Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

Winter comes for all of us, whether you’re of the Great House of Chicagoland or the Great House of Perris. While the season’s arrival clearly hits the Lords of the North hardest, every skydiver in the 50 Kingdoms needs to maintain at least some awareness of cold-season strategy. more »

Canopy Collision Decisions

Canopy Collision Decisions

All skydivers—no matter what discipline they pursue—learn how to avoid canopy collisions. Yet collisions remain one of the most likely ways to die in the sport. Part of the problem is that not everybody knows how to correctly perform emergency procedures after a collision, and the procedures are not common sense. You can only learn them on the ground. more »

A Look at USPA Finances

A Look at USPA Finances

The annual audit of USPA for 2016 completed in August 2017 reported sound fiscal management and accountability measures. more »

The Brave New World of Parachute R&D—How Computer-Aided Design Drives Innovation

The Brave New World of Parachute R&D—How Computer-Aided Design Drives Innovation

The story of a canopy is never as simple as scratching down some math and heading over to a cutting table. more »

Gearing Up - April 2011


On March 31, Director of Competition Larry Bagley retired after nearly a lifetime of service to USPA. Almost 16 years ago, he accepted an invitation to come work at Headquarters as the association’s first director of government relations. It wasn’t a light decision, since he had to relocate his family some 2,095 miles to work in the Alexandria, Virginia, office. He also had to resign from the USPA Board mid-term, since a USPA employee can’t simultaneously serve on the board of directors. That couldn’t have been easy either; he had already served 20 years on the board, eight of them as president and two of them as chairman. more »

Performance Designs, Inc. - Safety Day Canopy Inspection

Tag: Instructional, PD, Safety Day, Videos

Safety Day is here! Get basic guidelines on how to inspect your canopy. PD wants you to be safe and have fun. The more you know, the safer you are.

(Courtesy of PD and the The PD Blog) more »

Load Organizing 101—Tips for Successful Formation Skydives

“So, what does everyone want to do? Who wants to plan this dive?”

Although most jumpers don’t plan on becoming load organizers, everyone is likely to fill that position at some point in a skydiving career. Few drop zones offer full-time load organizing for their experienced jumpers, but with a little help, anyone can put together a successful dive. The goal of a load organizer is simple: to facilitate safe, fun and successful skydives on which everyone will have an opportunity to learn and be challenged. more »

Skyjacker—The Richard McCoy Jr. Story

Skydivers have a special ability the general public just doesn’t have. Unfortunately, that special ability can be used in devious ways...

He planned a skydive that he thought was brilliant—every aspect of the jump was meticulously orchestrated. But it was a skydive so dangerously ill-conceived that it changed his world forever and left him running for his life. more »

Stowless Bags



What are stowless deployment bags, and how do they work? more »

Going Low

Each of us, at some point in our jumping careers, will end up going low on a formation. Try as you might, there will come a day when you blow past everyone while diving to the base, or drop low after the formation collapses in a funnel, or all seven others on your jump will just seem to suddenly start floating above you. In freeflying, with faster freefall speeds, if a lower jumper suddenly corks (flattens out) below the others, the resulting collision can be fatal. And no matter what kind of skydive you’re on, if you are below someone, you are in the worst possible location for a parachute deployment, whether it is intentional or accidental. So, beneath a formation is not really a great place to be, and if it happens, you should have a plan for getting yourself into a safer position as quickly as possible. more »

Perfecting Your Students’ Flares

Anyone who has spent time observing students can probably recall a few awkward and ungraceful flares that resulted in some pretty scary landings. By and large, the most common error in a student’s progression is flaring the canopy too high above the ground—particularly during the first few landings, when a student is working on getting used to executing an entirely new and foreign skill. Fortunately, students use large canopies that are fairly forgiving of mistakes. more »

Pin Out on Exit

Although this jumper received a pin check a few minutes prior to exiting, his pin came loose prematurely, and he opened in a head-down position about six seconds after leaving the plane. Fortunately, he and the other jumper were unhurt by the premature deployment. more »

Profile - Brian Buckland | D-19047

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20113Brian Buckland once “cut away” by selling his house and walking away from a job with a six-figure salary in order to skydive and travel the world for two years. He’s a respected freeflyer who has photographed two world records for largest vertical formation (a 69-way in 2007 and the current 108-way record in 2009) and two Canadian, one Australian and countless state records. Additionally, while flying camera with his former team, Mandrin, Buckland won a USPA Nationals gold medal in vertical formation skydiving (VFS). more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Sofie Geckler


by Sofie Geckler | C-37668 | Miami, Florida

I must have been 25 years old the first time I was offered a chance to skydive. My boyfriend at the time was a master skydiver and a cinematographer; I was an artist, singer-songwriter, carpenter and horse trainer. I remember telling him, “I will never skydive. You have your passions; I have mine. I do not have to do everything you do. I don’t care if you jump holding someone else’s hand as long as we regroup at the end of the day. Have fun.” Besides that, I was just recovering from getting hit by a car as I was crossing a street, and I still had the trauma of the pain on my mind. more »

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