Showcase

99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

Given that wind conditions change constantly, being able to properly read and compensate for them is an important skill set for students and competition pilots alike.  more »

Finding the FLOW

Finding the FLOW

What Four High-Profile Accidents Can Teach Us About Finding the Ideal Mental State for Survival more »

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Most jumpers have a difficult time remembering the cloud clearance regulations, but understanding the reasons for the different altitude requirements can help you remember the necessary information. more »

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 »

Climb Out, Freak Out, Chill Out—A Guide to Filming 4-way

This article is for jumpers who already have some experience flying camera and are trying to expand on their knowledge of how to film formation teams in a competition setting. I will focus mainly on 4-way, because I believe it to be the most difficult FS discipline to film (aside from VFS), due to the many different exits and faster key speeds. However, once you have a firm grasp of shooting 4-way, the same principles can be applied to 8-way and larger formations. more »

Point Break—20 Years Later

photos courtesy of Tom Sanders/ Aerial Focus

The filming of “Point Break” began in early 1990; the movie opened the summer of the following year to mostly positive reviews and left the audience hungry for more skydiving. Never mind that some critics, such as Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly, mused, “’Point Break’ makes those of us who don't spend our lives searching for the ultimate physical rush feel like second-class citizens. The film turns reckless athletic valor into a new form of aristocracy." Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for many people, the speedstar over Lake Powell touched their souls and made them want to jump out of planes. Ultimately, “Point Break,” starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, ushered in a new era for the sport of skydiving. more »

Gearing Up - February 2010

In 1962, USPA’s forerunner, the Parachute Club of America (PCA), was garnering the results of its two principle efforts—promoting skydiving and working for skydiving’s acceptance by government agencies. Only five years earlier, the organization had changed its name from the National Parachute Jumpers and Riggers, Inc. and changed its constitution to move away from commercial promotion of exhibition skydiving to become an individual membership organization of recreational skydivers. The PCA ended 1958 with 807 members; it ended 1962 with 6,800 members. But another number increased as well: Parachutist reported five fatalities “in the 24 months of 1959 and 1960,” but 1962 alone had 19 reported fatalities. more »

Profile - Brian Giboney | D-21070

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20102Brian Giboney wrote his first “Profile” column for the February 1999 edition of Parachutist, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Since that first piece (which profiled Eric Fradet) came out, he has been by far the magazine’s most reliable contributor—producing 12 installments a year for 10 years now. In this, Parachutist’s 121st “Profile,” the tables are turned. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Mark Perry

 

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by Mark Perry | C-37171 | Naples, Florida

I began this wild and wonderful sport of skydiving like most, by taking a trip to the local DZ on a dare; I experienced the thrill of freefall with a tandem jump. A month later, I made one more tandem and was hooked. My good friend, Angel, and I decided to continue the thrill and step it up a notch by wearing our own rigs. After a year of AFF and accumulating enough jumps, we were skydivers! I felt confident enough in my skydiving skills to invite my wife, Debbie, and son, Nick, to visit the DZ and share in my enthusiasm for the sport. Debbie had no interest in skydiving, but out of her love for me she wanted to be there to support my new hobby. At the end of the day, and after witnessing one of my less glamorous landings, she turned to me and said, “Are you sure this sport is right for you?” I assured her that skydiving is safe and told her that I would get better at my landings with a little more practice. Nick thought that his old man was just going through a phase and the hobby wouldn’t last. more »

A Low-Cost Life Saver

Q:
How do I make a closing loop? How do I know if mine needs replacing? more »

Light Box

TRICKSOFTHETRADE20101-1Light tables can be a real help when working with canopy fabric, but they're a little bulky, especially for a rigger who works out of varying locations. Here's a more portable option: a light box. Just find, buy or make a plastic or glass box that will be big enough to light a worthwhile area, but small enough to fit inside most canopy cells. Install some small lights on one half of the interior of the box. LED lights are probably best, since they're highly shock resistant and give off almost no heat. A set from a big box store costs around $10. The top surface of the box can be translucent plastic for most purposes, but would have to be made of sturdy glass if any hot knifing will be done on it. A clear piece of glass or plastic can be made translucent by spraying a very light coat of white paint on the inside surface, which will help brighten and even out the light. more »

The Reasons for the Rules

While every skydiving fatality is a tragedy, tandem student and instructor fatalities are doubly so. But the truly tragic part is not just that two lives are often lost in a single accident, it is the fact that most, if not all, tandem fatalities to date could have been avoided by sticking to standard procedures. A trained, professional tandem instructor controls a tandem jump from the ground training to landing, but in spite of that, tandem fatalities have been on the rise over the last five years. more »

Performing a Wingsuit Gear Check

With the rise of popularity of wingsuiting, even if you’ve never flown a wingsuit, you may be in the position to give a gear check to someone wearing one. Although many of the techniques go back to the basics of skydiving, others are particular to the discipline. Adding to the confusion is that wingsuit design varies by brand and model, and suits can be rigged differently depending on how the container is designed or due to jumper preference. So if there is ever any doubt as you go through the following steps, consult the manufacturer. more »

Gearing Up - January 2010

As the USPA staff prepares the 2010 budget for review and approval at the February board meeting, we first determine the issues and initiatives that need to be addressed in the new year. In government relations, USPA has developed winning strategies that assist current and prospective DZOs with their airport access issues. These days, more often than not, skydiving is securing its right of access to airports that receive federal funding. But the workload on staff is demanding, so we’re determined to put more resources on our web site so that airport access issues become more do-it-yourself, under USPA guidance, while still remaining successful. more »

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Staff

Ed Scott
Publisher

Elijah Florio
Editor in Chief, Advertising Manager

Laura Sharp
Managing Editor

Colby Walls
Graphic Designer

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