7 Tips to Get the Best Price on New Skydiving Gear

What You Need to Do to Get the Best Deal on a New Skydiving Rig

You're gonna love your new skydiving gear. LOVE it. Image © Annette O'Neil

Buying your first set of new skydiving gear is exciting!

If you’ve already worked your way through the used gear you should be using when you first graduate from your licensing program, you’re probably chomping at the bit to snap up something flashy, shiny and done entirely in your colors.

If you’ve been using used gear, you’re probably itching for the comfort, reliability and hotshot technology that a custom-fit rig brings to the table.

Don’t whip out your wallet yet, however – new skydiving gear is a more major purchase than you may have anticipated. As of this article’s publication in 2013, a complete set of new skydiving gear ran from about $4,000 USD to upwards of $10k.

Ready to start the process? Good. Here’s what you need to do to get the best possible deal on a new skydiving rig.

1. Do Your Research First.

To avoid tragic disappointment, discuss your purchase choices with your mentor(s) and rigger(s) before starting the conversation with dealers. Carefully evaluate the available gear – and its wide variety of expensive little add-on options – before you arrive at a decision regarding brand and sizing. This decision involves careful evaluation of your skydiving experience, your skill level, your height and weight, your favorite discipline(s), the number of jumps you’ll do per year and your total budget.

If you’re a new skydiver, seriously consider buying used gear.

Here’s why.

2. Choose Major Brands.

Dropzone.com has a massive database of gear and manufacturers, though it’s not updated with serious consistency. The number of brands listed therein is somewhat dazzling.

At this point in your career, stick with the major brands – the ones that feature their products front-and-center in skydiving magazines, at boogies and in gear shops.

This may feel like caving to the advertising, but it’s not: these are the companies at the top of the gear “food chain,” with well-tested components and a proven safety track record. The customer service is solid. The factory isn’t a fly-by-night operation. These major-manufacturer rigs are also familiar to most riggers, so they’re easy to fix -- with easily sourceable parts -- if you need to repair them.

Major manufacturers also have “demo” programs, allowing you to jump canopies and container systems before you commit to a purchase. Demo equipment is always available at the major skydiving boogies, but you can easily access demos outside that context. The Performance Designs canopy demo program even ships the demo canopy to your door with all the materials required to rig it up. (As a beginner, of course, you should ask for a rigger’s help the first time you do so.)

Later in your career, you’ll have the requisite knowledge and experience to branch into buying specialty equipment, to experiment with less-tested technologies and to buy from lesser-known overseas manufacturers. When you start skydiving, you don’t know what you don’t know – and that can be dangerous (and expensive).

3. Be Patient

Shop around. Learn the rhythm of yearly and seasonal sales.

Wait for major boogies, as manufacturers often offer healthy discounts with in-person purchases at the event (as well as major gear giveaways). Get to know your local dealers, who might let you know when there’s a price shift on the horizon. This is a major purchase – don’t rush it.

4. Blend New and Used

You don’t have to buy an all-new kit. In fact, it’s smart to save money by mixing the components you purchase new and those you purchase used. To make an informed choice, read this article to read more about buying used skydiving equipment.

5. Check out Package Deals

Large gear shops like online dealers such as The Skydive Store and ChutingStar offer gear packages. Major on-DZ gear shops, such as Skydive Elsinore’s Square-1 shop, can also put packages together.

Learn what each dealer has to offer.

As they’re all assembling packages from the same components, you can feel confident moving forward on the one with the best price.

6. Be Willing to Pay Cash

Invariably, the bottom-line price is available to the customer who’s standing in front of the dealer in person, cash in hand. Such a customer has the power to negotiate around sales tax and shipping fees. Another bonus: cash avoids the credit card charges that dealers add to their baseline pricing.

7. Work Your Discounts

If you are an active-duty military person, you’ll discover that some manufacturers offer sizable discounts on new gear. Take full advantage of this lovely thank-you for your selfless service.

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Your Citation
O'Neil, Annette. "7 Tips to Get the Best Price on New Skydiving Gear." ThoughtCo, Feb. 5, 2016, thoughtco.com/tips-for-best-skydiving-gear-1240490. O'Neil, Annette. (2016, February 5). 7 Tips to Get the Best Price on New Skydiving Gear. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tips-for-best-skydiving-gear-1240490 O'Neil, Annette. "7 Tips to Get the Best Price on New Skydiving Gear." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tips-for-best-skydiving-gear-1240490 (accessed November 23, 2017).