you want.

There are four points where the harness on yourself attaches to the harness on your instructor’s parachute. They look like big hooks. Do you see them in the picture?

There is one for each shoulder, and one for each leg. They are designed so that once connected, nothing can detach them except for your instructor doing it on purpose. Sometimes if you’re able to land on your feet and have enough forward momentum, you may find yourself walking without even realizing your instructor unhooked you!

Although your TI will ensure proper hookup, it might help ease your mind to know that every single one of the four points is designed and tested to carry the entire weight of a passenger.

That means you’re being held on to.


You might say, “What is this weird thing? Why don’t I get a parachute?” There isn’t just one reason, but know that you’re being saved from a backache.

Tandem parachute systems are HEAVY!

Think about it. If an experienced solo jumper has a little backpack-looking thing holding a piece of fabric big enough to hold their weight in the sky, a tandem parachute would have to be at least twice that size.

So the canopy is bigger, the container is bigger, and everything’s heavier.

But we’ll get into that next time. Thank you for reading, we hope you learned something valuable! Be sure to book your first skydive here if you haven’t already!

Blue Skies and Happy Flights,