How Much Does It Cost to Skydive?
Want to try skydiving but are not sure how much it costs? How much you'll end up paying depends on a number of factors:
- Whether you're skydiving tandem (attached to an instructor) or by yourself
- If flying by yourself, whether you will be renting equipment or using your own
- Whether you're doing a dive one-off or going as part of a program or package
- What part of the country/world you're in
- The individual skydiving company
- Whether you add additional services (such as videotaping and pictures of your dive)
- Time of the week (i.e. weekday vs. weekend)
- Whether you're doing a real skydive or a simulated "indoor" skydive (using a vertical wind tunnel)
For most people who have never jumped before and who are "testing the waters," it's smart to go with a tandem jump. No training is involved, and you can leave all the technical matters to your instructor. You can just enjoy the experience and not worry about anything.
If you just want the sensation of flying or being suspended in the air, but don't want the experience of actually falling to earth and seeing the sky and horizon, there is the option of indoor skydiving (using a vertical wind tunnel).
However, if you absolutely love the thrill of skydiving and want to have control over exactly when you deploy your parachutes, then you'll want to invest the time and money to train. This will reduce your long-term costs since you won't have an instructor with you every time you jump.
So let's see some figures across these different parameters.
Skydiving is SERIOUS fun!
So how much does skydiving cost?
- Tandem skydive: $120-250 (includes all necessary equipment, but not a tip for your instructor, which is usually 10-20%).
- Solo skydive: $80-120 or as low as $25 if you have your own equipment and only need the ride up (remember, you have to have been trained already and be USPA certified).
- Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) Training package: Typically about $1,500 and includes 7-10 jumps (along with training, rides up, and equipment). Keep in mind that AFF typically requires about 8 hours of on-the-ground training before you head up for your first jump.
- Indoor skydiving: About $20-30 per minute (the freefall portion of a skydiving jump at 10,000-14,000 feet lasts from about 30 seconds to a minute).
Ways to reduce costs:
- Jump in a group. There can often be a discount of 10-20% if you can get together a group of five people or more.
- Jump during the week. Since most leisure-jumpers book on the weekend, you can get a better deal jumping during the week.
- Bring your own equipment. Although a complete kit of parachutes can run about $2,000 at the low end (used) to $10,000 at the high end for a new, state-of-the-art kit, if you plan on doing a lot of jumps over the next few years, you can save some money this way.
- Jump in lower-cost areas. Areas where the cost of living is relatively low will have lower jumping costs than areas with a high cost of living (for example, New York City tandem skydives can run close to $250 while those in Houston can be about $180).
- Book your next dives immediately after you jump. Probably taking advantage of your recent exhilarating experience, most skydiving companies will give you a nice discount on your second jump if you book it the same day.
- Weigh less! Seriously, a lot of skydiving companies will charge you more if you weigh more than 200 lbs since it uses more fuel and takes more of the pilot's time to ferry you up to jump altitude.
- Look for promotional offers. During slow months (when it's cold or overcast) some companies will run discounts or special offers (2-for-1, and the like). My first jump was bought with a Groupon, and we ended up saving $80 off a full-price jump.