Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
How Does One Afford A Rig

 

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draygoneslayr  (Student)

Dec 13, 2007, 8:22 AM
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How Does One Afford A Rig Can't Post

Hey How's It To Whoever Reads This And Decides To Reply,
OK so I've graduated from AFF and I'm now solo certified working slowly towards my "A" liscense so I've decided to do a little shopping for a rig. I'm currently interested in two containers #1 choice the Mirage G4, #2 Velocity Infinity. These cost ~2K, and as far as I know it doesn't come with an AAD. To purchase a mid range canopy (class 3 I think) and a reserve runs me ~4K (Icarus). So I really don't have >6K to spend at the moment on a rig are second hand rigs a better choice for a first time purchase? Gravity Gear South will scrutinize any second hand equip. I plan on purchasing, I know that. On the otherhand I can rent, making appx (fun jumps) 30 jumps/year would run me ~$500/year. So I geuss I was wondering (to whomsoever reads this and maybe was in my shoes) how was your decision tree made? Did you rent for awhile, purhase a used rig, then buy a new rig, or was it a better choice to just purchase a new rig and suck up the cost. Anyway I'm nowwhere near taking the cost blow at the moment new or used just wondering how some out there may have made there choices and come up with the scratch. Anyway if you made it to the end of this, thanks. I may not have made alot of sense but it has made me feel a little better just getting it out. Please don't bust my chops for appearing to be a cheapskate. Being a novice my decision tree is not absolutley clear to me.
Cheers,
Draco


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 13, 2007, 8:35 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

There are several articles and threads here about this. Take a search.

But, IMHO the is no way a newbie should by new gear. One, you'll be making a decesion largely on advertising but with little direct knoledge about what you like. Two, you will quickly, or not so quickly, progress beyond the kind of canopy you should jump now. It is very likely that a container that holds the canopy you should jump now won't hold the one you want to jump in 400 jumps, maybe 200 jumps.

IF you by a new rig now you'll be very tempted to get a main one or two sizes too small for your experience so that it will ultimately work for where you may end up in canopy size. This is very wrong headed and dangerous. I've helped a couple of 30 jump wonders sell their brand new gear that they couldn't jump any more because they were too busted up. Mainly due to buying too small to begin with so it would "last longer" in terms of their experience.

I had two used rigs and 400 jumps before I bought my first new rig. And I still jump 2 rigs I bought used. I do have one that was custom for me.

There were some rigs on our DZ that went through 4 or 5 new jumpers. As one out grew it they would sell it to the next new jumper coming up. Might not be your hot colors, or the lastest and greatest but it's not time to worry about that.


labrys  (D 29848)

Dec 13, 2007, 8:37 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Here are a couple of articles about the subect of buying gear that may offer you some food for thought:

http://www.dropzone.com/...quipment/index.shtml


taylor.freefall  (A 52570)

Dec 13, 2007, 8:51 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in exactly the same position as where you are now. I was looking for a used rig but theyre either too old and crappy or too expensive. I've decided to just rent until I get to a point where I can stick with a set up that will last me a while rather than buy now and in six months need to buy again. Also I've been told by a couple of people that its harder to resell canopies over 200 than it is 190 and below, so sod it I'll just hang fire for the mo and see what happens, anyway hope that helps.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Dec 13, 2007, 8:54 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
On the otherhand I can rent, making appx (fun jumps) 30 jumps/year would run me ~$500/year.

I would hope that more then 30 jumps a year can be made. One jump about every week and a half or less then 3 jumps a month really will not be keeping yourself current at your level.. It will be very hard to gain the needed skills beyond those required for getting your initial license... I look at that level as really a basics level from which the real learning about skydiving begins!

Now that that is said, LOOK USED!! You can get very nice used equipment at basically the value of a new all the bells and whistles container... At yor level youhave no idea what you want long term and shelling ut 5K is not a prudent thing. Spend 2K on a set up (maybe less depending) and spend the difference on jumps, you will be much better off

Scott C.


ladydyver  (D 30784)

Dec 13, 2007, 9:31 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

I got a used rig with 80 jumps for a decent price. Was well taken care of and came with cypress 2 with 8 years left on it. I wouldn't have bought new even if I could have afford it due to the idea of downsizing eventually.


DJL  (C License)

Dec 13, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Talk to some of the SD people about used gear. There are enough people who know what you should be on. Also, learn to pack and get on the packing staff; best way to get over the sticker shock.


UDSkyJunkie  (D 25746)

Dec 13, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Highly recommend used gear as a first purchase, just don't rush out and buy the first thing you see, or you might end up with something expensive or crappy. For what it's worth, my first rig and cost was:

PD 170 9-cell in good shape
Micro-raven 150 reserve with 1 ride
Cypress with 9 years left
"used" vector III with zero jumps on it

Total cost: $2,550

100 jumps later I sold the PD 170 and bought a Sabre1 135 at a net cost of $550, kept that setup for several years. To this day, still jumping the original vector and cypress.

