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bqmassey

Gear Depreciation

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Have any of y'all ever taken to time to figure out what it's costing you to jump your own gear? You could use that info to set aside money for future gear replacements. It might also be helpful when determining the value of used gear you're trying to buy or sell.

I'm curious to see what numbers people are using.

I imagine that the more thorough way to do it would be to have both monthly costs and per jump costs figured out.

Monthly Costs
o reserve repacks
o AAD maintenance/replacement
o depreciation due to things just getting older (whether they're being jumped or not)

Per Jump Costs
o Wear/tear on container/harness
o Canopy depreciation
o New linesets

I haven't worked it all out, but I'd think that $30/month and $3-5/jump would keep most people covered. I guess those numbers would be higher if you're starting with brand new equipment.

Any of you taken the time to figure this out for your own gear? Anyone maintain a gear maintenance/upgrade fund?

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You've listed things that are known and quantifiable with time and/or use of gear. Just thinking a bit more afield, you could also add an estimate of the risk due to less certain events:

- stolen (without insurance, or cost of insurance to insure)
- possible loss of value to a main after a chop (damaged in recovery, or lost for good)
- possible loss of PC and freebag in a chop.

Obviously these would be hard to quantify and space out over time and jumps (and I don't know, for example, what fraction of mains and FB/PCs are irretrievably lost after a chop), although taking the insurance approach might help. I can't imagine they would add too much (although the loss of a main, if it happened, would be huge).

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It's an interesting concept, but there's some additional variables to be considered.

Like a brand-new car, a brand-new piece of gear has instant depreciation the moment the owner "drives it off the lot." However, if you buy relatively recent used gear at a fair price, you can often get out of it almost what you put into it. And just as a rising tide lifts all boats, an increase in the price of new gear can increase the prices people are willing to pay for used gear.

To use two examples from the only gear I've bought and since sold:

Spectre 230 bought in 2005 with 450 jumps and a new lineset for $850. Sold in 2007 with 650 jumps for $800. Cost/jump $0.25.

Pilot 210 bought in 2007 with 200 jumps for $900. Put a new lineset on it for $300 and sold in 2009 with 500 jumps (and only a few on the new lineset) for $1100. Cost/jump $0.33.

Now, when/if I ever sell my Pulse (which I bought brand-new) I expect my cost/jump to be higher because I took the "new gear" hit. I probably won't bother to sell the Raven II reserve I have because it's an older reserve that I probably won't get much out of and I'd rather keep it around for a backup or to loan some newbie who needs a reserve for a while as they're getting started.

I don't maintain a fund, per se - my regular income covers the routine stuff, and I have an adequate amount in my savings that I can dip into it for a large purchase if I need to without worrying about hurting my emergency fund. Often, I'll think about buying new stuff when I get my bonus each year (or in one of those three-paycheck months I get twice a year). This year, PD's price increase coincided with the receipt of my annual bonus, which is why I have a shiny new Optimum in my closet purchased just before the prices went up.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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There are almost too many variables to consider regarding a 'per-jump' or monthly cost...

Where & when you jump effects wear & tear, how you pack, how well you maintain it, reserve packs 'not scheduled'.

On & on...

That being said~ I make about 200 jumps a year, I land clean and pack indoors, don't have an AAD, do most simple maintenance myself...so 150.00 a year for planned repacks = .75 per jump. ;)

I keep my gear until it's worn out then throw it in with all the other gear, I have every parachute I ever bought for 35 years, when I'm done with 'em...they're DONE! ;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Gear depreciation is not a linear curve. Similar to a car, new gear depreciates faster than used gear. On top of that, things out of your control will effect the value of your gear, like color choices and new technology.

You can order a new rig today, and if your colors suck, the resale value will be lower.

If you order a brand new Sabre2 today, and three months from now the Sabre3 comes out, say good bye to your top dollar resale value.

Owning a rig is nto rocket science, or that expensive in the scope of skydiving. For the price of one weekends worth of jumps, you can own and maintain a rig, including repacks, AAD maintenance, and repairs for a year. It's not big business, and doesn't require that much thought.

