Landing Safely With Used Skydiving Gear At Skydive Orange

How To Buy Used Skydiving Gear

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Getting started on your skydiving journey is exciting, but diving into the world of skydiving gear can feel like navigating uncharted skies at times. Fear not, friend – we’ve got your back! 

Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver or a newbie looking to get your first skydiving setup, purchasing used skydiving gear is a great way to save you both time and money. In this guide, we’ll soar through the skies of savvy shopping, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate your options, and touch down with the perfect gear for many epic skydives to come!

Skydiving Gear You’ll Need

What is skydiving gear called? Being at the dropzone, you’ll hear all kinds of terms being thrown around. When you hear the word “skydiving rig” that’s a skydiver talking about their entire skydiving gear setup which contains these four main items:

  • Skydiving Container System
  • Main Skydiving Canopy
  • Reserve Skydiving Canopy
  • Automatic Activation Device (AAD)

In addition to the items listed above, you may want to purchase a helmet, goggles, and flight suit, and will need some kind of altimeter. However, these items are pretty inexpensive to rent from your dropzone if your bank account needs a chance to replenish. 

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How Much Does a Full Skydiving Set Cost?

If you’re wondering how much a skydiving setup costs, prepare yourself for sticker shock! Keep in mind that this precious gear is responsible for saving your life – a lot of care goes into designing, producing, and maintaining every inch of the equipment. 

Pricing for a brand-new skydiving setup depends on which manufacturer you buy from and what kind of customizations you desire. Pricing for a used skydiving setup depends on the type, how old the gear is, the amount of wear and tear, and the potential demand for it from buyers due to specific sizing. Full setups can be purchased as a whole or each item can be purchased separately and pieced together.

Full Skydiving Setup Costs

Full Skydiving Setup Costs
Basic Container Main Canopy Reserve Canopy AAD Full Setup
New Gear (+/-) $3,600 $3,000 $2,000 $1,300 $9,000 – $11,000
Used Gear (+/-) $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $750 $6,000 – $7,500


How to Buy Used Skydiving Gear

As any D-licensed skydiver will tell you, a beginner skydiver should consider purchasing used skydiving gear rather than investing in expensive gear off the bat. You run the risk of potentially damaging and devaluing brand-new gear when you’re still learning to land – every skydiver slides in a few landings or takes a tumble here and there. 

Investing in new gear is only really necessary when you’re ready to get into a specific skydiving discipline or if you decide to downsize. Here are some things to consider when purchasing used skydiving gear:

Skydiving Container System

When purchasing a container, you’ll want to get something that will last – meaning that it can fit various canopy sizes for when you’re ready to downsize. (Be sure to talk to your S&TA or instructors at your dropzone for advice on downsizing.) 

Most containers will hold two to three-pack sizes for the main canopy, especially for low-pack volume main canopies. The container is sized based on your canopy size. You’ll want to be sure that it fits snugly to your back and you can reach your risers and deployment handles (reserve, cutaway, and pilot chute). The harness is a part of the container, but can sometimes have different sizing and is usually based on height and weight. 

Main Skydiving Canopy

Not all used parachutes for sale are worth investigating – first things first, it has to be suited to your specific wing loading. We urge you to talk to your S&TA or instructors to figure out your wing loading, you can also use additional tools such as this Brian Germain sizing chart to make your decision. While there are a lot of great tools and information out there, you should always discuss them with your instructors first – they will know exactly what you are ready for and capable of.

Reserve Skydiving Canopy

Be sure to purchase a reserve that has low deployment numbers, ideally under five. The lifespan of a reserve canopy is usually around 20 years old or 40 repacks. A certified parachute rigger would be able to inspect the reserve to determine airworthiness.

Automatic Activation Device (AAD)

When buying a used AAD, be sure to look at the manufacturer and research their maintenance protocols – some popular AAD manufacturers are CYPRESVigil, and Mars. For example, a CYPRES manufactured before January 2016 requires maintenance every four years. AADs are okay to buy new since it is transferable between each container that you’ll purchase throughout your skydiving career and they are very easy to resell if you decide to later.

Sizing & Other Concerns

If you’re concerned about sizing (or fitment), you can get accurate information by getting the manufacturer’s serial number from the seller and calling the manufacturer directly. If you’re still unsure, you can try calling your local gear store or dealer to see if they do sizing for an additional cost. 

We recommend getting a parachute rigger to inspect the canopy and even trying on the container in front of an expert to determine fitment before you jump it. If the container doesn’t fit but you really like it, chat with a Master Rigger or see about sending it back to the manufacturer to have the harness resized for a fee.

How To Buy Used Skydiving Gear | Skydive Orange

Where to Purchase Used Skydiving Gear

  • Your DZ: Ask around your local gear store to see if they have any used skydiving rigs for sale, or ask people around the DZ if they know of any gear for sale. At Skydive Orange, our fully-stocked gear store is located in the hangar.
  • Facebook: One of the best ways to find used skydiving gear for sale is by joining the “Skydiving Gear for Sale and Wanted” Facebook page.
  • This forum has a dedicated classifieds section of used gear.

Pros of Buying Used Skydiving Gear

One major pro of buying your own gear is no more waiting for a rental rig to become available in between jumps!! Which means … MORE jumps! Heck yeah! Here are some more pros to buying used skydiving gear, specifically:

  1. Buying used gear is cheaper than renting ($42/jump at Skydive Orange) or buying brand new.
  2. Buying used gear is quicker as opposed to purchasing brand new gear, which could take anywhere from a couple of months to a year depending on the manufacturer.
  3. Used gear retains its value as long as it’s properly maintained.

Cons of Buying Used Skydiving Gear

  1. Potential Scammers: When you purchase used gear you are dealing with people rather than a company, so there is potential for getting scammed. Always verify a seller’s information by researching their profile, getting as much information as possible, and even scheduling a video call. When talking to the seller, ask: if the gear has been inspected by a rigger; for additional photos; for the number of jumps on the particular gear; and for the manufacturer’s serial number and date.
  1. Potential Logistic Issues: As with purchasing anything from an individual seller, there is the potential of your package getting lost or damaged in transit.
  1. Availability: Stock is limited when buying used skydiving gear so you may not get exactly what it is you’re looking for. Keep in mind that availability depends on your size and stature. However, there is usually plenty of beginner-sized gear out there due to newer jumpers constantly exchanging their old gear for newer gear as they progress in the sport.

Once you’ve purchased all that used skydiving gear, it’s time to put it to use! Come jump with us at Skydive Orange or, if you have any more questions about gear, feel free to contact one of our awesome team members – we can point you in the right direction. Blue skies!

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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