How much does it cost to Skydive in the UK?
A common early question people first think about when coming to the sport, is ‘how much does it cost to skydive?’.
Skydiving has many costs associated with it, all necessary in order to make the sport as safe and as enjoyable as possible.
After all, you wouldn’t want to jump from an unsafe, poorly maintained plane, or use a rig or parachute that hasn’t been serviced properly.
Here is what it costs to get started skydiving, in the UK;
Assuming you’re jumping from between 10,000ft to 15,000ft in the UK, expect a tandem jump to cost in the region of £169 to £250.
If you buy all your AFF-levels and solo/consolidation jumps in bulk and you don’t fail any levels, expect an Accelerated Freefall A-licence to cost in the region of £1800 – £2000.
Assuming you buy all your jumps in bulk, and qualify in the minimum number of jumps (18), expect an A-licence via the Static Line progression to cost you in the region of £1200.
To get proficient at skydiving (A-licence + B-Licence), expect it to cost in the region of £3000
Student Skydiving Costs
Even if you only do one tandem jump, you are considered a tandem student and you will have a tandem instructor that you’ll be attached to
There is a one-off cost for your jump, and this covers
Flight ticket (plane; pilot; and aviation fuel)
A qualified tandem instructor, and the training required to safely exit, freefall, and land
The rig (harness; parachute; reserve; drogue chute)
Some drop zones do offer discounts if you book your tandem with a group of friends or colleagues, instead of doing a tandem jump by yourself.
Tandem prices can also vary whether you are jumping on weekdays or on weekends, and also depending on the altitude you are jumping from.
A mid-week tandem jump at 7,000ft costs from £149, however this only allows for 10 seconds of freefall. A weekend tandem jump at 15,000 costs upto £318, however this allows for 60 seconds of freefall.
for ground school and first jump.
Full A-licence Via Static-Line £1160
You can either do a static-line jump as a one-off skydive, or progress towards your A-licence so you can eventually jump by yourself.
Unlike the tandem jump, a static-line jump will require what is known as ground school training. This is a day long session, to help you familiarize yourself with all the safety equipment and safety procedures.
Once the ground school is completed, you’ll be able to perform your first jump, which will be from around 3500ft.
Each of the following 17 jumps after that gradually increases the altitude you’ll be exiting the plane from, up to the final altitude of between 12,000ft – 15,000ft.
The static-line progression consists of;
5 static-line jumps
13 free-fall jumps
A minimum of 18 jumps is required before you can qualify for your A-licence. However, Skydive Headcorn claims ‘The average person makes ten static line jumps before progressing to freefall and qualifies in around 25 to 30 jumps.’
If you fail a level, you will need to redo that level before you can progress to the next level. This will add to the cost of getting your licence, and prices will depend on location and the altitude you need to jump from.
However, expect a repeat level to cost around £30-£50.
Also be aware that if you have not jumped for at least 3 month, while still training for your A-licence, you will need to redo the ground school training.
A-licence prices can vary depending on location, and also whether you buy all the levels and jumps in one go, and if you need to re-sit, or re-attend a ground school.
The AFF A-licence is the first in four licences that are issued by the British Parachute Association.
The A-licence consists of
- 8 levels (introducing skills such as turns and tracking),
- 10 consolidation jumps (with the goal of improving/revising the skills taught in the earlier levels).
Ground School will cover;
- How all of your equipment operates.
- How to safely get in and out of the aircraft.
- How to respond to hand gestures given by your instructor(s) during freefall.
- How to pull your pilot chute.
- How to recognise the parachute landing area, and how to plan and execute your landing pattern.
- How to handle emergencies.
Level 8 – will require an instructor in the plane, but you will exit the plane at low altitude, alone, and pull the parachute within 10 seconds. This is the cheapest level and will cost in the region of £48 – £100.
Cost of AFF Resists And Currency
The cost of re-sits, also needs to be taken into consideration, according to Skydive Headcorn – “The average person qualifies for their skydiving A-licence in 21 jumps.”
Level 3 and Level 5 tend to be the most common levels where people fail, due to them being a milestone in the syllabus. Level 3 is the last jump with two instructors supporting you, and level 5 is the last jump before you exit the plane by yourself (you’ll still have an instructor with you, but your exiting of the plane is solely down to you).
Another factor that can affect the cost of your A-licence progression is if you don’t jump for a certain period of time.
If you don’t jump for a period of three months, while still progressing through your A-licence, your dropzone will more than likely make you redo the ground school phase (at a cost to yourself).
If you want to know if you meet the basic criteria for skydiving, try the Are You Ready For Skydiving Quiz?
Additional Costs Associated With Learning To Skydive
Wind Tunnel – While still doing student jumps, this is a cheaper way of working or improving the skills that may have cost you a failed level. iFly, for example, offers an AFF student package that provides 12 minutes of tunnel time at a cost of £130 (this is cheaper than a re-jump at levels 1-3 or slightly more expensive than a re-jump at levels 4-7, but provides 12 times as much freefall than a real jump). Tunnel Time is definitely a good option for those that are unsure about their abilities, or just want to get everything right the first time.
