Nov 18, 2012, 11:03 AM
Post #1 of 15
Dazed and confused!
I have recently finished my A Licence and I am looking to buy my first rig. I started my search looking for a good used rig, 230 main & reserve, rectangular or semi-eliptical, reasonably in date AAD, container that wasn't bright pink... The usual! After the best part of a month scouring the classifieds I found only 1 rig (230 Sabre 2, Javelin container, perfect) that would fit my criteria but just my luck I missed out on it.
So with nothing else jumping out of the classifieds at me and being a little flush with cash at the minute I am seriously toying with the idea of just buying a complete new rig. This has it's pros and cons as I am sure you all appreciate but thinking more about it the pros are starting to out weigh the cons.
So here is my question.... No longer being restricted to whatever canopy/container type I can find that will fit me in the classifieds, what canopy/container would you recommend?
To help in your sage advice giving here are a few details about me... I'm 5'11", 185-190lbs (depending on how many burgers I've had that week!), 32 year old guy with 27 jumps.
Thanks in advance be assured all advice however random is greatly appreciated!
Remember, you don't have to buy a complete rig. You can buy individual components to make up what you want. You do need good advice from a good rigger or instructor. I don't know what's that like in the U.K. but there is lots of BAD advice available in the U.S.
And if you buy something new you don't need to buy everything new.
You might as well buy an AAD new. That you can move to your next rig. Your reserve shouldn't change much unless you go from normal to low bulk.
You, sir, are the exact same size as me. I too went and am going through this process. Allow me to share with you what I have learned.
First things first, if you spring for a new 210 canopy you'll end up downsizing almost immediately and then you'll be right back where you started. I'm flying a 190 for another 30-50 or so jumps and then plan on flying a 170 for my next several (5? 6? 7?) hundred jumps. Canopy size will depend on your comfort/skill level but you'll be downsizing pretty rapidly on your way to 100-200 jumps so I wouldn't buy new just yet.
I'd piece-meal things together if I were you, the full package for a 6'0 190lb guy tends to sell out immediately after it's posted on DZ.com. Seriously, I've emailed about rigs 4 minutes after posting and somebody else had already grabbed them. It's insane, primarily because it's such a common size for a normal guy right off student status.
Wings stock containers are almost always 40% off on their website and various free/included options will change on a monthly basis.
New gear will run you twice (or more) the price of used gear. If for any reason you need (or want) to sell it before you put 500 jumps on it, you're going to lose a ton of cash. If you don't put 500 jumps on it within a 4 or 5 years and try to sell it, you're going to lose a ton of cash because it will be 'old'.
Financially, new gear isn't a great move for anyone who isn't in a position where they know they can really 'use' it for a number of years and several hundred jumps. For example, I have 8 years and 1500 jumps on my current set-up, and will replace it over the winter. For me, that was a 'good buy'.
Send a PM to 'likestojump' on this site. He buys/sells used gear as a business, and does a lot of business internationally. I know him personally, and he can be trusted with your money and that he will deliver what he says, when he says, and in the conditions he says.
You can literally save $3000 (or more) buying a used rig over a new one, and the used rig will hold it's value pretty well. You should be able to jump it for 3 or 4 years and 200-300 jumps, and sell it for 80% (or more) what you paid for it.
Take the money you save, and spend it on a trip to some place with sunny weather and a busy DZ, and make 50 or 100 jumps. That's a way better investment in skydiving than a brand new rig. The used rig will serve you well, but the extra jumps and time in the air will serve you even better.
I'm flying a 190 for another 30-50 or so jumps and then plan on flying a 170 for my next several (5? 6? 7?) hundred jumps. Canopy size will depend on your comfort/skill level but you'll be downsizing pretty rapidly on your way to 100-200 jumps so I wouldn't buy new just yet.
In reply to:
Respectfully I gotta agree with what other more experienced instructor types are telling you here.
You're really in no position regarding experience to be passing on advise of this nature, especially to someone you don't know. That kind of thing gets people bent up way too often.
Until you log some REAL time in the saddle, and earn some advanced licenses & ratings it just might be best for everyone for ya to consider kicking the 'teaching' desire down a few notches...even IF you have those MADD SKILLZ people brag about - the person you're speaking to may not. It's hard enough to assess skill levels of someone you're working with in person much less from behind a keyboard.
You may be comfortable with the downsizing strategy you've chosen to follow but in all honesty it's a little quick.
If you were to take a few hundred jumps to totally learn how to wring out every ounce of performance in that 190 you will be a much better position to put the spurs to it on a 170...a minor mistake can easily translate to a major one on a smaller canopy if you haven't commitment to the instant recognition & muscle memory reaction part of save-ass-survival.
Again, not trying to be condescending toward you but at this point you kinda fall into the 'you don't know what you don't know' category...no doubt in my mind 1000 jumps and a few more years in the sport and you'll agree with me.
Thanks for the advice so far it really has given me some food for thought!
This is all rather confusing and I don't think I will be able to make an informed decision until I have jumped some canopies that are around 230-210 and see how they feel. So this leaves me having to wait until I finish work in February and I am back in the UK (as if I'll be able to get any jumps in in Feb in the UK)... I may very well end up popping over to Perris (where I did my A Licence) and getting some jumps in there, I'm pretty sure they have rental rigs around the 210-230 mark I can have a go on and I can bend my instructors ear and see what they think!
Anyway thanks again for the advice it is all taken on board!
Agree with the above posters on low-time jumpers giving advice to lower-time jumpers. As far as down-sizing goes, I have 2700+ jumps and jump a Spectre 210 with NO plans to go any smaller. I am 70 years of age, weigh 145 pounds and do not need to go screaming through the sky at 40 MPH. I just want a reliable rig that will get my arse (and the rest of me) down safely.