How Much Does It Cost to Become a Skydiver?

Thursday, January 25, 2024

We’ve already talked a lot about how much it costs to tandem skydive. But maybe you’re thinking bigger! Maybe you’re thinking about the total cost to, y’know, learn how to solo skydive, kit yourself out and start a whole freefall love affair with your own skydiving license. Exciting stuff! So let’s cover the nuts and bolts of … how much does it cost to become a skydiver?

The answer to the question, “How much does it cost to get your license?” is a little more complicated than just throwing out a total number. That’s because the skydiving license cost includes multiple training phases that are required to become a certified skydiver. And each phase is priced differently depending on what’s involved.

In this article, we’ll cover everything from the skydiving certification cost to paying for jumps as a licensed skydiver.

How much does it cost to become a skydiver? Ask this guy.

The Cost of a License

How much does it cost to get a skydiving license in the U.S.? The United States Parachute Association (USPA) issues four skydiving licenses (A, B, C, and D) only after a candidate demonstrates mastery of certain criteria. Skydiving dropzones can offer their training curriculum, but the required fundamentals are universal.  

Skydiving licensing programs are split up into sections. At WNY Skydiving, our curriculum is divided as follows: 

Tandem Level 1 $275
First Jump Course$150
Tandem Skydive – Level 2$245
AFF Package – 7 Jumps$2320/$2250 Cash Discount
Parachute Packing Class$150
Coach Package – 16 Jumps$2884/$2800 Cash Discount

During AFF training, there will be two instructors with you in freefall for the first three jumps, a single instructor with you for the final four, plus radio assistance to help you during the parachute descent and landing. You’ll also learn how to pack your own parachute and even jump your own pack job before becoming licensed! 

If you need to repeat jumps, need to make recurrency jumps, or are coming to us partway through another program and need to start midway through the AFF program, jump packages can be adjusted to your individual needs. For additional details, check out our Learn to Skydive Cost + Packages page.

There’s one additional cost to consider, and that’s your USPA membership. You are required to hold a current USPA membership to be a licensed skydiver. As of the date of this article, new membership is $78.

When all is said and done, how many jumps do you need to become a skydiving professional? A minimum of 25 jumps is required to obtain an A License. Even if you pass every single jump on the first try, you still need to log 25 skydives before you can become officially certified. 

Interested in getting started? Give us a call at least 14 days ahead of time and we’ll roll out the red carpet.

Skydiving instructor and student, learning to skydive.

The Cost of Skydiving Equipment

We don’t encourage new students to buy equipment. You have a lot to learn and practice before you’re ready to commit to buying gear. Plus, the cost of rental is included in your training price, so you might as well take advantage of it!

Even once you have your license, it’s generally better to rent ($35 per jump, here at WNY) until you’re proficient and knowledgeable enough to select gear that’s right for you. Your skills and needs are going to change as you progress through the student program, so it makes more financial sense to hold off on buying gear until you’ve settled into the sport a bit. 

Once you are ready to buy, you have a few options for how you want to approach your purchase. A used complete skydiving kit — including a main parachute, a reserve, and a container system — will run you around $2,500 at the very low end. It’s possible to spend considerably more (like, three or four times that number) for a brand-new, state-of-the-art kit — though folks rarely do. Most skydivers have a mix of used and new gear, depending on what’s most important to them.

The peripheral equipment won’t cost you more than the equivalent of a couple of big nights out. Some examples: A used skydiving jumpsuit will run you at least a couple hundred dollars. A used visual altimeter won’t cost much at all (especially the older, analog versions). You can jump with a student helmet until you get excited about picking up a more comfortable (perhaps, full-face) version for around $300. Even now, these pieces of gear are considerably more affordable than a skydiving rig. 

Two solo skydivers, getting ready to jump.

The peripheral equipment won’t cost you more than a couple of big nights out. Some examples: A used skydiving jumpsuit will run you at least a couple hundred dollars. A used visual altimeter won’t cost much at all (especially the older, analog versions). You can jump with a student helmet until you get excited about picking up a more comfortable (perhaps, full-face) version for a around 300 bucks.

The Cost of Jump Tickets

Alright, so you’ve got your license, and you’ve got your gear, is skydiving an expensive hobby to maintain? Really, that part is up to you! While it is recommended that you continue to get into the air regularly to keep yourself current and safe, the cost of your skydiving hobby is going to depend on how often you’re jumping. 

Here at WNY, jump prices are kind of a Goldilocks situation. We have three different altitude “sizes” to choose from: big (14,000’ for $32), medium (6,000’ for $27), and small (3,500’ for $20). No matter what you’re working on, there’s an altitude for you. 

Our best advice for the whole experience: trade retail therapy for adventure and empowerment. The cost of becoming a skydiver cannot be compared to the price of happiness. You’ll be glad you chose to invest in YOU!

Questions? Call us today or start your journey with that first tandem skydive. Blue skies!

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