AFF student in freefall with 2 instructors

What Are the Expenses Associated with Skydiving?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How Much Is Skydiving?

When we first tell someone we skydive professionally, there are a few questions that always pop up like clockwork in the opening rounds. One of those questions that, like, everyone always asks is pretty predictable: How much does skydiving cost?

It’s not just an opening-round question, either. Funnily enough, once someone tries skydiving for the first time and discovers that they love it, expense continues to be the theme. Now, they want to know about the next steps: How much does getting licensed to skydive cost?

The “how much it costs to do a first-time skydive” thing is pretty easy. (There’s a web page for that. Boom.) Let’s attack the next phase, then, and outline the more nuanced financial phases and expenses associated with getting that A-license stamp:

Skydiving License Cost:

  • You’ll pay for a First Jump Course (“FJC”). Even though it’s often not technically your first jump (as you have very, very likely done a tandem skydive beforehand), it’s referred to as the First Jump Course because it’s the first jump you’ll do as a solo skydiver.
  • You’ll complete more licensing jumps alongside your instructors. Since these jumps are meant to demonstrate skill mastery, they will follow USPA guidelines. On the first jumps, you’ll be attended in the plane and the sky by two licensed USPA instructors. After a certain point in your progression, you’ll only jump alongside one. Skydive Orange offers prepay bonuses and learn-to-skydive packages that help to control costs.
  • You’ll jump at least 25 times. A USPA A-License requires each student skydiver to complete 25 signed-off jumps, but it’s not just jump numbers that you’re going for. You’ll need to achieve certain prescribed objectives and prerequisites to demonstrate pre-planning techniques, different exit positions, freefall objectives, canopy piloting objectives and landing objectives. It’s a challenge, and sometimes it requires a few more jumps than you’d like–but we’re here every step of the way to help you nail it!

experienced jumper in cool skydiving gear

Buying Skydiving Gear

  • This step can be daunting, but don’t worry! Thankfully, Skydive Orange has instructors and riggers that can help you navigate towards the specific gear that will be best suited to you. By then, we’ll have gotten to know you, so we’ll have a solid idea of what to recommend (and can help to make sure you don’t get scammed).
  • You’ll work your way slowly down the shopping list. At the end of this game of gear bingo, you’ll be the proud owner of a full-face helmet (or helmet-and-goggles combination), an altimeter, a jumpsuit, a container, a reserve parachute, a main parachute, an AAD and probably a pair of cool sunglasses to be wearing in pictures where your parachute is slung over your shoulder in the sunshine. This kit ranges in price from around $2k to $7k, depending on what you buy and how used (or new and custom) it is. (Pro tip: Since gear rental is per-jump, you’ll be motivated to buy skydiving gear of your own.)
  • You’ll buy jump tickets. …And you’ll start thinking about every expense in your life in jump-ticket units. (“Man, they want $75 to do that repair on my car. That’s like three jumps!”)

Think of all this as an investment, because it is. With a great educational foundation in a skydiving community like ours, meticulous goal-setting and dedication to continuing your education, the money you spend on skydiving pays off in spades. The experiences, community, and achievements far outweigh the costs!

Want to see just what we mean? Come out for a tandem skydive and talk to us about the learning process. We’re happy to share the wealth of our knowledge.

Chris Posillico Skydive Orange AFF Student

Chris Posillico

I always felt secure in my actions because I knew that I was well prepared by my instructors and coaches.

The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

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