Keep an Eye Out | The Argument for Closing Your Visor for Landing
Keep An Eye Out | Jun 16, 2023
Keep an Eye Out | The Argument for Closing Your Visor for Landing

USPA Staff

Above: Photo by Mike McGowan.

This very experienced jumper, who was wearing a full-face helmet, had a sub-par landing during a large-formation record event. As many jumpers who wear this type of helmet do, he opened his visor after deployment and kept it open through the landing. Although he sustained significant facial injuries during the landing, he was able to rejoin the record attempts two days later.

His friend, Kate Cooper-Jensen, who has tens of thousands of skydives, said, “Skydivers often jump in climate extremes—from stupidly hot to frigidly cold; from arid to humid. A full-face helmet is a blessing in all cases. Many people choose to open their visors shortly after opening and keep them open until after landing. They can then feel the breeze on their faces, and their visibility improves, but having the visor open can also cause issues. 

“A poor landing with an open visor is more likely to result in facial injuries caused by the ground, detritus in the landing area or shards of plastic from the broken visor itself. Additionally, during high-speed landings, grains from high grass or weeds can fly into your face, obstructing your vision.

“The reason most people give for why they don’t shut their visors for landing is a ‘what if’ scenario: ‘What if my visor fogs up?’ Although fogging can be an issue, especially in humid locations, keeping the visor clean greatly lowers the chance of this happening. Jumpers can also close their visors right before making their final turns to the ground.

“I started experimenting with snapping the visor down before my last turn, and now I’ve done this well over 2,000 times in the last years without incident. During those jumps, I’ve had landings where I’ve been very happy to have a closed visor ... and I’ve yet to wish it were open.

“If you are in the habit of leaving the visor open, then you may want to experiment with shutting it before landing next time and see if your experience changes. It’s good to try out different options, and this one might save your face!”

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