Is Skydiving An Expensive Hobby?

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Ahhh, you’re one of the lucky ones who caught the bug after your first jump. The majority of people see skydiving as a one-and-done deal, a check on the ol’ bucket list! But sometimes, there’s the first-time jumper who immediately gets it. You know what we’re talking about; you land from your first jump and your first thought is about going again. Then a bit of reality kicks in and you ask, what does it take to have skydiving as a hobby? How expensive is skydiving as a hobby? As one of the most extreme (and fun) sports in the world, the answer may surprise you. Let’s break it down! 

Step One: Get Licensed

Under the United States Parachute Association (USPA) there are four skydiving licenses: A, B, C, and D, which are achieved in successive order. The licenses are based on the understanding and completion of certain skill sets while skydiving, along with written examinations. This process ensures the jumper is able to understand the “why” behind a particular concept and effectively put it into practice. The first license you’ll earn on your skydiving journey is the A-license! 

solo skydiving at Skydive MonroeAt Skydive Monroe we offer the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program, which is considered the most comprehensive and efficient skydiving training program. At program completion, you are eligible to pursue the A license. The AFF program cost is broken down by training jump due to varying costs associated with ground school and instructor-assisted jumps. Your first jump plus ground school is $289 (or less!) and the subsequent AFF jumps are between $145 and $195 each. 

  • What is ground school? It’s exactly what it sounds like! Ground school is training on the ground prior to your first jump. It addresses everything from potential malfunctions and freefall maneuvers to how to safely land your canopy. 

All told, getting your A-license generally costs between $3,000 and $4,000. Don’t let this cost scare you – we promise it’s worth it! Why is skydiving so expensive? Getting licensed requires instruction from USPA-rated instructors, coach jumps, ground school, packing class, gear rental, and wear and tear on the aircraft.  

All hobbies cost money – think about golf, scuba diving, climbing, mountain biking, and photography. Each of these hobbies requires an investment in top-notch gear, travel to neat locations, and sometimes membership fees. When it’s all said and done, the cost of learning how to skydive is easily justified. Plus, skydiving gets much cheaper once you’re licensed and own your gear.

Step Two: Secure The Gear

What is skydiving gear? Helmets (sometimes goggles), altimeters, a complete rig, and if you prefer, a jumpsuit, are all parts of the skydiving gear necessary for a successful skydive. A complete rig consists of the container (backpack), two parachutes (main and reserve), an AAD (Automatic Activation Device), and a Reserve Static Line (RSL). The AAD and RSL are required by some dropzones, and optional at others. Both are additional safety measures, and in a sport that prioritizes minimizing risk wherever possible, both are recommended. 

Skydiving gear can be bought 100% used or brand-spankin’ new, and generally ranges from a couple of grand to about $8,000. Some people choose to buy the entire setup straight from the manufacturer and others opt for the cheaper option of purchasing through trusted individuals who outgrew their gear – it’s completely up to you! If you ever need help purchasing used or new gear, reach out to your instructors or rigger for guidance. 

Step Three: Enjoy It!

is skydiving good for youYou’re all set with your snazzy new license and gear, now what? Have fun!

Is skydiving a cool hobby? Uh, yes. Most fun jumpers (a term meaning solo skydiver) spend their weekends at the dropzone casually jumping with friends, while others travel the world to different boogies (events), and some are professionals who make the sport their career. The sky is the limit! 

Get ready to take a big sigh of relief when you hear this: each jump for a licensed skydiver (with their own gear) costs only $32 here at Skydive Monroe. While skydiving has a seemingly huuuuge upfront cost, there is a bright, shining light at the end of the tunnel pushing you to go for it! 

Bonus Step: Tips And Tricks To Save Money In Skydiving

What are the disadvantages of skydiving? Skydiving will absolutely take over your life and it’s up to you to find a healthy balance! As your passion for the sport grows, it can be fostered by pursuing different avenues in skydiving. Skydivers often progress through the licenses while achieving ratings, such as Coach and Instructor, and becoming videographers

Becoming a teacher in the sport (although the learning never ceases for anyone) not only gives the satisfaction of introducing baby birds to the skydiving world, but it has a monetary benefit. The most lucrative type of instructor is a tandem instructor. But perhaps the most fiscally successful and easily learned dropzone job is the packer. Packing parachutes is SERIOUS work for obvious reasons. Packers generally make anywhere from $7 to $15 per pack job (depending on the type of rig and who’s paying!), with each pack job taking about 8-15 minutes. MUNZ! 

Ready to spread your wings and leap into the world of skydiving? Please reach out with any further questions, check out our FAQ page for prospective AFF students, and book your tandem today to kickstart your journey to becoming a fun jumper! We can’t wait to help you soar!