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Wearing Earphones While Skydiving

If you're wanting audio on your jump a frustrating issue you may face is the matter of achieving clear and loud quality (via headphones or speakers) inside your helmet during freefall. The loud noise and intense conditions both inside the plane and during freefall require a certain volume, clarity, and portability that many audio setups simply won’t provide. In this article we will walk you through some different audio setups that can keep the music or communications flowing while in freefall. The audio setup for you is going to depend on how you spend your time in the sky, so keep that in mind when looking for the right audio gear for you!
What if I want to listen to music while skydiving or parachuting?
Firstly, we'd like to make it clear that when it comes to skydiving with music we realize that there are contrasting opinions on whether it is safe or not. We'd suggest that anyone who wishes to jump with earphones in are aware of potential safety risks. We asked the guys over at outeraudio.com to make some recommendations on what one should look for when buying earphones to jump in.
Ask yourself, what is it I want to hear while skydiving? If it is music, most wireless Bluetooth headphones will work when connected to your music playing device or cell phone. There's a few styles of headphones that can fit in your helmet, but in-ear headphones will typically fit a wider range of helmets. The quality of the earphones will change between both make and model, and taking a look at an audio review website will usually make you more confident in your purchase. Many skydivers complain about the hassle of a headphone wire, and you should know that Bluetooth headphones may encounter connection difficulties under the conditions experienced when jumping, so be aware of that ahead of time and look for products which are reputed for their bluetooth connection quality. You should also be careful if you intend to use AirPods or true wireless headphones that aren’t connected to one another as they will be prone to falling out of your ears! The best way to mitigate this is by using fitness/ergonomic fit earbuds that cling to your ears.
Hearing any audio in general during freefall can be quite difficult. Between the high speeds and loud noise, you will need to either have a high volume or a really well fitting earphone which isolates outside noise well, you may even want to look into a cheap headphone amplifier if you find that you're unable to get the volume that you want from the default setup. We recommend a cheap one because headphone amps can be quite expensive, and the intense conditions you are in while skydiving may lead to you losing your amp or breaking it. If you do opt to use an amplifier, you should consider housing it away from the waist, or anywhere that is likely to have impact from an imperfect landing.
Another option for listening to music in the air while skydiving is motorcycle helmet speakers. These speakers are designed to fit inside most varieties of motorcycle helmets, so they may or may not fit your particular helmet. That being said, these speakers are created with discrete designs so that they can slip tightly inside a typical helmet. In addition to their small and thin shape, these speakers usually come with adhesive and mounting hardware so that the speakers stay snugly attached to your helmet for extended periods of time.

When looking at options, here's a few manufacturers which you can consider:
JBL Sony  Sennheiser Panasonic Philips  Bose What about In-Air Communication?
The above example audio set up will work just fine for audible GPS interfacing, I recommend wired earbuds because there is simply less of a chance that your very important audio signal is lost mid-air compared to Bluetooth headphones. Using Bluetooth headphones is still a possibility of course. If you are using a device like a FlySight or another audio GPS system, a headphone amplifier may be your new best friend if you find the signal to be too quiet during noisy conditions. Many skydivers manually attach their headphones to the inside of their helmets for added stability during their descent, this could be a possibility for you as well! And it's pretty easy to create a quick DIY solution.
Canopy Relative Work relies heavily on communication. Audio signals cutting out or becoming disconnected during a jump will make this sport impossible to do because of its heavy reliance on constant communication. CRW will require very high quality in-helmet communication equipment that goes beyond your average pair of headphones and you should consult with an experienced jumper for recommendations regarding this type of communication heavy gear.
What’s the best solution for you?
Depending on your specific needs you will probably choose a different setup for your audio source in the air. Look at your current gear and what you already own and ask yourself, what you will be doing after you successfully bring your audio rig with you up into the sky? In many cases it may be as simple as buying a high quality set of bluetooth earphones that can work with your mobile device. In other cases you may want to do a little DIY work inside of your helmet to set up an audio situation where you have the best possible quality, with the most comfort possible.

Do you use any earphones or speakers inside of your helmet? Whether you're an experienced CRW jumper or just a music fanatic, leave a comment below and let us know what you use inside your helmet.

By Administrator, in Gear,

NZ Aerosports Offers "Weatherhold Woogie" For Those Trapped Indoors

With Covid-19 shutting down cities and even countries around the world, it's not just skydivers who have been affected by the limitations put on both movement and the ability for businesses to operate. We've seen a number of music artists and even actors coming out and offering online forms of entertainment for those stuck under quarantine or even lockdowns. 

Well now New Zealand Aerosports have decided to offer a little something for the skydiving community. You're likely to be out of luck finding an operating boogie in the current situation, but that doesn't mean you can't still create a bit of a skydiving vibe from the comfort of your computer. It may not quite be the same as partying with all your friends, but it's still cool to see something that can lighten the mood in these otherwise uncertain times.

Below is the information on this "Woogie" event as sent out by NZ Aerosports:
 

By Administrator, in News,

What You Should Really Know About the First Global Indoor Skydiving Summit

What Happened? And Why Is It Important That It Did? Here’s the Beta
The First Global Indoor Skydiving Summit, which took place in Skydive Empuriabrava’s hometown of Castelló d'Empúries, just happened. If you fly in the Windoor tunnel, you almost certainly know that it did. Right? But you might not yet be clear on why that’s important -- or how what happened over those two days in Castelló is going to affect your life as a flyer. 
Let’s be clear: It was, and it will. When a bunch of profit-minded business competitors and stakeholders with divergent views on how indoor skydiving should develop start building industry consensus for the very first time -- with technologists, engineers, energy experts and athletes in the room -- it’s only a matter of time until that far-off wave hits.
To understand where this is going, it’s important to understand where it came from: and that’s Roland Hilfiker, CEO of Support Air International, who organized the event. If you think you recognize the name, you’re right: Roland has been in and around skydiving since 1975 in a flurry of different capacities.


