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Calvinchu49

Noob having trouble finding gear

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I've been looking everyday on Facebook and DZ.com for used gears for the past 5 weeks- still no luck. It seems that only 20% of people who I inquire for their gear respond.

I really don't want to continue renting gear and would rather invest in an old rig... some riggers tell me to go with a new container/harness and used canopies, some tell me to go all used, buy used parts and put it together (I'm way too new to even think about this now), some told me to go all out and blow my money on new everything (not gonna happen).

Any feedback or direction from your first gear purchase experience would be grateful. Thanks

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Finding suitable gear depends upon a number of things and all coming together in the perfect storm.

Finding individual suitable components is one approach as you may find people parting out or selling components when changing gear or downsizing. Canopies are standard items which are generally not customized to the individual jumper. Containers on the other sizes have harnesses sized to the jumper. So if you have strange measurements ie. You are really tall or wide then finding suitable containers may be an issue.

Also as you are new finding larger containers/canopies can sometimes be a bit tricky as they are always in demand and often go quickly.

The advice about buying a new container and used canopies may be applicable if your wanting to find something that fits you perfectly. Often larger canopies suitable for new jumpers can be sold without much of a price loss when your ready to downsize a bit.

I would also say try on some other new jumpers gear that is suitable for you to get and idea of what container sizes work on you.

The final point is now we are coming into jumping season - available gear sometimes diminishes as people are jumping it. What is available goes quick.

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I don't know where you are, but sometimes if you go to one of the big/major DZ's, there will be some rigs in their loft or gear stores that are old and ugly. Which makes them cheaper. Might even be worth a trip if it's not stupid far.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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You'll find this a lot easier if you develop a great relationship with your rigger! A good rigger can advise you on what you need and can help you navigate the intimidating process of pulling all your pieces together. She'll also be able to receive and inspect used gear you order to protect you and the sellers from scams. Some riggers charge for these services; others don't (but offer anyway). Well worth it.

(There's no self-interest here BTW--I'm not a rigger, just a fan. :)
ecd

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kawisixer01

Is my DZO/Rigger the only one out there that helps people find their first rig and considers this an important part of the journey to getting folks licensed and going in the sport post license?



No. But it's not as common as I think it should be.

OP:

Have you put the word out at your DZ?
Some of the "crusty old guys" grew up in the sport when a new jumper would get the "hand me down" rig from the DZ. Usually an older, "less pretty", but serviceable rig with a nice big, slow canopy in it. That rig would serve a new jumper for the first hundred or so jumps, then be sold (for a fairly low price) to the next guy in line.

It's fallen out of fashion to a large degree, but there's probably a suitable rig in the back of someone's closet that the owner would sell to a new jumper for a reasonable price.
Again, not new, not pretty, probably not free-fly appropriate (but you should spend that first hundred or more jumps getting good on your belly anyway), but serviceable.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have told my DZ, and even my old instructor in California who is a rigger. I guess since it's high season I just need to be a little more patient and wait it out...

It would be nice if there was some kind of "mentor" in place to help noobs. I've heard of people having wonderful smooth experiences which resulted them to remain super active in the sport. I've also heard of people who drop out completely and don't get further than their AFF or A License because they have no idea what to do and help isn't easily accessible.

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As they said, the first time buying gear is frustrating.
You're not known in the sport, so you don't know how to check references or it's weirder to grab the phone and call a DZ to check on a jumper before you send money, or the other way around if you want people to send gear to you, you can't just say "call manifest here and there and ask who I am" etc.
I think the first time is important to have an instructor or a rigger go through the process with you. You also have less chance of people trying to push either wrong gear to you, or rip you off selling old shit for a lot more than it's worth.
When I went through it, my former AFF instructors helped me out. I would send them links to see if I was looking at the right gear, then they would contact them since they sell and buy stuff all the time.
And eventually the rigger at my DZ happened to have a rig that was perfect for me.
But I had to go through many steps, ads, calls, mails, even return a rig that was too big for me, it happens.

I would recommend you to try doing that instead of doing it alone.
The second time around will be much easier because you'll know more and you'll have a better network, know people in most DZs you can ask about, have contacts working in big gear shops and factories, so selling and buying gear can be almost fun after a couple of years in the sport.
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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chuckakers

Contact the big guys - Square 1, Chuting Star, etc. They all carry used gear and can find anything you want.

And their prices seem to be pretty competitive, esp. on the new components you might need.

The one price advantage out there is to find the right rig for you owned by someone who just wants to get rid of it. I've seen some amazing deals from that. But it can take a long, long time to find "that guy".

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Try posting an ad in classifieds for what you're looking for. Might not work, the the price is right.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Calvinchu49



It would be nice if there was some kind of "mentor" in place to help noobs. I've heard of people having wonderful smooth experiences which resulted them to remain super active in the sport. I've also heard of people who drop out completely and don't get further than their AFF or A License because they have no idea what to do and help isn't easily accessible.



This is one of the reasons (in hind sight) that I was so glad to have learned at a small DZ. They have a small number of students going through the progression, so that even if you return once after your FJC, most of the staff would at least recognize you. It made it really easy to figure out who I could talk to while going through my student progression, and once I got my A, most of those that taught me, continued making fun jumps with me... So for anyone looking to get licensed, i would always suggest a smaller DZ over a larger one for this very reason! Of course there are negatives to this also, small, slow planes, not having large numbers of skilled up jumpers to get better, etc... But the community and family-feel I get at my home DZ make up for that.

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