There are great deals out there, you just have to look. That part about packing is true too... not only does it earn some money on the side, but it teaches you alot about equipment, and it introduces you to a lot of people who are then more willing to give you a good deal on used gear if they are selling.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Dec 13, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Do the math on options for financing the rig as well... depending on the interest rate you can get (low-rate credit card for example) and how well you trust yourself to pay it off, you may be able to finance used gear for a more cost-effective solution than renting gear. My local DZ rents great gear for $10 a jump (and that came in very handy to keep me in the air this summer during some work on my own rig), but most places cost a lot more than that, and you run into the convenience factor of "will the gear I want be available when I want", etc.

I bought used for everything but my AAD. My rig was manufactured in 2003 - I bought it in 2005. It had 10 jumps on it... bought it and the reserve (which had one pack job) for $1600 total, then put $50 into some minor modifications on the rig. Bought a used Spectre for $850 with a brand-new lineset. Put 200 jumps on it over the next 18 months and sold it for $800... held its value nicely. I'm still jumping the rest of the pieces.

One key is patience, and being willing to look at each piece separately (there's a lot of newer jumpers who say "I can't find anything" and you come to find they're only looking at complete rigs). Place "wanted" ads on the classifieds, too - but be specific about what you're looking for (the aforementioned canopy found me that way when a dealer contacted me to let me know they had a couple possibilities in stock).


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Dec 13, 2007, 11:43 AM)


TheCaptain  (D License)

Dec 13, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

As everyone else has mainly said "used gear" is the way to go for first rig. The reality of this is most people will down size their main several times especially in the first few hundred jumps. Containers have a limited range of canopies that they can fit ( a container made for a 170 main can usually squeaze a 190 very tight and a 150 loose). My first rig cost me $1500 and in 100 jumps I bought a smaller main for $500 used.
Here is just one example http://www.dropzone.com/...age.cgi?ID=56282;d=1of things in the used market. I see you have listed Skydive San Diego as home DZ , when you get some money set asside ask Blake if he could help hook you up. At most large DZ 's there is usually always people downsizing.
On the subject of funding skydiving, I personally picked up a second job to fund it.
Kirk


(This post was edited by TheCaptain on Dec 13, 2007, 12:17 PM)


tylermx138  (C 37671)

Dec 13, 2007, 2:37 PM
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Re: [TheCaptain] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah im fairly new at skydiving myself and i was already looking in the classifieds on jump 10 that way by the time i was off student status i would be able to have my own rig even if it does take a couple months to find it seperately... I would definitely recommend buying it in seperate pieces if you cant find a complete rig for a smokin deal... I had found a used javelin with 700 jumps for 450 and a sabre 135 for 375 i think, but i couldnt find a reserve with a decent price but by the time i was on jump 22 i had grabbed a raven for 450. Thats only like 1300 with shipping and another 80 to put it all together with the pack jobs... I know i dont have an AAD, but that is really cheap i think compared to some of the prices ive seen... Then i sold the sabre 135 for 325 and snatched up a stiletto 120 for 750 with only 250 jumps(very very clean) so now im sitin at like maybe 1800 all together. I just could not let my self go spend money on renting gear, when i could be sending that money to the bank. So instead of spending up to 40 - 60 dollars on rental for just two jumps why dont i just take out a loan for the 1800 and put that 40 - 60 dollars towards the principal, i know there is interest in there but you will come out better in the long run. Plus it'll help build your credit! Just my two cents


MagicGuy  (D 30470)

Dec 13, 2007, 3:16 PM
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Re: [tylermx138] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

So just to add to the used gear posts that have already been mentioned, another big piece of advice I can give when buying used is..

Don't Be Picky!!!

So what if the main has some pink cells. Who cares if the container doesn't match your jumpsuit. WHO CARES what color the reserve is!!!

Be aware of your priorities. Make sure the container fits, both you AND the appropriate canopies for your skill level. Make sure that the person that you are buying it from is a legit person. Usually if they are serious about selling their rig, they are willing to send it to your rigger to get it checked out beforehand.

You will probably end up wanting to go smaller with the canopies, so forget about buying new. Way too expensive, and you can get some really amazing deals if you look around. I got an amazing deal on the gear I'm jumping right now.

Be safe.


countzero  (D 32712)

Dec 13, 2007, 3:35 PM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

i was able to afford my rig by saving up and sacraficing other things. i stopped eating out, bought less expensive store brand or generic food, cancelled my home internet and phone (i'm posting from work and i have a cell), and i backed out of going to this year's Voodoo Fest; which would have easily cost me a few hundred in hotels, food and drinks.

i now own a used eclipse that's FF friendly with a Skymaster 170 and a Tempo reserve. the canopy is perfect for my current skill level and i'll be able to downsize to a 150 with this rig in the future.

since buying my used rig i've made a heck of alot more jumps than when i was renting, i feel i'm learning more because i'm able to stay more current, and i've won 2 1st. place scrambles medals.

my .02 cents: save up, buy used, jump alot and have fun.


parachutist  (D 25468)

Dec 13, 2007, 3:45 PM
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Re: [tylermx138] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yeah im fairly new at skydiving myself

I think you're demonstrating one of the pitfalls that can happen when a low-timer buys parts online & pieces them together into a rig: You don't know gear well enough to make your own decisions yet. Who's advice did you follow to choose a stiletto 120 at 70 jumps? Flying a fully elliptical canopy makes everything more complex, and complexity is not something that a newbie needs in this sport.

