Aug 13, 2005, 3:58 PM
Post #1 of 24
I'm addicted forever
Well today was my first jump at Pepperell, MA USA. I got a bunch of friends from my high school (we just graduated) and i thought it'd be something cool to do before we go off to college.
initially i had 15 people going and it turned out to be 4 including one of my friends' dad. the excuses: "My parents don't want me to go....". Oh well, their loss. We saw a 4 person team diving that was ranked 4th in the nation for formation diving. Amazing!
anyways, i'm 19 and me and my sister(24) want to get seriously involved with the sport. Next summer i should be able to earn around $10,000 so that is when i'm going to complete my certification.
What is the total price of certification after your first tandem jump? Lastly, how much would i have to pay to get everything i would need to skydive after certification and everything?
Congratulations on your 1st jump! Believe it or not it only gets better I'm not sure about prices at Peperell, since I jump in Orange MA (Jumptown). But it all depends on how well you do in AFF. If you nail them all after your tandem progression (3) tandems, you can be cleared for solo status after 5 jumps (at Jumptown anyway). After that you do coach jumps. You need 25 jumps total for your A license. As far as gear is concerned it depends on what you get. New gear will cost you about 5 G's. But you can get a good used rig for $3000 or less. Come on over & check us out sometime.Good luck & have fun
So far, this year, in Canadian dollars, very approximately:
$385 - Two tandems (Jump #3 and Jump #4) $1200 - Freefall Progression $115 - (Approx) Repeat one level $2000 - For jump tickets (including coach slots) $500 - Rentals and packing costs before I got my rig $3500 - Skydiving rig (used, 175 jumps) $300 - Other skydiving gear (altimeter, etc)
This is all in the last 5 months alone. Gads, that's $8000 already. About $6500 USD average.
This excluding the money I spent in my first two tandems (1997 and 2002 respectively). So all but 2 of my jumps were made this year. I'm essentially "A-license-in-pending" right now with some paperwork and technicalities to muddle through, and B isn't that far behind (mostly studying and paperwork at this stage, plus a lot of formation skydive praticing).
Some people pull it off for only $5,000 for getting training and the gear. Sometimes even less ($3,000) with some cheapie program and cheapie rigs, but I wouldn't recommend it
Even though I spent approximately $500 in rentals, I definitely recommend renting though at least until you're finished off the student downsizing onto the regular approx 1:1 wingloading canopies (give or take). For me, that was jump 60.
It's the first year that often is the most expensive (though for some guys, that's not the case -- sometimes they go on to be pros, and spend a lot more in the future). Future years should be cheaper for me because I've paid off my rig and main training. I can do about 50+ jumps in a future Perris vacation for only about $1000 USD (airflight and hotel not included) if I decide to go there and buy their volume $1000 USD package. Or be a hop-n-pop rabbit and get 100 jumps for the same price at some places. Or just continue to do my 10-jump full altitude for $250 CAD at Skydive Gananoque, which isn't too bad in Canadian dropzone pricing (frequent faller discount).
Major expenses are still coming up. I'm going to Florida this October and will do a trio (Scott Miller at Deland, windtunnel at SkyVenture, DWR at Florida Skydiving). Casa's and skyvan tailgate-exit, I can't wait! I wouldn't be surprised if I break the 5 figure barrier.
Again, I'm not the best source of information (The usage adaga applies: Talk to your instructors!), but I hope you found my post interesting nontheless.
Now it's as little as $15 CDN for a hop-and-pop, and I can just do it once a week if I want ... However, I'll likely be spending about $2000-$3000 per year from now on (at least until I decide to upgrade my rig)
(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Aug 13, 2005, 9:46 PM)
skymama (D 26699)
Aug 14, 2005, 2:55 PM
Post #5 of 24
Welcome to the forums! I'm glad you enjoyed your first jump. What a great way to celebrate finishing high school! I'm not surprised that you had so many people drop out, skydiving isn't for everyone. The sport IS very expensive but it is also very rewarding.
It's a pretty intense week to get your A in one week, but it's doable at the larger dz's that have planes going up throughout the day. Remember that you are at the mercy of the weather though. You have to schedule your trip and training weeks in advance before you know what kind of front is going to come through an area.
As for cost, you have to figure the cost of AFF (call your local dz) assuming you don't have to repeat any levels, an average of $20 a jump after that, coaching fees if applicable, gear rental (appx. $60/day) and packing fees ($6 per pack job + tip). Add to that your travel expenses if you're not near a large dz, food, car, hotel...I'd guess somewhere between $2500-3000.
Chances are pretty good you wouldn't be able to finish A jumps in one week in New England - none of the dropzones in the area fly enough loads with enough staff to do that.
Jumptown is the only DZ in New England that I know of that has so many AFF qualified instructors - so much so that many people were being directed from Pepperell to Jumptown because Pepperell just didn't have enough instructors. We had two students who finished their A jumps in 2 weeks this summer - and they both have well over 100 now.
Jumptown would be were I would suggest you doing your training. I only wish that I had the opportunity to do it there, because it is a VERY thorough program and you always have coaches to jump with. The vibe is amazing compared to the other new england DZs and next season promises to be most exciting as they are getting all new facilities and will be the most advanced training center in new england. The landing areas are huge and the guys on radio are really good. You can't go wrong there - seriously. I've jumped at 8 different DZs and have yet to see one do AFF like Jumptown. The first jump course literally lasts all day - cause once your done with the jump you get more and more training - I'm still in awe at it all.
Did my first tandem at Pepperell too, great place! Lots of folks from the Boston metro area still make the trek out to Orange though
wow i didnt expect such quick replies. Thank you for that. Well orange is like hour and a half away so traveling expenses arent too bad. I have plenty of friends going to UMass Amherst so i can stay with them if i needed to.
So a max of $3000 isnt too bad, i expected much more. Guess i gotta sell some more Cutco knives I'll have my certification by the end of this school year.
Thank you again for the reccommendation and i'll prolly see you at Orange real soon. I love the atmosphere at Pepperell and i bet its similar to all drop zones and i cant wait to be part of that.
Well if you do make your way out to Orange to do another tandem (or AFF) be sure to tell manifest to find me - I'd love to say 'hi!' to ya. If your waiting until next year to start AFF, try and do a tandem in October - its so beautiful out in Orange when the trees start changing. I did my first fall jump (tandem) at Orange in 2003 and was just awe struck at the view.