How Skydiving Changed My Life - Brandon Kendrick

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of flying. I would have dreams that were so vivid that I could feel the zero-G sensation as I flew in my sleep. As a boy, I would climb onto the roof of my house and jump off with a towel stuffed in the back of my shirt, yelling, “Superrrrrmaaaannnnn!” Thankfully, I never broke any bones, because the secret would have been out, and my parents would have killed me once they learned of my dangerous hobby! No matter how much I tried to hide it, though, all the early warning signs were there that I was an aviation addict. more »

Profile - Ryan Risberg | D-22873

by Brian Giboney

Ryan Risberg, D-22873, is a vertical formation skydiving competitor and freefly organizer. He was a member of SDC Core, which won the gold in vertical formation skydiving at the 2015 USPA Nationals, and was also a member of the team that set the 164-way Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Head-Down Formation Skydive. Risberg, who is known for jumping in flip-flops, now travels the world sharing his knowledge and love of the sport and all facets of freeflying. more »

Gearing Up - July 2017

Ed Scott

More than once in past “Gearing Up” columns, you’ve read me urging jumpers to take a canopy course. Of course, since 2012, USPA requires those who want a B license to take one. But it’s generally conceded that it’s a good idea for all skydivers who haven’t done so yet to go through a canopy course, no matter how many jumps they have. It’s also a good idea to go through a refresher course if your last one was a while ago. After all, the average number of jumps made by those who died last year in landing accidents was 1,840. 

Last weekend, I finally took my own advice. more »

Profile - John Bull | D-6450

by Brian Giboney

John Bull’s love for the sport and the community is contagious. Bull made his first jump in 1978, and in 1981 he became a member of the Air Trash brotherhood of skydivers, to which he still belongs. Bull simply loves formation skydiving and is happy to jump with anyone on the DZ, from a newly A-licensed jumper to the most experienced of load organizers. He is an ambassador for the sport and the kind of guy you can’t help but love. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Rob Crimmins

I first learned of skydiving in 1961 at the age of 6. The television show “Ripcord,” about two guys who provided almost entirely fictitious parachuting services, aired that year. My older brother and I didn’t mind the implausible events, because we didn’t watch for the stories. We wanted to see the show’s stars in freefall, and those scenes were all real, taken with helmet cameras and from airplanes.

Until I grew to a size that made it consistently painful, I jumped off things. We lived on the water in Hampton, Virginia. The seawall stood four to six feet over beach sand, so that was a good spot. In the woods, we could leap from trees into nets formed of vines 10 or 20 feet below. That was risky, and there were times when I fell through to the ground, but I was never injured. We’d leap from the tops of the channel markers in the Chesapeake Bay, too. That venue allowed us to compound the fun, because another compulsion some of us had was to reach the bottom of every body of water we swam in, even when it was impossibly deep. more »

A Long Night in a Swamp

As a SoCal jumper, I don't have to worry that much about landing in trees or anything green. So I took seriously memorizing the DZ's aerial photo (the kind all DZs have hanging near manifest) when I went jumping in Maine. I knew where all the tree groves were, along with power lines, ditches and other obstructions. After a couple of jumps, I got comfy with the landing pattern, and I felt I knew my way around.

Around sunset, some good-sized cumulus clouds showed up, and I decided a hop-and-pop at 12,500 feet would give me some good photo opportunities. The view was indeed spectacular, and every minute or so, I would glance at the DZ to make sure I could get back. more »

Gearing Up - June 2017

Ed Scott

In "Five Minute Call," you'll read of the Oklahoma DZ owner whom a court ordered to pay a substantial sum to a 16-year-old injured in 2014 during a static-line first jump. Coincidentally, during that period, USPA's board of directors was once again debating what the Basic Safety Requirements should state as the minimum age to skydive. more »

15 Minutes of Fame

Fifteen minutes of fame. Everybody will have it once. I had mine in 1987 because I saved a life while skydiving.

Andy Warhol, the iconic 1960s American artist, is credited with the creation of the concept. This was long before the internet and YouTube. Back then, a person’s 15 minutes of fame depended on newspapers, a few broadcast TV channels and magazines. But even with the lack of today’s instantaneously streaming video, some events caught the attention of publishers and found their way to the public in a firestorm of media attention. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - John Cheesmond

 “It’ll change your life!” How often do we hear skydivers say this while trying to describe the indescribable experience to potential flyers? I often find myself looking out the door of the airplane, nodding at the beauty of the sky in a private moment that you all unknowingly share with me, then get back to focusing on the skydive and the incredible moments that the next few minutes hold. more »

Profile - Lisa Mazzetta | D-30274

by Brian Giboney

Lisa Mazzetta is a badass freeflyer who has been on four world record jumps, most recently the 65-way Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Women’s Head-Down World Record at Skydive Arizona in Eloy in November, as well as the 138-Way Head-Down World Record in 2012. Mazzetta is a big supporter of USPA’s Sisters in Skydiving program, which helps women develop networks to support each other in the sport. At Skydive Arizona in 2012, she co-organized the first SIS event and has put together a SIS event at the drop zone every year since. more »