Is Skydiving an Expensive Hobby?

Monday, October 31, 2022

Is Skydiving an Expensive Sport?

You’re coming in for landing, arms up, legs up, ready to slide in with your tandem instructor. You can’t stop thinking about what you just did, and how amazing it all felt. You’re ready to conquer the world! You want to do it again, and again, and again. Maybe even be a tandem instructor yourself one day!


Then, on the drive home, it hits you – is skydiving an expensive hobby? How will you afford your newfound passion? That depends on what you consider expensive, and how you want to go about financing your new set of wings.

is skydiving expensive

Cost of Getting your A Skydiving License

Is skydiving an expensive hobby? First, let’s break down the cost of our student program so you can answer that age-old question for yourself – is skydiving expensive?


Getting your A license is the first step on your journey to conquering the sky. Once you’ve completed your tandem, the process to get your A license starts with a six-hour class, called the first jump course.


Following your course, you will complete two phases of Accelerated Freefall (AFF) training jumps that vary in price from $130 to $330 each. Assuming you pass every jump on the first try (not everyone does, and that’s ok!), you will complete a total of 19 instructor-led jumps and six solos before achieving your license.


All told, you’ll pay between $3,000 and $4,000 to earn your A license certification. Want to save some money on your student program? Book your AFF jumps as a package deal!

aff skydive freefall with two instructors

Cost of Skydiving Gear

At this point in your skydiving progression, you are probably asking yourself, “where can I get my own super cool, color-coordinated, high-tech, perfectly fitting gear?” And then immediately following that up with, “wait, now how do I afford THAT?”


There are plenty of options when it comes to buying gear, and your best bet is to talk to your instructors or a rigger at your dropzone to figure out what is right for you. At Skydive Carolina, we even have a dedicated expert who can help you with purchasing gear. Experience level, budget, and aesthetics are all things to consider when deciding whether or not you are going to buy new or used gear, and both choices are equally valid.


By the time you finish your A license, you will want to own a complete rig, a helmet, an altimeter, and a jumpsuit. The cost of that gear varies widely depending on whether or not you are buying new or used, and can range from a few thousand dollars to more than $7,000.


In the US, there are four license levels and numerous skydiving disciplines. As you progress in the sport, there will be more gear to acquire depending on your interests, such as wingsuits, helmet cameras, and different types of parachutes. These purchases are all optional, and you are able to plan for these expenses as you work up to the experience necessary to fly in different disciplines.

wingsuit skydive landing skydive gear

Staying in the Sport of Skydiving

Once you have settled into your new life as a licensed skydiver, there are endless possibilities to look forward to. Quite literally, the sky’s the limit to what you can do. Jumping, traveling, learning, and new gear are all in your future. Whether you are attending an event, participating in a skills camp, or just staying current, there are costs associated with being a skydiver.


If all you want to do is jump enough with your friends at your home DZ to keep yourself safe, comfortable, and confident, you can have fun at Skydive Carolina for just $31 a jump. If you have the budget and desire to travel the country or the world, meet new people, and learn new skills, you can spend thousands every year cultivating new experiences.


Skydiving is what you make of it, and you can put as much or as little into the sport as you want to get out of it.

How to Save Money in Skydiving

One of the best parts of skydiving is the community. As you work through your A license and beyond, you will find yourself in a family of like-minded individuals who want to build you up and help you succeed. This community is where you will find the support you need to afford the costs of your skydiving career.


There are many different ways to offset the cost of jumping out of airplanes, and most of them can be conveniently found right at the dropzone. One of the most common ways new and experienced jumpers alike fund their skydiving habit is by becoming a paid packer.


You are required to learn to pack your parachute to get your A license, so why not use that skill to make some extra money? In addition to packing parachutes, there are other jobs at the dropzone that will pay you just to be in the environment you love! A lot of skydivers work in the manifest office, as ground crew, or even as instructors.

Are you ready to change your life? Register for the First Jump Course and get started! Have questions before taking the leap? Get in touch; we are here to support you.

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