The Truth On Skydiving Gear Equipment Pricing

ChutingStar receives daily emails, phone calls and social media messages on skydiving gear pricing, mostly related to complete gear packages as they'll see new advertisements, supposed "special offers" or web listings that claim to have the "best" price.

It's difficult sometimes to cut through all of those claims because of how the pricing is bundled together and/or final pricing add-ons for options, shipping, rigging and the like. But we're going to try to make sense of it all for you to give you peace of mind that you're not getting ripped off.

First off, all skydiving gear dealers are skydivers like you. We're out jumping, rigging or flying in a wind tunnel every week using the gear we purchased from the same manufacturers that also sell us the gear you're buying from us. We've all been in your shoes buying that first piece of skydiving gear, our first rig or the latest new gadget to make skydiving, rigging or wind tunnel flying even more enjoyable than it already is.

We all started selling and/or servicing skydiving gear to fill a need of skydivers needing gear advice, and because of the great service we provided ended up growing a small service into a full-time job...usually with the help of a drop zone, manufacturers and other gear shops. It's a small industry, and almost everyone knows everyone. 

The bottom line is that all skydiving gear dealers are selling the gear at about the same price once you figure in all the different discounts, rewards or shipping prices. There are definitely occasional sales, usually put in place by the manufacturer, but those too are spread across to all gear shops.

Because the skydiving industry is so small compared to something like golf, skiing or the like, the items are not mass-produced. So these items are manufactured, assembled and built individually or in small batches. This means nearly all businesses in skydiving are considered a small business...usually family owned. And they've figured out over the years just what price their items need to be sold at to keep them in business helping each customer.

The pricing is what it is, and is more often than not set by the manufacturer. There aren't volume discounts for buying 10 altimeters as compared to 1. As the price from the manufacturer doesn't change based on the volume each gear shop buys. It's just one price.

Other industries, such as retail clothing or jewelry may have huge mark-ups that allows for huge sales or discounts at times throughout the year, which just isn't the same for skydiving gear since it's already priced at a very slim margin.

Gear package pricing is just advertised differently from each gear shop based on what each store owner decides to focus on or has found that draws customers to come to them. But in the end, the final pricing of a complete rig from shop-to-shop comes out about the same due the extremely slim mark-ups in skydiving gear.

In the end, you want to find a shop that is going to help you through your order from start to finish and beyond. Find a shop with staff members you can talk to, have years of skydiving experience and will be around for many more years to come to help with any questions or issues once you're jumping your new gear every weekend.

It's the heart of the shop that matters more than any price as in the end any price differences are going to be slim to none. Yet finding shop staff members that will be around for years to help you with your next piece of equipment or your next rig are few and far in-between.

And yes, while we obviously feel ChutingStar is THE place to purchase and have serviced all of your skydiving gear due to our commitment to a consistently high-level of customer service, our experienced skydiving staff and our attention to detail, we know there are a few other shops around the world that provide that same level of service. Just keep in mind the pricing in the end will be about the same no matter how you slice it.