When to get your first gear? How many jumps should you have?
Jim Crouch, former USPA Director of Safety and Training, former DZO, currently living the dream flying other people’s airplanes.
Deciding when to get your first rig is a question that has plagued new skydivers ever since those first dudes in the 1700s were chucking themselves out of hot air balloons and they didn’t want to be caught dead wearing a student rig.
There are lots of considerations and the maze of buying gear needs to be traveled with someone experienced who can help you make the right decisions. None of the advice you get from standing around the bonfire at 3 a.m. should even be considered. Seek help from your S&TA, instructors and riggers. They will be the best resource for buying gear.
If you can find a used system that fits you properly with the correctly sized canopies for your experience level, you can save a ton of cash. Most jumpers keep their first rig for only a short time before peer pressure from a hangar full of idiots convinces them to buy something smaller than they are really ready for, so there are lots of used rigs available on the market (rapid downsizing is a problem for another article). Most used rigs can be shipped to your DZO or rigger without payment. So, you can try the rig on and have it inspected before you buy it or send it back if it is not what you need. So, buy your rig as soon as possible, once you have your license, but tread carefully and use the smartest people on the DZ to help you find your prized first rig.
That was fun right! Shoot us your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get our experts on the case.