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mbondvegas's Reviews (11 reviews)

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Z-Hills is a Top Tier DZ!


Skydive City - Z-Hills Rated 5 by: mbondvegas on 2007-12-04

Pros: Lots of them!
Cons: Few of them!

  Professionalism
  Vibe
  Aircraft
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  Location
I spent 3 days in Z-Hills on a recent trip to Orlando. I REALLY liked this DZ.

Facilities:
This place is a DZ you can live/camp at for a long time, tons of camping spots and RV hookups, as well as City Hall, the Hard Dock Cafe, Sunshine Factory Store, etc. The facilities are right up there with Eloy and Perris!

Aircraft:
They had 3 nice Otters while I was there. I think this is what puts them behind places like Eloy and Perris as they do not have any selection in aircraft. Also, I do not like that they do not use bench seating on all of the planes...sitting on the floor sucks That said, the planes were nice and appeared to be well maintained.

Vibe/Fun:
The DZ had a LOT of RW jumpers when I was there and they had oraganizers every day....so if you love to do RW (2-10way), this is your place.

Personally, I prefer wingsuiting and they have perhaps the biggest wingsuit group of any DZ. Chuck Blue was organizing on one of the days I was there and I had a great time on every flight.

Z-Hills is a top tier DZ that seems to put a lot of focus on having organizer's in RW and Wingsuits. I think they should consider getting a Skyvan (I mean..with all of those wingsuiters...they really need a Skyvan...OK...a CASA would be OK too) I do think they were a bit slow to utilize the second otter(at least on my visit) and they could have gotten several more loads up if they were better at recognizing when it makes sense to run multiple aircraft.

All in All, my visit yielded some awesome jumps and I can't wait to go back soon!

I hear they throw some good parties too!



(Review ID:4260)


Beware Tandem Jumpers


Vegas Extreme Skydiving ( Las Vegas ) Rated 1 by: mbondvegas on 2007-11-12

Pros: No Fun Jumping
Cons: Just Another Tandem Mill

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They do not allow licensed skydivers here. If you are a tandem, you should wonder WHY?

(Review ID:4229)


Nice Place; I can see why Swoopers love it.


Mile-Hi Skydiving Center Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2007-09-15

Pros: High Altitude Landings; Huge Landing Area and Great Scenery
Cons: I think the "hayride" to the landing area/loading area really slows things down

  Professionalism
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I only spent a Day at Mile-Hi, but it was a pretty nice place. I was there during the week, so it wasn't as busy as I am sure it is on the weekend. From discussions I had with some locals, it sounds like this place is packed with Tandems on the weekends...which can be good and bad.

I thought the packing area was kind of small given the size of the DZ, and I thought the ride to the loading area really slowed the whole process of (jump; pack; jump; pack; jump) down a bit.

Anyway the Otter was nice and the landing area is HUGE!!! Beware the 5K altitude of the landing area on your first few jumps...its definitely a bit faster than most are used to. Beware the prarie dog holes which seem to be all over the place. They have a huge swoop pond too.

I rented a rig as I had not brought mine on my trip. They have REALLY nice/new rental gear; Mirage's with PD canopies.

All in all, it is a nice place with good facilities and nice aircraft.


(Review ID:4134)


Great Place to Jump-Laid Back


Skydive Louisiana Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2007-03-07

Pros: Great Vibe; Quick Turnarounds; Bill was Great; Beautiful Scenery in Freflight
Cons: Only 182's but they had 2 running so that was great.

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This is a nice small DZ. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Bill, the DZO, is super friendly as were the locals. It definitely has a bit of local flare which adds to the fun of visiting the DZ. I'll be back when I come back to Shreveport for a visit.
(Review ID:3081)


Everyone Has to Go to Eloy


Skydive Arizona Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2007-01-20

Pros: World Class Facilities, Lotsa Aircraft, Tunnell, Lotsa Jumpers
Cons: Not the most scenic DZ

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What can you say about the Biggest Baddest DZ in the world? Eloy is like a campus: Pool, Coffee House, Restraunt, Bar, Riggers, Massage Parlor, Loads of Camping, Bunkhouse, Skydiver Inn, etc.

Oh yeah and they have a Tunnel and loads of Aircraft.

The Southern AZ weather makes Eloy the place to be in the winter...but probably not so much in the summer.

If the weather is jumpable...Eloy will have loads going pretty much anyday of the week.

The view from altitude is not the most exciting but the landing area is very nice and the nearby area is virtually totally flat and offers lots of outs.

Like Perris...Eloy is one of those places ever skydiver should checkout!

(Review ID:3651)


Perris Has Everything


Skydive Perris Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2007-01-03

Pros: The have all the BEST TOYS!
Cons: It is a busy place.

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Let's face it, if you've been skydiving long, you've probably already been here, but for those who haven't and do not know....PERRIS HAS EVERYTHING. A Jet, A Skyvan, 2 Otters, A Tunnell, A Bar, A Resteruant, A Pool, A ProShop Etc.

This is one big DZ with all the cool stuff you could ever want. It is well run and well organized. The weather is usually great although the summer can be kind of hot and yield a reasonable amount of dust devil activity. My only negative comment is that the grass landing area is kind of small and always crowded. Don't get me wrong the landing area as a whole is HUGE...you just might get your canopy a little dirty in the process.

Perris is a little big and busy for my day to day taste, but when you want to do a bunch of jumps and have all the coolest toys around...it is the place to be.

(Review ID:3606)


Space Center is worth a visit!


