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Real Talk About Skydiving With a Cold
Features | March 2019

Real Talk About Skydiving With a Cold

By Annette O'Neil

As a skydiver, you probably take the advice of doctors on health questions involving skydiving with a few grains of salt, right? I mean, if it’s important enough that you’re actually going to bother asking somebody outside of the internet, your fate seems predestined.

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Fly Girls!
Features | March 2019

Fly Girls!

By Amy Chmelecki | Photos Courtesy of Red Bull

The Second Annual Red Bull Fly Girls Summit at iFLY Orlando and Skydive DeLand in Florida hosted 55 of the country’s best female skydivers—professional and amateur—during the first weekend of 2019. The summit celebrated women in skydiving, a sport that men have traditionally dominated. With its event, which featured a variety of seminars, tunnel time and fun jumps, as well as a competition and an instructional rating course, Red Bull hoped to inspire more women to become skydivers and grow the sport accordingly.

Author: Deborah
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Banish Unsightly Wrinkles Forever—How Packing Affects the Lifespan and Appearance of Your Container
Features | March 2019

Banish Unsightly Wrinkles Forever—How Packing Affects the Lifespan and Appearance of Your Container

By Riley Marshall

Have you ever noticed how two containers with the same number of jumps on them can look vastly different? This is a result of many factors, which you should take into account every time you use your rig.

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Knowledge and Networking
Features | March 2019

Knowledge and Networking

USPA's 2019 Drop Zone Operators' Conference

Every two years, USPA brings together drop zone owners, operators and staff for a day full of presentations and discussions on all the latest important issues for DZs. This year, USPA held its 2019 Drop Zone Operators’ Conference February 3-4 in Dallas, Texas. About 100 DZOs, speakers, Federal Aviation Administration representatives and sponsors met to share information on everything from safety to marketing to keeping young jumpers in the sport.

Author: USPA Staff
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New Faces, Fresh Ideas—The 2019 Winter USPA Board of Directors Meeting
Features | March 2019

New Faces, Fresh Ideas—The 2019 Winter USPA Board of Directors Meeting

A USPA Staff Report

Following USPA elections last fall, the USPA Board of Directors gathered for the first meeting of its three-year term February 1-3 in Dallas, Texas. The new board welcomed six new members, two of whom had previously been on the board and returned after a hiatus.

Author: USPA Staff
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Life's a Beach... and Then You Fly!
Features | March 2019

Life's a Beach... and Then You Fly!

A Parachutist Photo Essay—Photo's by Norman Kent

Author: Norman Kent
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Energy and Excitement—The 2018 USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships
Features | March 2019

Energy and Excitement—The 2018 USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships

By USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard

USPA held its 2018 National Collegiate Parachuting Championships at an unusually frigid Skydive Arizona in Eloy December 28-January 2. Skydive Arizona has hosted numerous Collegiates over the event’s 61-year history, and as usual, owners Larry and Lil Hill, Safety and Training Advisor Bryan Burke and the rest of the staff held a fantastic and successful competition despite the surprisingly chilly temperatures.

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We’re Not Here for Tandems— Team Blackstar Fills the Blanks in Skydiving’s Greater Story
Features | February 2019

We’re Not Here for Tandems— Team Blackstar Fills the Blanks in Skydiving’s Greater Story

By Annette O'Neil

In the fabric of stories that makes up the history of skydiving, there’s one notable place where the material dwindles into a frayed edge: the part that weaves in skydivers of color. If you’re not so sure about that, I’ll just put it this way: Google “the history of African-American skydiving.” The first hit is for Team Blackstar.

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Stepping It Up–03.09.2019
Features | February 2019

Stepping It Up–03.09.2019

A Parachutist Special Section

Safety Day—traditionally held on the second Saturday in March—represents the beginning of a new season of skydiving. Whether you're from a northern drop zone that shuts down for the winter or you’re a fair-weather jumper from the south, you’ll soon catch yourself staring out the window listening to the birds sing, watching the trees bud and daydreaming of the jumping days ahead. If you’re like many jumpers across the country, you’ll start pulling out gear that has sat unused for months. Now is the time to check your data cards, dust off the electronics and charge the batteries. The 2019 season will soon be here.

Author: USPA Staff
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Sky Seekers
Features | February 2019

Sky Seekers

A Parachutist Photo Essay

The country of Egypt currently has no civilian drop zones, but that didn’t stop Alia Parachuting and Air Sports Federation—an organization that helps facilitate sport-skydiving activities in the country and abroad—from putting together an amazing boogie over the pyramids of Giza December 9-11.

Author: USPA Staff
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The Future is Limitless—Blacklist 2
Features | February 2019

The Future is Limitless—Blacklist 2

By Scott Lazarus

In mid-November, some of the world’s best wingsuit flyers and canopy pilots joined an equally talented group of canopy formation skydivers to stretch their limits at Project Blacklist 2, a four-day invitational event at Skydive Sebastian in Florida. Made possible by the evolution of multiple skydiving disciplines in the past decade, Blacklist gives jumpers a chance to fly together and explore their diverse skill sets in spectacular fashion.

