Sep 2, 2012, 9:32 PM
Post #1 of 5
Hello all, I'm sure this question has been posed by many rookies or those that are new to this sport, but I would like an experts advice on what gear to buy. I have just completed my first solo jump and plan on buying a rig over the winter so it will be ready for next spring. I am 5'9" and 170 pounds. If anyone of you professionals can take some time to help me out as to what container or canopies to buy or even good companies to buy from to make all this easier for me I would really appreciate it. Thank you!
Well first off welcome! I think you'll get the response of ask your instuctors alot on here, because they know you better than the interweb does when it comes to canopy flight. I'm a newb but recently bought me a rig, so i'll share what little i know on the subject. When it comes to canopies stay away from ellipticals, stay at a 1:1 wingloading for 200 jumps, at 170 pounds your exit weight is close to 195, so a 210 might be a good first size(again talk to your instructors)
I bought a PD reserve because i did not here one bad thing about them.
i got my container sized for a 150 main so i could get the most life out of it(curently jumping a 170) because containers will normaly accept 3 sizes of mains; soft, optimal, and "brick". But not all canopies have the same pack volume, i.e. a PD Storm 170 packs the same size as a PD Sabre2 150. Everyone is partial certain brands, but i'm sure all manufactures make good products. just do some research, and pick out the one you like, I personaly would start with; http://www.unitedparachutetechnologies.com http://www.miragesys.com/ http://sunpath.com http://www.performancedesigns.com
Have fun! p.s. don't forget to check out the classifieds on here.
Parachute Labs has the Racer Harness and Container, AngelFire reserve, and also the FireBolt Main.
My best advice for you is look around and try out everything you can. Most manufacturers have a demo program so you can "try it before you buy it" If you are insistent on purchasing new gear, get something that is going to last you awhile, i.e. a container that will fit a size smaller main canopy than what you're intending on purchasing. Most containers will comfortably fit a size above and below what they were sized for. So if you start with a container that is a size smaller it should be good for two downsizes. Consult with your local DZ staff or the manufacturers directly about this.
Second biggest advice I can give you is look for used!!!! You will have several chances to downsize and if you purchase new every time, it will get really expensive. Look around here and if you do want to purchase make sure you use a middle man (normally a dz or gear shop) to assist with the transaction and have a rigger you trust go through the equipment.
There are several canopies and containers out there and they all have +'s and -'s best thing to do is try it out for yourself. You are the one who will be jumping it. If you rely on the opinions of everyone else you may get something that you may not like!!! Again demo everything before trying to make a decision on one set system.
Also if you do decide to go new, also take into account price, delivery times, and customer reviews of customer service and the products.
Well that's all I have for you now. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask!!!
Don't buy new gear your first time out. What do you really know about what you want or need from a rig? You may have read or heard things, but in terms of actual experience, what do you have to go on? The student rigs you've jumped? One or two sport rigs you may have borrowed for a jump or two?
When you buy new gear, it's like buying a new car. If you try to sell it anytime in the first year or two with very little miles (jumps), you're going to take a big hit on the resale price. It's like throwing money out of the window (or door of the plane).
The other thing that happens is that you don't end up jumping as much as you think you might, and then you end up with a rig in your closet that's 10 years old with 100 jumps on it, and again, it's not worth what you hope it is.
So the solution is to look for used gear. If you put together a nice used rig that is 'mid-life', say between 5 and 8 years old with 500-700 jumps on it, you'll be able to jump it for a year or two and 100-200 jumps, and then be able to sell it for most of what you bought it for. You might end up losing $100 or $200, but that's about it. On top of it all, you'll end up putting up less than half of the cash you would if you bought new.
During that year or two, you'll learn a ton about jumping and gear, and will be in a mch better position to make an informed decision about your next rig purchase. There's a fair chance you'll end up buying another used rig because you'll see the value and flexability that it gives you.
Just for reference, I bought a new container last time I bought a rig. The reason was that I knew exactly what I wanted and that I would be able to get some good use out of it without wanting (or needing) to switch. That was in the spring of 2005, and I'm still jumping the same container and have 1500-ish jumps on it. In that case, it made sense to buy new beacuse I knew I would be able jump it to the point that I go tmy money's worth out of it. Duriung that same time, I've had two different canopies in the rig, and I bought both of them used because I knew there was a good chance I'd be wanting to change out the main after a couple years. It didn't make sense to buy new.
Just remember that any 'modern' rig that passes a riggers inspection is going to be 'safe' to jump. What's more important than fancy gear with all the options is that you have the cash to jump all day long on every sunny day the props are turning at the DZ. Put together a nice used rig for $3500, and then spend $3500 on making more jumps than the guy with the $7000 rig. The jumps are what it's really about, and what will make you a better skydiver, plain and simple. There's no replacement for air time.