Your Vertical suit is built to last, from high-end materials, and will serve you well for many seasons to come. However, you do still need to look after it properly to keep it in tip-top shape. Here are a few things that will help you to turn out at your very best and care for your investment at the same time…
Wash It By Itself: There is no telling if those fabulous socks with whale sharks on them that you wear pulled all the way up when you go skydiving are going to run and infect your suit with cheap splotchy ink. They probably will so keep them separate.
Get It Out Straight Away: Don’t leave your suit lingering in the washing machine to get all musty-smelling. Set a timer on your phone or some such so you can get it out as the cycle finishes and hang it up nicely.
Follow The Instructions: Reading some words and then doing what the words say is not difficult. Cold water and gentle cycle means exactly that – not the approximate setting that you use for socks and underpants all the time. Don’t put it in the dryer – even on the softly softly catchee monkey setting – hang it up somewhere dry and airy and out of the sun.
Soap: Just water will do the job of refreshing your suit. If you do need to use soap, a posh gentle special one is a better idea than a cheap harsh universal one. There are many though, so choose wisely – as drier, rougher soaps can potentially do things like de-laminate your windproof spandex. Washing your suit a lot with any kind of soap can ultimately cause the colours to fade – the white can start to yellow and the fibres might begin to break down before their time.
Nicely: After finishing for the day, you could just haphazardly roll your suit up, stick it into your helmet and fling it into the trunk of your car – but this will probably make you wrinkly and smelly. It just takes a minute to fold it up nicely, and also consider keeping it in a separate little bag within your gear hauler of choice – so it doesn’t get all nasty when your suncream/hot sauce/CBD oil leaks everywhere during transit. Also, if you are all sweaty from jumping and rushing about – it is a good idea to turn your suit inside-out and let it air for a bit before putting it away.
Velcro: Velcro is a very useful invention, but the scratchy part will quickly cause wear on anything it rubs against. The way to avoid ‘velcro burn’ is to always do it up when not in use. Velcro does wear out over time, but getting into good habits like this will help it to last for ages.
A Stitch In Time: Skydiving and tunnel flying can be tough whatever you choose to wear. Depending on what you do in the sport, applying the right tool for the job is the best approach to have things last like they should – as the designs are created with specific tasks in mind and duly strengthened in the places that need to be hard-wearing. For general use, a well-built suit will last you for a really long time. If you work in the sport in some way then attention to potential repair points is a thing to be more aware of – such as tunnel instructors that always drop the same knee down to the net, or tandem masters sliding on their bums all the time. If your suit does show signs of wear – the best time to do something about it is right now. Leaving a small problem until it reaches structural failure might mean requiring a new suit, where a previous small fix would make it good for plenty more.