Apr 27, 2013, 1:38 PM
Post #1 of 11
I think I'm at a cross roads with my skydiving. Its definitely been more frustrating than enjoyable for about the last year. I think it may be time to take a long break from it, or walk away.
I'm torn because I still want to push the limits and at 43 if I walk away, there's probably no coming back at the level I'm at.
On the other end no one ever commits to anything in the sport; and Freeflying especially has gotten a bit too elitist for my liking. What ever happened to showing up and having fun?
Now a days everyone wants to be the big shit on campus, and wont jump if their not getting sponsored, slots covered, paid, getting an organizer slot. I see a lot of times when skydivers do get sponsored and don't end up meeting the commitments they made to a DZ or Vendor to earn that sponsorship. They either don't think about the impact of their actions or dont care. But the impact is that DZ or Vendor is not likely to sponsor the next person or team after they get burned. If none of those sponsorship stars align, and people are getting paid to jump with you, then the jumps are high level, and everyone on them is looking for perfection and being critical of even the slightest mistakes. Shit these jumps aren't even records and people get cut or worse yet not even invited.
I have friends that show up to fly in the tunnel and never let me know they are in town, are they really friends??? There are local freefly events in the region and I'm not invited.......WTF ??? Not to sound arrogant, but I was one of the few that Fucking started the discipline of Freeflying in this area, and now I'm not invited to events ?
I used to spend a considerable amount of time teaching people how to freefly. I don't do that much anymore for a few reasons. First is that I think it's more economical for them to learn in the tunnel. Second I think they will get better instruction in the tunnel. Third I spent so many years teaching others that I fell behind advancing my own skills. Lastly..........I saw a lot of folks take, take, take............and never give anything back to the sport.
I've seen a a Lot of folks FORGET, where they came from in this sport and the opportunities that others gave them to become really good in skydiving; and never once pay it back. Some of those people who have bypassed me in skill level that wont let up jumpers on their jumps. They forget when they sucked and I invited them on their first big way. And now they're too good to give newbies the same chances they were given.
Very Frustrated with Skydiving as a whole today......... To me.........It's just not FUN anymore. Its about who's the Big Dog, and everybody trying to be the Big Dog. Very Frustrated today.
Sorry to hear that. My experience in all sports is that it's not the skill, or the conditions or where you do what you do that makes it the most fun.. it's who you're with.
I've been snowboarding in absolute crap conditions and still had a hoot because the crew we were with were great. Same for skydiving. Our DZ is tiny and the overall skill level is low but we have a good laugh because there's a good crew. Once that's gone then it's no fun anymore.
You have taken the words right out of my mouth. I thought I was crazy and felt like I was the only one. I spent the last 18 years teaching, throwing boogies and competitions out of my own pocket, and competing at Nationals even opening my own dropzone focusing on the fun jumper. Now I am being judged, looked down on and even cut from jumps by these same people who I called friends and some who I actually taught to freefly. Not sure how some companies and dropzones actually justify giving their sponsorships seeing as though these people have never competed, never done anything for the skydiving community that didn't benefit their own pocketbook. As for people you called friends coming to the wind tunnel and not even dropping a text saying "hey dude I'm in town", don't feel left out. Since the tunnel opened here in Austin I have found out several people I called close friends have come to town and didn't even bother. There are some I actually offered a place to sleep if they come to town and I'm less than 20 minutes away.
Skydivers are definitely not as friendly as they used to be. I remember when we used to do things for eachother and we all used to hang out.
About a week ago I made the decision to end my duration in the sport. I will be sad for some time but I do think I will be happier spending my money and my time with people who actually care.
Bryan I think we feel very much the same. Its a shame that the discipline has migrated to the very thing I was seeking to avoid back when RW was like this.
Now my beloved Freeflying has turned into a bunch of elite sky gods. I'm walking away from them for sure.
I remember precisely when I started feeling this way. It was last year during one of the Vertical World Record Camps. I was sitting next to one of the organizers talking to his buddies. He pointed out a guy that was trying out, and having a few problems, nothing severe in my opinion, but he wasnt flying well enough for an invite that year. He said, " That Guy will never get an invite, not this year, not any year". I turned to him and challenged him.........I said "Never, not even if he gets better and earns it"? He looked at me surprised and said, "Well I guess if he gets better, yeah".
I was so disgusted with this branding and labeling. This Elitist attitude I keep referencing. This poor guy was coming to this camp in hopes of getting better, and trying hard for an invite. Not only was he not getting an invite, he was marked for the future too. That really sucked to hear. It was the very moment, that I said to myself, FUCK THESE BIG WAYS. Cause it wasn't about potential it was about how cool you are.
Not sure if I'm ready to walk away from the hobby yet, but I'm on the fence. I have enjoyed jumping with up jumpers lately, maybe I'll start doing that again.
(This post was edited by hparrish on Apr 27, 2013, 11:27 PM)
I had very similar situations at a couple VRW record tryouts.
It amazes me how I used to stand up for arrogant young flyers, dozens of times when I was told to cut them from state records that I was organizing or to replace them when they were on my team because they were not up to par. But I always stuck my neck out for them, telling others that they will learn and they will get better. Now these are the ones who stand in judgement of me. Talk about me behind my back and tell me that I will have to tryout for their records at camps that are being organized by people who were not even skydiving when we were setting records.
This is so funny now. It makes me look back and wonder why I even bothered to begin with.
Harry this is the exact reason I used to come to CCS so often I felt more at home there than the dz's in florida right in my back yard. I got in on better dives there than I ever did in florida. Its a shame so many dz's have such a click that if your not in it your doing solos. Im going for a job interview in Raleigh in a few weeks and may relocate to that area. If you have any contact info for Dave Sampson pm me please.