Saving money when you’re shopping your way down a grocery list is straightforward. So, more or less, is saving money a car, or an apartment, or a new suit. Saving money skydiving is quite a bit less straightforward. Figuring out how much it costs to learn to skydive — and where to save a few bucks, here and there — requires learning a bit about why skydiving costs what skydiving costs. We want to help!

1. Why does it cost more to skydive at some places than others?

First-time skydivers have a confusing situation on their hands when them when they start researching the cost of a tandem skydive. The prices are pretty different, and it’s not entirely obvious why. It’s easy to be boggled by this; after all, Isn’t a skydive the same no matter where you go? Isn’t it just a matter of getting up in a plane and getting out?

Actually, though the basic markers are the same, a skydive is materially very different depending on where (and how) you go. Here’s a little background information–and some good news!–to help you make an informed decision.

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2. Is skydiving equipment different depending on where you skydive?

For reasons of safety, we believe here at Skydive Chicago that any gear used in parachuting has to be top-quality equipment, maintained in excellent condition. The reasons are for peace of mind, It’s about the comfort, because the quality of the parachute makes a big difference in the softness of your landing. Not every dropzone cleaves to the same high standards that we do.

3. Is it a good idea to save money by buying a cheap skydiving Groupon?

Cheap skydiving flash sales might have dollar signs flashing in your eyes, but hold up– double-digit skydiving prices are never quite the deal they pretend to be. If you read the fine print, you’ll often notice that add-ons bring the price pretty much right back up to where it was. (Case in point: Some Groupon skydives will bring you in to the dropzone only to be charged to wear a parachute! What-WHAT?!)

Secondly–and most importantly–bargain skydives aren’t great skydives. Ever. Often, cheap skydives are desperation deals offered at fly-by-night operations that burn themselves out with volume and don’t pay the totally-necessary attention to comfort and safety details. Buyer beware!

learn to skydive - aff afp training

4. What’s the true investment you make by buying a skydive at a great dropzone?

When you purchase a tandem skydiving experience, you’re purchasing one of your life’s landmark moments. Why not do it right? Skydive Chicago offers a resort-quality experience that you can enjoy all day, even after feasting your eyes on our pastoral landscape from freefall. Make a day of it, and join us for a dip in the swimmin’ hole, a game of volleyball, a couple of drinks at our world-famous skydivers’ bar and a sweet little campout. When you fold up your tent (or drive away your RV), you’ll leave with a feather in your cap that you’ll be strutting for years.

So: How about it? Can we show you what a great value learning to skydive can really be?