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And if you’re a prospective skydiver, you’d be wise to “take the dive” as soon as possible. Bluntly stated, there’s nothing else like it in the world, and as many enthusiasts say, “Once you dive, you’ll feel alive.”
Alright, maybe there aren’t many enthusiasts who say that. But it’s true, and it sounds good.
In all seriousness, there’s no reason for longtime divers or first-time jumpers to delay in making a trip up to the sky—and down to earth. The only potential inhibitor you’ll encounter—the only potential disturbance to your skydiving career—is the price of equipment.
Many of today’s companies charge a substantial amount for their complete rig, main canopy or even the skydiving container, and when skydivers are faced with these prices, they can easily become overwhelmed—and possibly opt to forego skydiving altogether.
You don’t need to do that! Thanks to multiple platforms and websites, more and more reputable, reliable, comparatively affordable gear is becoming available with each passing day. To be sure, used skydiving gear can be had for a fraction of the price of new gear, and its capabilities and functions remain completely and totally intact.
The trick is finding a platform that’s right for you; a platform that provides you with the gear options you want at the prices you deserve. All joking aside, it’s these websites—and those who use them—that allow the maximum number of skydivers to partake in the hobby. In a way, these websites and platforms help to perpetuate and enhance the public’s overall interest in the field.
To help you nab the sweetest deals on state-of-the-art skydiving equipment, let’s take a look at some of today’s top used-gear platforms!
Since it was created in February 2013, Facebook’s premier skydiving buying and selling group has attracted well over 20,000 members, and that number continues to “soar” today. (Fellow skydivers appreciate good humor, so I know you’re hysterical over that pun. Try to compose yourself and keep reading—this is important information.)
This Facebook group is noteworthy for a few key reasons. First, it’s incredibly easy to communicate with sellers; in fact, there might be too many ways to communicate with them, between messaging, commenting, chatting, friending, and calling. Next, it’s completely free to use; there are no strings attached and no fees to speak of. All you need to join the group is a Facebook account, which is also free to create.
Lastly, spam is nearly nonexistent in the group. You’ll still need to exercise some caution, of course—don’t wire thousands of dollars abroad for some gear that’s supposed to be located down the street—but the group’s administrators and moderators review every member’s profile before admitting them; those who look fishy are questioned, and those who can’t effectively respond to basic questions are denied entry.
This group is especially useful if you don’t need gear, but are simply on the lookout for back-ups, upgrades, and once-in-a-lifetime bargains on a complete rig. Plus, it’s a great way for you to meet fellow skydivers, and you can literally use a single click to become friends with these individuals.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Dropzone is this list’s “senior citizen”; it’s definitely old, but it still gets the job done and then some, and it turns out there’s a reason it’s been around for as long as it has. The site was founded in 1994, and its classified section provides users with a no-frills way to buy all sorts of skydiving gear.
Purchase options can be easily filtered—so you’ll have a less-difficult time finding what you’re looking for—and the knowledge and information offered by other members can prove very useful. Specifically, you’ll see that the site’s forums are a bit more in-depth than Facebook’s chatting options, and users are more willing to part with invaluable facts and words of advice.
If you’re in the market for a specific main canopy or skydiving containers & gear and/or want to become part of a community that emphasizes sharing information and knowledge, you shouldn’t think twice about hitting Dropzone up.
It’s hard to go wrong with ChutingStar.com, the leading distributor of used skydiving gear. The company’s been in business since 1999, and throughout the last 20 years, thousands upon thousands of customers have started skydiving and/or optimized their skydiving experiences thanks to the products and services offered by ChutingStar. If you’re looking for reliable used gear and/or expert advice, you’d be wise to give the store a visit.
You can do so online and in-person, as the company is equipped with an 8,000-square-foot facility in Marietta, Georgia, which is used to house a massive amount of outstanding equipment (including the most popular brands like Performance Designs) and serve as a professional home for ChutingStar’s many helpful, knowledgeable employees.
If you’re in the market for immediate used gear—that is, if you need a specific part or piece of equipment as soon as possible—ChutingStar is worth checking out. You can browse their site, visit their brick-and-mortar location, and learn a whole lot more about skydiving in the process.
Seriously, Mike (the company’s owner) has been a part of the skydiving community for a very long time, and the amount of information and knowledge he’s able to provide is unparalleled.
Listen, the skydiving community is inherently close. We want to see one another have as much fun as possible and make as many memories as possible, and we have to look out for each other. If you think that sounds cheesy, consider the fact that the vast majority of the population thinks we’re crazy for jumping from aircraft and rotorcraft. Who else is going to look out for us?
The point is that by talking with DZ officials and/or instructors, you can gain leads on the used equipment that you want and need. Perhaps there’s a nearby gear store you can patronize; maybe one of these individuals is willing to part with the item(s) you need. More realistically yet, there’s a good chance that at least one of these individuals will keep an eye out for what you need and let you know when a great deal comes up.
Skydiving is all about contacts and communication, and you’ll be surprised by how much used gear you can secure by talking to and being friendly with DZ officials and instructors.
While many sellers offer skydiving gear for especially affordable and value-heavy rates, you’ll occasionally run into individuals who ‘re trying to get more for their products than they’re actually worth. You’ll probably be able to spot these unacceptable prices in a second, in the vast majority of situations, but sometimes, when you’re particularly eager to nab an awesome setup or part, you can lose sight of what the fair market value for an item or items is.
To guarantee that you’ll never overpay for skydiving gear, consider the following pricing guidelines for used setups without AAD.
$1000 should buy you an older (think 90s) setup with less-than-modern features and amenities; that is, relatively lacking freefly capabilities and reserves.
$2000 or so should get you a potentially freefly friendly setup that was manufactured just before or after the start of the 2000s.
For $3000, you can expect some early-2000s gear with freefly capabilities. Look for stainless features.
$4000 setups should probably have been manufactured after 2005 or 2006. They should have a number of newer features and solid reserve capabilities.
In the $5000 price range, a good rule of thumb is that items shouldn’t be more than five or so years old.
$6000 is the “bought it, tried it once, didn’t like it” pricing category. Only newer, feature-heavy used items should cost this much.
There’s never been a better time than today for you to explore and benefit from used skydiving gear. The platforms that allow you to buy this gear are reliable, the advantages of doing so are clear, and it’s hard to argue against better diving experiences and saved cash.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to the wonderful world of skydiving!