Skydive Space Center Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2006-12-04

Pros: Nice Ocean View! Super Fast King Air! High Alti!
Cons: Kind of slow on my visit.

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I only jumped here for one day, but I had a good time. The King Air is super fast and gets to 15K+ in less than 15 minutes. The facilities were adequate and the locals were nice. Things were kind of slow on the Sunday I visited; 1 hour between loads. The landing area is nice and big. Off airport outs are few if you were to get a bad spot. There were also quite a few ultralights about during my visit. All in all, it is a great place to visit to experience the fast flights to 15K+!
(Review ID:3571)


DeLand is a must visit.


Skydive DeLand Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2006-12-04

Pros: NICE Aircraft and Facilities
Cons: I didn't notice any in my visit!

  Professionalism
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My visit was only on a weekday, so I can't speak to what a busy weekend day is like, but to my suprise, there were plenty of jumpers and plenty of loads to keep me happy even on a Monday! The facilities are right up there with Perris and the like: nice bar/restaraunt, store, nice packing area, huge landing area with a lot of potential outs; nice chilling areas, etc.

I guess they have an Otter and Skyvan running on the weekend, but during the week they had the PAC750 running and it was REALLY nice. Not as fast as the SpaceCenter King Air, but still pretty darn fast and VERY nice.

The people there during my visit were all nice and I had no problem finding someone to jump with.

All in all, DeLand is an absolute must visit DZ.

I only wish I could have had more days to spend here.

(Review ID:3572)


Skydive in Mesquite


Skydive Mesquite Rated 4 by: mbondvegas on 2006-11-20

Pros: People; Scenery; Winter Weather
Cons: Summer Heat; Smallish Landing Area; Small Indoor Packing Area

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Skydive Mesquite is indeed the only dropzone to consider if you live or are visiting Las Vegas. The others are just tandem factories without a commitment to the sport.

Mesquite is different and is a real dropzone with lots of great people. The scenery from altitude is the best I have experienced thus far in the sport (although I'm sure some of the ocean side DZ's could compete). The DZ is in the small town of Mequite which host some of the most dramatic desert scenery (and golf courses) in country. From altitude you can see the edge of Lake Mead, The Virgin River Gorge, Lime Kiln Canyon, The Town of Mequite, and some of the coolest desert landscapes you will ever see (think the surface of Mars).

Mequite host a Grand Caravan from October-April(ish) that flies to 13AGL pretty quickly and does quite a few loads a day on the weekends and holidays. Brad, the DZO, host 3-4 boogies a year and I've only heard great things about them all. I've experienced one boogie thus far and it was cool. There are a variety of Free Flyers and Belly Flyers and I'm certain any visitor will have no problem finding someone to jump with. The DZ has a very open group of locals and is still small enough to ensure that everyone knows everyone, talks to everyone, and welcomes the newcomers.

No DZ is perfect, and the only downsides I see to Mesquite are that the landing area is kind of small, the facilities and packing area are not super nice or huge (when compared to some of the big DZ's)but they are adequate. Also the Summers are freaking hot (but the trade off there is that we're jumping comfortably all winter long)!

(Review ID:3543)


Spaceland is Great!


Skydive Spaceland Rated 5 by: mbondvegas on 2006-09-25

Pros: The People; Nice Planes; Facilities; and Landing Area
Cons: None...OK...maybe adding a snack bar would be cool!

  Professionalism
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Skydive Spaceland is great!

Nice facilities: A/C bunkhouse and packing area;
Very Nice Aircraft: Super Otter, Caravan, and a 182
Super Nice Landing Area: BIG with lots of cushy grass

But the real story are the Even Nicer People

I spent a weekend at Spaceland and despite some semi-uncooperative weather, I had a blast.

I stayed in the bunkhouse which was comfortable and well air-conditioned. The packing area is very nice and also air-conditioned, which is a huge plus. Although, I could see it getting pretty cramped on busy days.

The Super Otter was nice as was the climb rate and jump altitude (between 13.6-14.1 on every load I was on). The Caravan was also very nice.

The landing area is beautiful…I don’t know how many acres…but more than enough! It is covered in cushy grass and has a well defined experienced and new jumper landing areas. And if you land at the far end…you’ll likely see a staff member rolling up on the ATV to give you ride back to the hanger.

The people are great. Literally everyone at the DZ seemed to be friendly and ready to answer questions or just chat.

Also a big thanks to Mike and Robert for offering to do some RW jumps with a new (36 jumps) and visiting jumper and then organizing the surprise SCR attempt.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget when I first realized that just about the whole load had gone up to join me on my first 8 way! Surprise!! Surprise!! That was AWESOME!!!

Thanks to all for making this trip very memorable and extremely fun! I had a blast and learned a lot! I’ll definitely be back the next time I come within a half days drive of Houston!

Oh yeah and thanks to Dennis for the Repack!!! I think I still owe some beers to all when I return...

(Review ID:3429)


Elsinore Rocks. I love this place.


Skydive Elsinore Rated 5 by: mbondvegas on 2006-09-03

Pros: Excellent Vibe; Great Instruction/Coaching; Large Landing Area
Cons: Its not closer to my home.

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I have been driving the 4 hours to Elsinore pretty much every weekend this summer! Its been worth it. I love this DZ. Thanks to all the instructors and coaches that helped me on my way to my A license. I look forward to many more visits for years to come.

Elsinore has an incredible vibe, great staff, quality instruction and coaching (some like the Excel camp is FREE), nice Super Otters, a HUGE landing area, year round jumping weather. Oh and did I mention that the vibe and people are incredible?

(Review ID:3377)