Skip to Content

news : Events : USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships

Two annual competitions are set to launch this fall:

  • September 14 to 17: The National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting, the fastest and most visually action-packed competition (Skydive Spaceland, just outside of Houston)
  • October 27 to November 5: The largest annual skydiving competition in the world, the USPA National Skydiving Championships (Skydive Arizona, midway between Phoenix and Tucson)

TEXAS - September 14 to 17

America's most fast-paced and spectator-friendly aerial action sport returns to Texas this fall for the 2011 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting on September 14 to 17 at Skydive Spaceland, just outside of Houston.

More than 60 of the nation's most daring and advanced aerial athletes will deploy their parachutes and “swoop” through narrow slalom-like courses for hundreds of yards across the ground and over water at speeds reaching 75 mph! These are skydiving's ultimate pros, competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.

The canopy piloting championships include competitions in speed, in which pilots try to fly as quickly as possible through a course; distance, which involves flying as far as possible across the ground; and accuracy, in which canopy pilots must stop on an exact spot for maximum points.

Skydive Spaceland, a modern 130-acre airpark 30 minutes south of Houston, will host this exhilarating showcase of parachuting proficiency. This is the third year the championships will take place in Texas.

See the nation's top swoopers in action, including Greg Windmiller of the U.S. Army Golden Knights and Jessica Edgeington, one of the few women swoopers competing. Also, speak with an on-site USPA rep about the popularity of swooping, the hottest trends in skydiving and advances in safety and technology.

The championships are free and open to the public. Spectators are invited for an up-close view to catch the fast-paced action across a large swooping pond. The drop zone also features an upstairs deck for prime views overlooking the landing area.

Hang with our star swoopers, feel the adrenaline-pumping rush of competition firsthand, and discover drop zone culture at its coolest!

ARIZONA - October 27 to November 5

America's most exciting atmospheric action sport returns to Arizona this fall for the largest annual skydiving competition in the world: the 2011 United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships on October 27 to November 5 at Skydive Arizona, which has hosted the event many times in the past.

More than 500 of the country’s finest, fastest, most fearless aerial athletes will flock to Arizona to take the plunge and push their skydiving skills to the limit, competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in five spectacular disciplines: Formation Skydiving (4-way, 8-way, 10-way and 16-way events), Artistic Events (which include stunning Freeflying and Freestyle), Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing (also known as “the classics”), Canopy Formation and Vertical Formation Skydiving. See descriptions of disciplines below.

Skydive Arizona, an expansive skydiving resort located midway between Phoenix and Tucson amid the sprawling and beautiful Sonoran Desert, will host this exhilarating showcase of parachuting proficiency.

Look for dramatic competition this year, starting with the classic events as skydiving legend Cheryl Stearns strives to set a new national accuracy record and take back the overall women's title from 2010 champ Elisa Feldt of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights. Then watch as reigning 4-way formation skydiving champion Arizona Airspeed – with several new team members –defends its title on its home turf against the Golden Knights. Next, multiple national champion Arizona Arsenal will try to regain the gold in vertical formation skydiving on home soil after losing in a one-point nail-biting finish last year to a determined XP Standard team from Chicago.

The championships are free and open to the public. From sunrise to sunset each day, sports fans and spectators can catch the adrenaline-pumping action happening thousands of feet above the drop zone on video monitors, as well as view hundreds of colorful canopies filling the sky and thousands of dramatic landings as competitors swoop swiftly, gracefully back to earth. Between jumps, visitors can experience the rush of competition first-hand and hang with the pros as they train and practice choreographed moves on the ground called “dirt dives.”

The schedule of events/competitions, many of which will be held concurrently during 10 intense days of nonstop action, includes (subject to change based on weather and flying conditions):

October 27 to 30 : Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing
October 28 to 30 : Vertical Formation Skydiving
October 31 to November 3 : 4-Way and 8-Way Formation Skydiving
November 1 to 5 : Canopy Formation
November 3 to 5 : 10-Way and 16-Way Formation Skydiving
November 3 to 5 : Artistic Events (Freeflying and Freestyle)

About USPA

Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 200 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States. Each year, USPA's 33,000-plus members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make approximately 3 million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records.

For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center near you, visit or call 800-371-USPA.

Skydiving Disciplines

2011 USPA National Skydiving Championships

(Photos and video of each skydiving discipline are available upon request.)

Artistic Events:

- Freeflying – A radical, truly three-dimensional competition where three-person teams free fall together in every imaginable orientation, usually upright or upside-down.

- Freestyle – Most akin to aerial ballet, with a jumper performing a graceful dance in free fall.

  • A large portion of the score in all artistic events is how well the freefall camera flyer, who is part of the team, captures and presents the performance.
  • Canopy Formation: Teams in the 2-, 4- and 8-way events deploy their parachutes immediately after exiting the plane and are timed as they build formations with their open parachutes, holding onto each other's canopies.
  • Formation Skydiving: Sometimes referred to as “belly-flying,” teams in the 4-, 8-, 10- and 16-way events race against the clock as they form prescribed geometric formations in freefall before opening their parachutes.
  • Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing: Referred to as “the classics,” style and accuracy are skydiving’s oldest disciplines. In style, an individual jumper performs a pre-determined series of loops and spins in freefall as quickly as possible. For accuracy, a jumper under his parachute tries to land on a dime-sized dot on a landing tuffet. Combining their standings in each category determines the overall winner.
  • Vertical Formation Skydiving: A branch of freeflying that involves four competitors building a series of formations in a mix of upright and head-down vertical body positions.

By on 2011-09-07 | Last Modified on 2017-02-07

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.  | Votes: 0 | Comments: 0 | Views: 2772

More articles in this category: