Parachute Buyer’s Guide

November 16, 2023

Buying a skydiving canopy is a mystifying experience if you don’t know your semi-ellipticals from your fully ellipticals. Or the difference between crossbracing and Crossfire. And what about all that wing loading stuff? You want me to do maths?! It’s ok though, here at JYRO we’ve written a bunch of articles that have the answers to all these questions and more. The Parachute Buyer’s Guide is full of information to help you choose the right canopy for you.

Introduction to Parachute Buyer’s Guide

In this blog, we’ve listed all of the articles in the Parachute Buyer’s Guide. These are just snippets of the information found in each article – if you need more, head to the Help Centre for the full guide.

We start off with the main points needed when you are considering purchasing a canopy. Your skydive experience, currency & wingloading and skydive discipline(s). We talk in-depth about the importance of getting the right size canopy for your experience level. And of course go through the different canopy types.

Once you know which canopy model & size you are after, we then go through the options and then finally, how to buy.

Skydive Disciplines & Canopy Choice

What you’re doing matters! Not every wing is designed for every situation regardless of your experience and skill level. Some wings can cross disciplines, but perform best when used for their intended purpose. It’s rare that wings can cross experience levels, except for where a higher experienced pilot chooses to fly something more docile.


What are the Different Canopy Types?

Canopy class refers to the performance level of a parachute and its appropriateness for your skill level and/or chosen discipline. The main things that affect this are shape, size and control sensitivity. Understanding the shape of a wing and its taper ratio is important here…confused? Don’t worry we’re going to explain!


Skydive Experience Level

Jump numbers aren’t the only factor to determine your experience level, but they’re a good starting point. Your size/weight is also a factor because this will determine your wingloading (we’ll touch on that in the next article). Everything from how current you are/how often you jump, if you’ve had canopy coaching or how quickly you are able to learn new skills. And of course your tunnel hours are the most important factor….(kidding).

You could also use our Canopy Selector. It’s a handy little tool that calculates your total jumps, currency, canopy model & size and exit weight to give you our recommendation for your next parachute purchase.


How to Choose the Right Canopy Size

Size is influenced by your weight and wingloading, as well as experience and skill, which affects safety and compatibility for you at your stage of skydiving.

The size of canopy you choose to buy is going to directly reflect the experience level as determined above; your jump numbers, currency, time in the sport, training, wingloading and most importantly, what your coach/trusted instructor/local swoop lord tells you. (Seriously, you should have the go-ahead from your local canopy coaching, instructor, DZSO and Chief Instructor on what size you are ready for BEFORE you buy it).

If you’re thinking of downsizing, this Downsizing Checklist for Skydivers is a handy tool to work through with your coach as well.


What Materials & Options Should I Choose for my Canopy?

So you know what type and size wing you need (as corroborated by an experienced canopy coach who knows you and has watched you fly a canopy) and you’ve arrived at the JYRO (previously NZ Aerosports) colour picker to design your new dream wing – and have come to a dead stop at the myriad of fabric, colour options and line types. Heeeelllllpppp! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.


Summary & How to Buy Your Canopy

We’ve summarised all of the above information into quick bullet points. Kind of like a checklist for all the info you need to purchase your canopy. See the checklist here. If you tick off all those points, you’re ready to start looking for your new wing! Our Ordering FAQs Help Centre article answers some typical questions we’re often asked about our ordering process.

There’s also a couple of articles about purchasing your canopy – where to buy and the benefits of buying new.


We hope this has been useful for you and remember – there’s always fun to be had! So enjoy choosing your next canopy 🙂

jyro unboxing after using parachute buyer's guide to purchase canopy


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