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Whysojumpy

Vortex/Volt set up: Opinion?

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I am thinking about capitalizing on the Christmas deal PS is having for the complete jump ready bundle (AAD purchased separately) for $4050. Vortex rig, Volt main, PS decelerator reserve. This would be my first Rig.

At a price point like that for a new complete rig I was definitely asking questions as most people I know jump Javelins, Vector, Glide, etc. that are a good bit pricier. Like... where are they making up that few thousand less $$?? I've not been able to find too many reviews online on the Vortex/Volt/Decelerator set up. What I have seen has been mostly positive but it seems it is a little bit less well known.

All of my student jumps have been on a Sabre 2 with Javelin/ Vector and I've downsized once in 44 jumps (WL 1.13). Trying to hear from people that have this rig or have some experience with it as to how it performs, safety record, if it compares to the Sabre II, etc.

Really want to pull the trigger on the rig but dont want to jump the gun and get something that I wont be happy with!

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I know a guy that has a Vortex rig with thousands of jumps on it. He says he loves it. From what I've gathered, they are solid rigs. I havent spoken to anyone who said they did not like theirs. The mark-up in skydiving gear is solid and so there is room to lower the price if any lesser-known manufacturer wanted to in order to compete on price. I think $4000 for a brand new custom container, main and reserve is is a really solid deal. I've bought mid-level containers from top brands and paid $3000 just for the container alone. B|B|

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The mark-up in skydiving gear is solid and so there is room to lower the price if any lesser-known manufacturer wanted to in order to compete on price



LOL. One wonders where you've gotten your info on margins for skydiving equipement.

The price difference in this case most likely comes from lower fixed costs - mainly labor - than the US brands. PS rigs are manufactured in South Africa, where labor is less costly than it is here in the US. There are a handful of reasons they may be able to keep materials costs below those of some of the bigger-name manufacturers as well, without necessarily seeing any negative effect on the quality of those materials.

If a manufacturer wants to teach customers that their equipment is worth about half that built by the competition, they can make that strategic choice. But any company should be mindful of both the message their pricing decisions may inadvertently send, and of the possibility they may get stuck in a low-price tier forever. It is *very* difficult to raise your prices when customers are accustomed to bargain-basement rates.

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They're great rigs, I'm very happy with mine, and I've never met another Vortex owner who wasn't happy with theirs. I've never flown a Volt, but I've only ever heard good things about it. There seems to be a consensus out there that it's a better Sabre2, more or less. The Decelerator is a fine reserve too; the one time I needed to use it, it was one of the most boring canopy rides I've had. It was great.

At $4500 + AAD, it really is a fantastic deal. Normally I'd say too good to be true, except that in this case, I know it is true.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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Yes, my feeling is that the pricing difference this brand vs the major, more expensive brands comes from a combination of factors. Less R&D and somewhat less expensive construction details are a small part of it. All makers have copied from one another, but being later in the game PS skipped some of the learning steps.

Less desired brands have to do something to make themselves attractive and pricing is probably the single most effective thing they can do. Just looking around at who has money, who spends on advertising and sponsorships, who runs their operation 4 days a week with long holiday shutdowns will tell you that some of these brands are very profitable. There is nothing wrong with this, but it clearly shows there is a fair amount of room for lower user prices.

And of course, some or perhaps most of the PS production is done outside the US. The USD price is a huge factor in the ability of SA based companies to operate profitably at a lower price than US companies. Their products are high quality and represent better value to the end user. But their position in the hierarchy of demand means that if and when you want to sell them you will face a very low demand and price situation. Few people are shopping for a used Vortex or Volt. They want a Javelin or a Vector or a Curv, or a Mirage, or a couple of the other more regional but still established brands. (I'm sorry if I left your brand out) And nothing holds its value like a PD Sabre 2. Its just plain ridiculous how much these are valued at used.

To me this means that if you want brand new gear and you believe that you will be keeping it for several years PS gear can be an excellent choice. It also means that if you are on a low budget and you find used PS gear you can get a smoking good deal. But beware of paying too much.

Parachute gear from SA has been available at a discounted price since at least the early 90s in different brands. It has always been better priced copies of American brands. The quality has always been at least acceptable and often equal. And they have always been a little behind the curve on the latest technology. That's because they aren't big enough or profitable enough to be the innovators. They are always the followers. But the pace of change in these products is not that high, so many people don't really care.


Edit to add....After re-reading your post and looking at current package prices I have to note that the price difference is not "a few thousand dollars". When you add in the AAD and a Skyhook the difference between this package and say a Vector with PD canopies is more like $1500 or so. Still significant, but maybe not as much as you were thinking.

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gowlerk

But their position in the hierarchy of demand means that if and when you want to sell them you will face a very low demand and price situation.



This is huge to keep in mind. Spend 5K on a used PD/vector setup, and chances are you can sell it for 4500+ 2-3 years later. Not sure if you'll be able to do that with the Vortex setup. Only time will really tell.

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