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Heavy Drop—Making the World's Largest Flag Jump
Features | February 2019

Heavy Drop—Making the World's Largest Flag Jump

Photos and Text by Mark Norman

Breaking world records in skydiving is not easy, as anyone who has taken part in one will attest. And nearly doubling one is harder yet. Needless to say, it was no simple task when Abdulla Al Mansoori and Samir Al Ammar, management at Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, decided that the DZ would take on the challenge of hosting a jump with a 4,885.65-square-meter (52,588.70 square-foot) flag to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Flag Flown While Parachuting (set by Ralf Grabowsky of the CYPRES Demo Team in July 2017 with a 2,698-square-meter flag).

Author: Mark Norman
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USPA Mourns Skydive and President George H.W. Bush
Features | January 2019

USPA Mourns Skydive and President George H.W. Bush

By Christopher Needles

Skydiving has had many great moments, but none surpass the first skydive by President George H.W. Bush. Now it is with great sadness that the skydiving community bids farewell to one of its own. President Bush was 94 years old.

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Coming Together
Features | January 2019

Coming Together

Skydivers Join Forces with Kids for Peace

When some of the best skydivers in the world learned that Kids for Peace was launching the Do It for Peace campaign to inspire people worldwide to take action, they just had to be part of it! On September 27, 34 world-class skydivers with a combined total of 195,000 jumps united and accomplished a peace-sign formation at Skydive Elsinore in California.

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Epitomizing the Sport: The 2018 Hall of Fame Celebration
Features | January 2019

Epitomizing the Sport: The 2018 Hall of Fame Celebration

By Doug Garr

Lew Sanborn, D-1, was holding court outside the Bird House bar, relaxing with old timers whose jump totals were in the thousands. Just a few yards away at the other end of the facility, a couple of tandem students were gearing up for the experience of a lifetime. Nobody knew whether they would become skydivers or were merely weekend seekers of a thrill ride. In between, skydivers of every age, from everywhere and from every discipline, champions and casual weekend jumpers, gathered. It was the kind of atmosphere that epitomizes our sport. It was the International Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame weekend at one of the iconic locations of sport parachuting: Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida

Author: Doug Garr
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Aging Gracefully: Skydive Elsinore Celebrates 60 Years
Features | January 2019

Aging Gracefully: Skydive Elsinore Celebrates 60 Years

A Parachutist Photo Essay

Some say that aging gracefully is hard. But on Saturday, November 10, Skydive Elsinore in California showed that time is on its side and age is just a number as it celebrated 60 years of top-notch skydiving at the drop zone’s home, Skylark Airfield. Current, former and aspiring jumpers flocked to the event. Among them was Larry Perkins, the son of the drop zone’s founder, Cy Perkins, who on March 1, 1958, took a skydiver (whose name is lost to time) up in his Cessna 172 and let him fall out. 

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Down for 50
Features | January 2019

Down for 50

What Jumping in 50 States During One Trip Can Teach You

It was the best worst idea (or, perhaps, the worst best idea).  It came, as all the best worst ideas do, over coffee.

It bubbled up one wintry Slovak afternoon as my partner, Joel Strickland, and I were taking a mid-tunnel-camp break. As I snuggled down into a beanbag chair with my thermos, I checked my phone. A dear friend—the inimitable Melissa Dawn Burns—popped up to invite us to visit her in Alaska, where she and her husband have been flying planes over the wilderness at the world’s end. I’d never been to Alaska. I’d always wanted to go.

Suddenly, a thought occurred out of the ether. I turned to Joel.

“Hey, do you want to jump in all 50 states?”

“No,” he said, without missing a beat.

A few moments went by. I kept scrolling.

“Wait. Yes.”

And suddenly, it was real.

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Freefall Celebrates 100 Years
Features | January 2019

Freefall Celebrates 100 Years

A USPA Special Report

On April 28, 1919, 23-year-old Leslie Irvin did something many had long thought impossible: He jumped from an airplane—intentionally untethered by a static line—freefell 1,000 feet, deployed a parachute and landed safely. And so freefall as we now know it was born.

Author: USPA Staff
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Article rating: 4.0
Terms and Concepts for Comparing Canopies
Features | December 2018

Terms and Concepts for Comparing Canopies

by Hollie-Blue Allum for Performance Designs

Being a new jumper can be overwhelming. You graduate from AFF and are constantly learning new information about disciplines, the flow of the drop zone, landing rules and more. On top of that, you have a big choice to make: What canopy should you buy? To be fair, this will continue to be a significant question all the way throughout your skydiving career.

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Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie
Features | December 2018

Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie

A Parachutist Pictorial

Jump for the Rose is a skydiving charity that raises funds for a beautiful facility called the Rose, a nonprofit breast cancer clinic that Dorothy Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo founded in 1986. The Rose helped Marian Sparks, the founder of JFTR, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had no insurance. Sparks paid it forward by creating a fundraiser to help uninsured women (and men) get help at the Rose.

