When it comes to a risky sport like skydiving people usually want to be extra safe on equipment. For this reason many skydivers refuse to buy used equipment – obviously saving few bucks is not at all good idea if that’s going to cost your life.
Indeed, it makes sense to avoid buying sensitive parts of the equipment like the parachutes second hand. If there is some hidden defect or some important parts are worn this could potentially increase the risk of accidents. On the other hand, if someone has used the parachute and is alive to sell it to you, obviously he hasn’t have an accident with it so it works.
Excluding the debatable areas, there are some pieces of equipment that most skydivers agree can be bough second hand and others that are not.
It’s not recommended to buy used…
…Helmet. Skydiving helmets (and most helmets for other sports as well) are created to handle one impact only. The helmet you are buying may have no visible damage, but even if it has been dropped on the ground it might have lost its protection power. Buying a second hand skydiving helmet is unsafe.
I wouldn’t buy used jumpsuit either. First, it’s like used clothes, they fit to someone’s body and will never fit as good on yours. Second, the wears on the windsuit are also hard to notice and although there is no such danger like with the helmet, it can be very unpleasant to have it tear while jumping.
Some used skydiving equipment you could consider buying
The less sensitive and related to safety the equipment is, the more appropriate for buying second hand it is. Also generally the electronic stuffs like the altimeter for example either works or not. It’s fairly easy to see if the altimeter is damaged or not, so it’s kind of OK to buy it used.
The AAD is sensitive, but is also electronics and could be bough used if you are sure in the seller or if it is still in warranty.
The best gears you can safe from are these unrelated directly to the jump things like video cameras, jumptracks, batteries, shoes etc.
Buying second hand harness is a questionable idea, I would say “no” to it.
Whatever parts of your skydiving gear you decide to buy second hand, don’t rely on seller’s word: carefully check the quality of the items yourself and spoil the deal for the smallest doubt.
If you have luck finding good second hand equipment and choose carefully, you can save from few hundreds to few thousands bucks.