In terms of replacement values, if you lose your main, you need to buy another one. You need 100% of the vaule saved on the first jump if you're trying to 'budget' for rig ownership, and that's not practical. Do what everyone else does, wait until you lose your main and worry about it then. If you have zero dollars, borrow a canopy and save your penny. If you have a little money, but a cheap replacement. If you have money in the bank, buy a better one than you lost. Of course, there's always credit cards.

Aircraft owners have a known cost per hour for their engine maintenance and overhauls, but most of that it based on those components being life limited by the number of hours flown, or the detailed record keeping of 1000's of A&Ps, so they know how long things last. On top of that, and overhaul can cost upwards of $20k, so you might want to 'save up' for that.

I'll admit that gear isn't cheap, but once you buy your first, it's not so bad. Ownership isn't overly pricey (1/3 less thanks to the 6 month repack cycle), and when you want to change your gear, you sell what you have and buy something esle with the proceeds. Like I mentioend above, in the general scope of skydivign economics, it pales in comparion to the cost of jumps. if you can afford jumps, you can afford to own a rig.

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But....at least it wears out quick!



I don't know, I put a couple thousand on a few Stilettos, and am coming up on a thousand on my current Velo (which already had 100 when I bought it).

A jumped a Racer for 3000 jumps, although it got a new harness halfway through that. It wasn't damaged or worn, I had them update it to an articulated harness.

My current Infinity has about 1000 on it now, and I have no plans to replace it anytime in the next few years.

Hell, I'm still jumping a Bonehead I bought 13 years ago when they first came out. It's held 10 or 12 different video and still cameras in different configurations over the year, but it's still going strong. Although, I did replace all the padding a couple years back, those certainly don't last forever.

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There are almost too many variables to consider regarding a 'per-jump' or monthly cost...

Where & when you jump effects wear & tear, how you pack, how well you maintain it, reserve packs 'not scheduled'.

On & on...

That being said~ I make about 200 jumps a year, I land clean and pack indoors, don't have an AAD, do most simple maintenance myself...so 150.00 a year for planned repacks = .75 per jump. ;)

I keep my gear until it's worn out then throw it in with all the other gear, I have every parachute I ever bought for 35 years, when I'm done with 'em...they're DONE! ;)


Jim as a primarily work jumper, factoring in running cost, depreciation and replacement would be in your best interest. Putting aside a small amount per paid jump to cover all those things would make replacement a lot less $$$$
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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Thanks for the posts. Yea, I understand that you can't account for everything and that not everything is easily quantifiable. That's why I was curious if anyone does this, and if so how much they put away.

I'm close to owning my first rig, and I do think I'll start to put money away per month (for AAD and repacks) and per jump (for wear and tear). Because these things aren't easily calculated, I'll probably add a safety margin. It wouldn't cover major losses, like losing a chopped main or having something stolen, but it should be helpful when it comes time to sell a component and buy something new.

I'm starting with used equipment (about 200 jumps on the main, 200-300 on the container, 2 repacks on the reserve) so I'll be able to avoid a lot of the depreciation.

I'm thinking I'll set aside $40/month and $5/jump. That should leave me with a nice little fund when I decide to replace some equipment. If it doesn't cover it, it'll at least be a head start.

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I'm thinking I'll set aside $40/month and $5/jump. That should leave me with a nice little fund when I decide to replace some equipment. If it doesn't cover it, it'll at least be a head start.



That's way more than a lot of people do - some people are scrounging around for $50 at repack time even though they (usually) know it's coming. It'll also put you in a good position if you decide to replace equipment, because you may be able to buy a new-to-you piece of equipment without having to sell your old one to get the cash out of it first. That gives you the flexibility to hold out for a fair price on what you're selling and jump on a good deal for what you're buying.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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That gives you the flexibility to hold out for a fair price on what you're selling and jump on a good deal for what you're buying.



Yea, that's a position I'd really like to be in when the time comes. The best way to make money is to save money. You get taxed on money you make, you don't get taxed on money you save :)

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