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The 2018 National Parachuting Championships
Features | December 2018

The 2018 National Parachuting Championships

Photos by David Wybenga

USPA held its 2018 National Parachuting Championships at sunny Skydive Sebastian in Florida September 19-28. This was the first USPA Nationals for DZO Amanda Smalley and staff, and they did a spectacular job handling all of the expected (and unexpected) issues that arose.

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Pillar of Sportsmanship
Features | December 2018

Pillar of Sportsmanship

Greg Windmiller Receives the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

On September 27, USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard called Greg Windmiller, D-20004, to the podium during the awards ceremony at the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting to receive a gold medal. It was not Windmiller’s first gold. In fact, it wasn’t even his first gold that day, as he had just won the canopy piloting speed event with a perfect-300 score.

Author: USPA Staff
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Gold Medals on the Gold Coast
Features | December 2018

Gold Medals on the Gold Coast

The 2018 FAI World Championships of Artistic Events, Canopy Formation, Formation Skydiving and Speed Skydiving

A USPA Staff Report with contributions from Team Managers Eli Godwin, Karl Meyer, ShawnaRae Miliano and L.J. Wobker

The world’s most elite skydivers representing more than 40 nations made their way to Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, for the 2018 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Parachuting Championships of Artistic Events, Canopy Formation, Formation Skydiving and Speed Skydiving October 6-13 to vie for World Champion titles. The U.S. showed up with a healthy delegation of 12 teams and six speed competitors to compete in 10 events.

Author: USPA Staff
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Staying Warm and Safe on the Winter Jumps
Features | December 2018

Staying Warm and Safe on the Winter Jumps

By Magaly Sandoval | Photos by David Gerstein

Skydiving in winter can be a beautiful experience. Flying your canopy through the crisp air over snow-covered fields is an activity you definitely should try and may find you enjoy. It can be challenging—and even potentially dangerous—but it’s a very rewarding and safe experience if you prepare for it properly.

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Rhythm’s Guide to Team Budgeting
Features | November 2018

Rhythm’s Guide to Team Budgeting

By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP

So, you’d like to form a skydiving team and you’ve found other skydivers to join you. Congratulations! Now what? The good news is that the greatest hurdle is behind you. The next step is to come up with a team budget.

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Camaraderie and Community
Features | November 2018

Camaraderie and Community

The 35th FAI Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships

Determining world champions is not the only purpose for holding world championships. Promoting the sport, exchanging knowledge and information and strengthening friendly relationships between participating nations are equally important. The 35th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships at Dropzone Erden near Montana, Bulgaria, August 24-31 offered the chance to do all of those things.

Author: Lindy Leach
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The 2nd FAI Wingsuit Flying World Championships
Features | November 2018

The 2nd FAI Wingsuit Flying World Championships

Photos by Scott Callantine

In the Olomouc region of the Czech Republic lays Prostějov, a city of more than 44,000 people that dates back to the 12th century. Home to the 601st Special Forces Group of the Czech Armed Forces, the airport in Prostějov has a history in parachuting going back to 1960. The drop zone Jump-Tandem, owned by Martin Dlouhý, a professional skydiver of more than 33 years, has been host to multiple world events, including two Vector Festivals, the CYPRES 25th Anniversary Boogie, three European Championships, two Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale World Cups and now two FAI World Championships.

Author: USPA Staff
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Swooping San Diego
Features | November 2018

Swooping San Diego

Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships

For the first time in the U.S., a swooping competition came to the heart of a major city, giving the non-jumping general public a front-row seat to the dynamic, high-speed, spectator-friendly sport of canopy piloting. The Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships came to the waterfront in downtown San Diego September 14-15, and the action lived up to the hype.

Author: USPA Staff
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On Valor—Skydivers Work Together to Help a Hero
Features | November 2018

On Valor—Skydivers Work Together to Help a Hero

By Annette O'Neil

When it happened, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, a Navy explosive ordnance disposal operator, had already been serving his country for a dozen years. Those years had been good, full, strong years. On the day in question, the mission at hand was most certainly not Stacy’s first. All the way back in 2010, the USO presented its Service Member of the Year award to CPO Stacy for his key role in more than 50 combat missions while he’d been deployed to Afghanistan. Over the course of that decade-plus, Stacy had destroyed improvised bombs, trained both Afghan forces and U.S. Special Forces members on delicate clearing techniques and helped ensure the zero-casualty rate in the province where he was doing the good work.

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The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships
Features | November 2018

The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships

By Steve Hubbard

Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, hosted the 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships September 4-18. This was the first time the mid-sized Midwestern drop zone hosted a national championships and despite a few unexpected challenges, DZO Doug Smith, Director of Marketing Becky Johns and the rest of the CSC staff rose to the occasion to ensure a successful event.

Author: USPA Staff
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