How Much Does it Cost to Become a Skydiver? | Skydive Orange

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Skydiver?

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

How much does it cost to get a skydiving license? is not the question you should be asking! Here’s the right question: Is the skydiving license cost worth it? To which we respond with a resounding, HECK YES! There are some variables around the skydiving certification cost because everyone conquers the learning curve at different rates. And there are other questions newcomers to the sport are burning to ask, like What are the different licenses and how long does it take to earn them? Are skydiving expenses all-inclusive or a la carte? We get it, we were alllll where you were once. We’ve broken the skydiving prices down – LEGGO!

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What Cost Goes Into The A License? 

The United States Parachute Association (USPA) recognizes four solo skydiving licenses, ranked by expertise, that range from A to D. The cost of getting the A-license is typically just under $5,000.

To earn your A License at Skydive Orange, you must:

  • Log a minimum of 25 jumps
  • Log a minimum of 19 minutes of freefall
  • Complete 5 group freefall skydives involving at least 2 participants
  • Pass a parachute packing class
  • Complete requirements on the USPA A License Proficiency Card
  • Pass the USPA written and oral exams
  • Apply for USPA membership

Skydiving Gear 

What about the actual gear? Do you need to buy your own gear right off the bat? Nope! Skydiving gear rental exists to help people ease into the sport and gauge what they like/need before committing to a big purchase. Parachute prices vary, and it’s common to buy used at first. The cost of a new canopy is right around $3,000. We’re here to guide you through that process when the time comes!

Breaking Down AFF

The Accelerated Freefall (AFF) Course is the fastest and most cost-effective way to earn a skydiving license. How long does it take to finish AFF and get the A? That all depends on you! This is one of the major benefits of AFF – you can complete the course at your own pace, as time, skills-building, and resources require. If a certain amount of time has passed since your last jump, a “recurrency jump” may be required as a refresher. It’s common to get licensed in a couple of weeks; some take a few months. It’s totally flexible!

AFF is organized into different levels, each corresponding with a letter: A-H. Each level (letter) requires various freefall and canopy skills to be successfully done to be passed on to the next level.

Immediately before jumps A & B, you will go through a 6 to 8-hour ground school to learn the basics of body flight and emergency procedures. Fantastic instructors don’t just understand skydiving, they also know how to share their passion for the sport in a way that makes sense to everyone. Safety is our number one priority in every situation; this prioritization is what allows us to repeatedly do what we love (jump!!) and share it with YOU! We are proud to employ only the best of the best on Team Skydive Orange.

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Let’s run through a tentative AFF course timeline with costs!

Jumps A & B

After ground school, you will do your first jump! Jumps A & B entail you leaving the plane at 13,500 feet with two instructors on either side of you. These (including ground school) cost $775 (credit) or $745 (cash).

Jump C1 & C2

Jumps C1 & C2 focus on the circle of awareness (COA). The COA is critical to regain stability if it’s ever lost! The COA consists of checking altitude, arching, and relaxing. (Yes! It is totally possible to be relaxed while skydiving!) These jumps cost $573 (credit) or $550 (cash).

Jumps D1, D2, & E1

These jumps are done with one AFF instructor and focus on turns and regaining stability after doing flips! After passing Cat E1, it’s time for solo status–woo!! These jumps cost $798 (credit) or $765 (cash).

This is generally around the time we recommend purchasing your altimeter, helmet/goggles, and gloves! Remember, the full rig can wait.

Jump E2

This jump is when you’re ridin’ solo! Don’t worry, our instructors won’t pass you onto “solo status” until you’re ready, and this jump is still supervised. Jump E2 costs $130 (credit) or $125 (cash).

Jumps F, G, & H

Categories F, G, and H each encompass 4 jumps, making a total of 12. These are completed with a USPA-rated coach. After you’ve proven the ability to keep yourself and others safe in the sky, a coach will walk you through the remainder of the required skills. F, G, and H jumps each cost $165 (credit) or $160 (cash).

Check Dive!

This is your evaluation jump. It essentially consists of all the skills you’ve learned in each level. The goal is to ensure the student (you) has a full understanding of the necessary skills to be a safe and “heads up” skydiver. The check dive costs $192 (credit) or $185 (cash).

Additional Solo Jumps

If you fail any levels, additional solo jumps may be necessary. Remember, everyone’s pace of learning is different and there’s no shame in repeating a level, it’s just extra practice! These cost $130 (credit) or $125 (cash).

AFF Supervised Jump at Skydive Orange in Virginia

Is Skydiving An Expensive Hobby To Get Into?

Initially, yes. Skydivers are the first to admit that the upfront cost of learning to jump solo can be intimidating at first, but isn’t that how every worthwhile adventure starts!? Skydiving offers memories and a sense of accomplishment that makes the cost of the investment well worth it.

Are you seeking a break from the ordinary? Get your skydiving license today, we can’t wait to show you our world!

Colm Walker Skydive Orange AFF Student

Colm Walker – Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

The best thing about Skydive Orange is the attitude and culture. The vibe is to welcome new jumpers to the sport and the world of skydiving. You are not treated like a revenue source. You are treated with care and attention.

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

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