BPA membership fee, as of 2019 is £101.33
Flight Tickets – These will be included in the cost of the training, but once qualified you could be looking at between £20 – £35, depending on whether you buy in bulk and what licence you have (this does not include kit hire, or re-pack fees).
This can be bought either new, or used from a skydiving shop and skydiving facebook groups.
It’s generally not recommended to buy a brand new rig, as you are likely to grow out of it fairly quickly.
However, a caveat to that is, most drop zones will have limited rigs for hire, and will more than likely give current students the priority over graduate students. So, there are benefits to having your own rig
- Goggles – worth getting brand new for around £20. They will be more comfortable than the ones handed out at the dropzone to students.
- Analogue Altimeter between £60(used e-Bay) – ~£110 (new). This will be an essential piece of equipment, and best to get used to your own while still a student.
- Gloves worth getting brand new for around £21 depending on where you skydive, this may not be a necessary piece of equipment. However, some people jump with gloves all year round, regardless of weather.
- Helmet £10 used – £200+ (new) perhaps the last piece of equipment a student should buy, as you are limited to an open face helmet until you have your B-licence. Once you have your B-license you are allowed to jump with a full-face helmet.
Experienced Skydiver Tip:
While you may want to look cool going up in the plane, and swooping back to earth under a fancy parachute, the aim of the game should really be to save as much money as possible for jump tickets.
After all, what’s the point in having the latest gear if you can’t afford to use it?
Skydiving Costs For Qualified Jumpers
Once you have your A-licence, you’ll typically have the following costs;
Solo Jumps – £20 – £35, depending on whether you buy in bulk.
Re-pack fee’s – ~£5 This will usually be included in the cost of hiring a rig. However you can get others to pack your own rig, for the same cost.
Coached Jumps –
- Formation Skydiving (FS1) – the cost varies depending on where you jump, but expect to pay for the instructors jump ticket and something for his/her time ~£30 per jump. Plus £5 to get the qualification added to your licence.
More Tunnel Time – This will depend on how much time you buy in one go. As an experienced skydiver you can get 10 minutes for £130 (£13 per minute), if buying 1 or 2 hours it would be £10 per minute, going down to £9.50 when buying more than 5 hours of tunnel time in one go.
Renting a rig should usually be around £15. However, you will need to add a re-pack fee of ~£5.
Cost of Buying a Parachute Rig
Buying a Rig, this can be bought either new or used.
New – you can either buy individual components, or you can buy a complete package. Prices will vary based on size of parachutes and manufacturer, so the below is a very rough guide.
Main Parachute – ~£2,130 (for example a Performance Design reserve 193)
Container/Harness – £2,150 (for example a Vector3 micron)
Reserve Parachute – ~£1,400 (for example a Performance Design reserve 193)
Automatic Activation Device (AAD) – £860-£1375
Used – this will vary depending on how much life is left in it, and manufacturer.
Used – It’s hard trying to find a used set-up comparable to the new set-up outlined above. So, for fairness, expect the above rig to be in the range of ⅓ to a ½ of its brand new price – £2,351-£3527
The benefit of buying used is you will still retain a good portion of the cost, when you come to sell.
Updating your licence will cost £15 to claim your A-Licence and then an additional £5 for endorsements such as Jump Master, and Canopy Handling 2 modules.
Novelty Skydives (you will require at least a B-licence for he below);
From a balloon ~£60 and quite rare, especially in the UK.
From a helicopter ~£Unable to find a price.
How much does it cost to get Proficient at Skydiving
In my opinion this involves going from knowing nothing, to having your own gear and at the very least attaining you B-licence. The B-licence is important, as it allows you to, among other things, jump with other skydivers; pack your own parachute; and act as a jumpmaster.
It would not be advisable to jump less than 50 times a year. The more you jump, the more familiar you get with the process of skydiving.
50 jumps = 50 * £25 = £1250
All the gear = £7,055 (new) – £3,527 (used)
Coached jumps and tunnel time = assuming you go to the tunnel 4 times at £100 each time (£400)
Basic insurance is optional cost- ~£25 for a single day and upto £449 for international annual cover.
Whether your looking to perform a one-off skydive or make it a regular hobby, you will part with a bit of cash.
However, once you are up to a proficient level and have purchased your own equipment, it does become substantially cheaper.
For example, 50 jumps a year will cost on average £1250. Some gyms charge that as an annual membership.
As a one off experience, i’m not sure what else comes close.
As a hobby, it can easily take over your entire life.
Remember to share this, if you’ve found it helpful.
Do these prices surprise you?
Have they put you off Skydiving?
Let me know below.
If you found this article interesting, have a go out the Are You Ready For Skydiving Quiz?
© Domenic Mosqueira / Red Bull Content Pool
© Krystle Wright/Red Bull Content Pool