If you think I'm coming down hard on you here without even knowing you.... try doing a seach in the Incidents section for "stiletto" You'll get pages and pages of results... many of which describe someone going *thud* while landing a Stiletto. You should put that canopy back on the market & stick with something more forgiving for the next 150+ jumps. I expect your AFF instructors would say the same thing.

Chris


pinkfairy  (C 85665)

Dec 14, 2007, 2:08 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

1. save money. (there are many ways to achieve this, including eating cheaper food, learning to cook properly, selling things, drinking less, etc.)

2. look for nice, used gear that fits you. Don't get a too small canopy. I can say that from my own experience. You will learn a lot on something that is slightly "too big", while something that is too small increases you chances of breaking something, and that prevents you from jumping for a long time.

3. Buy it!

4. Jump!

I did the above, but got new gear. That works too, but there's alot of used gear on the market, especially for men, so used is a better option.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Dec 14, 2007, 5:15 AM
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Re: [pinkfairy] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

I've spent the vast majority of my jumps (including the last 600 or so) on gear I bought used. You won't find it immediately, but if you look diligently, and have a couple of folks with eyes out (e.g. at Perris and Elsinore since you're in SoCal), you'll find it reasonably soon.

Then you can spend all that money you save jumping. And yes, going too small too soon means that you can't explore the edges of your canopy, because you're too busy saving yourself and staying in the middle of the performance band.

Wendy W.


Tbittner  (A 50169)

Dec 14, 2007, 8:16 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

You might want to take into consideration what the cost of owning a rig is also if you only plan on about 30 jumps/year. If you figure 3 reserve re-packs at around $50 each, the cost of a cypress at around $170/year and if you pay someone to pack at about $5/packjob it may not cost you much more to rent for awhile. I plan on jumping around 50 times/year and decided to get my own rig mainly to get over the psychological barrier of paying $20/jump for rental. I figured with my own gear I'd be more willing to jump cause it'd feel like I was spending less. In reality it'll probably cost me about the same/jump when all is said and done. The point is you don't need to be in a big hurry to buy something.


jee  (C License)

Dec 14, 2007, 9:02 AM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't buy anything but new gear. Period.


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Dec 14, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Re: [jee] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Must be niceCrazy


MagicGuy  (D 30470)

Dec 14, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Re: [Halfpastniner] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, seriously. New gear is great but the majority of people can't afford $6,000 on a brand new system - especially when downsizing in the future is most certainly going to happen.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Dec 14, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Re: [jee] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I wouldn't buy anything but new gear. Period.
Good, Good. The other thing is not to own the same gear more than two seasons (replacing it once a year is best).


grannyinthesky  (D 30311)

Dec 14, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Re: [wmw999] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

What about when you live in an area with a small DZ and no larger ones in driving distance? Star, ID just out of the Boise area. I should have the money to buy used gear by the end of June. I'm not even considering new. I've lived long enough to value my money and not need to have all the newest stuff. Well, there are a few accessories for both skydiving and photography I'd like, but I keep reminding myself--gear first!!!!


draygoneslayr  (Student)

Dec 14, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks All for the input. I think I'll probably go slow with the rig purchase as I don't really know how to save all that well (wife, mortgage, HELOC's, etc.). These sorta drain my extracurricular funding. I think I'll go for the less expensive equip. first. A helmet and an alti first. I plan on talking to Bonnie this weekend to see how I may be able to purchase a used rig, she's a great gal and I know the rigger's at the DZ are very competent. I'm not going to rush this. I saw what happens when that happens. One of the guys I went through class with made a quick purchase on a rig with a canopy I believe may have been to extreme for his skill level and he had a pretty hard meeting with the ground one day. Thanks also go out to dropzone.com and the classy people that post here. I respect your input but know this, I'll always talk to my JM before making a decision about my life saving equip.
Cheer and Happy Holidays,
Neal


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Dec 14, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Re: [grannyinthesky] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd start looking now to see what shows up; but in the springtime some people sell their gear and buy new -- that's a really good time to get gear. If you can't quite afford it then, but are close, it might be time to take out a small loan to get that perfect second hand rig.

It took me about 6 weeks to find the perfect gear when I was looking last. But I'm still jumping the container and reserve now 5 years later.

Wendy W.


pilotdave  (D License)

Dec 14, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Re: [draygoneslayr] How Does One Afford A Rig [In reply to] Can't Post

Nothing wrong with buying from a dealer...there's a lot of advantage in that. But also talk to people at your dropzone. Dealers can be very helpful, but they tend to get a cut of the sale too. Buying direct from someone with a rig in their closet that isn't being used is probably where you'll find the best deals.

Last year my DZ had a few people get brand new rigs right after getting their licenses. A few of them never came back after last winter, so more newbies got great deals on almost brand new equipment. Heck, one of those rigs was never even jumped.

Dave


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