“I was professional at one stage,” he laughs. “I ran the School of Human Flight in Zephyrhills and the Skydive Empuriabrava dropzone afterwards, until the mid-90s.” From there, Roland embarked on a new adventure: in sports communications. He worked within a number of different sports shuttling between international governing bodies, event organizers and rights holders, “basically providing communication support in all its different facets, from television production to communication strategy,” he explains. Among plenty of other things, he’s done quite a bit for the FAI. As chair of the Olympic Coordinating Committee he represented FAI in the Global Association of International Sports Federations and similar umbrella bodies, all the while pitching parachuting/skydiving for inclusion into the Olympic Games from Barcelona 1992 through Beijing 2008. He was on the Olympic Rings jump in Seoul 1988, too. Something which he considers the pinnacle in his active career.
Even though his lobbying efforts failed to produce results with the International Olympic Committee, Hilfiker managed to get air sports admitted to The World Games back in 1995. He assumed the lead in organizing the first two appearances of skydiving/parachuting (he insisted on the slash to allow for the side-by-side of canopy and freefall events on the program) in The World Games Lahti and Akita. After getting elected Vice President of the International World Games Association, he decided to reduce his engagement for FAI. He received the FAI Bronze medal in 2001 (“for his exceptional and dedicated work in promoting the FAI in the wider sports community and amongst the public at large by campaigning for air sports to be admitted to the Olympic Games”). 
For all that involvement in air sports, Roland is still relatively new to the tunnel. In fact, he saw his first indoor competition during The Wind Games 2019.
“I was convinced this is a good way of presenting skydiving,” he muses. “It has a lot of advantages over the traditional sport. Something that could make it a stronger contender for an Olympic bid. But after a little more research, I perceived not just the sport’s strengths - but its weaknesses too. I saw a lack of consistency across a number of areas.”

What’s the best path to consistency? Well: In the case of a sport that’s fractured across continents, philosophies and party lines, getting everyone together in a room is a great first step. In all those years of working in sport organizations, specifically in the field of communications, Roland had logged a lot of time at sports congresses (“about five in an average year, over 25 to 30 years,” he says), both big and small.
“After receiving encouragement by the President of the International Skydiving Commission (ISC), Gillian Winter, I thought, ‘why don't you try to organize one yourself?’ 
“And that's how it came about,” he smiles
He dove right in, calling the project the Global Indoor Skydiving Summit. Going into it, Roland certainly had a vision.  
“Obviously, I had my own opinions on virtually all of the different topics I felt needed addressing,” he explains. “I definitely picked these topics based on my 25 years of professional experience. What I was trying to achieve was a more complete analysis of the situation, and to get partnerships going between the most different parties.”
But not all of it was sailing the calm waters. From the outset, Hilfiker had sought the approval of not only the ISC, but of the FAI as well. In fact, he had met with the highest FAI charges for discussions on three occasions and a final version of a co-hosting agreement was ready for signature in late October 2019. The precise moment the ISC President announced the withdrawal from the project of the body she presides. The disagreement was over the choice of summit topics and the lineup of panelists. 


“The silver lining of that,” he adds, “is that not being associated with commercial organizations or the world governing body, it gave us a certain freedom to act and speak and go about our business. On the other hand, I did feel bad for FAI and ISC. Both bodies are in dire need to reinvent themselves, passing up on an opportunity to be in on important conversations seems somewhat wasteful.”
The summit was held alongside The Wind Games, one of the premier indoor skydiving competitions on the world calendar. The Wind Games had attracted 180 competitors from more than 30 countries to the Windoor wind tunnel, right next to Skydive Empuriabrava, and plenty of them were more than keen to join the conversation taking place just down the road.
The venue was pretty special, too: an old convent, converted into a cultural center. Over two eight-hour days, packed to the gills with sessions, discussions and breakout sessions, participants across the sport -- from manufacturers to owners to representative athletes -- came to collective grips with everything from oversaturation to safety standards to the cost of flying (with a potential BlaBlaCar-style proposal from an enterprising Frenchman). Experts took the stage to talk about how operators can negotiate preferential rates for energy, and technologists (such as the Tunnel Tech EU team, who occupy the very leading edge of advances in tunnel engineering and materials) jumped into the conversation with about new methods to keep energy consumption down. Carbon impact came up, too, of course.
“People are making efforts to offset the carbon footprint of indoor skydiving,” Roland says, “we need to provide the operators and manufacturers with good data, obtained through a number of channels we have identified so far. That’s the process - and it should continue.”
“It was not a vacation,” Roland says. “It was for sure a debate. And it was positive! In the end, everyone agreed that we achieved great things.”


A great example of one of those “great things” that came as a surprise to plenty of tunnel folks: Tunnel Instructor and the International Bodyflight Association made a public announcement of their forward-going cooperation and intention to coordinate their respective work. In essence, what that means is that it’s suddenly going to be significantly easier for a licensed, rated instructor to transfer co-validated ratings between IBA and Tunnel Instructor facilities.  “That was a major breakthrough,” Roland affirms.
“We’re still working towards a mission statement to guide our continued work from here,” he adds. “We don't know where this is going to take indoor skydiving as a sport, but I personally see this as an open-ended process that provides plenty of space for it to be continued. We could think of it as a think tank -- as a permanent forum for discussion -- and we’ve created venues on the web which will allow us to keep the dialogue going until the next event gets us all in the same room again.”
There will, then, be a sequel.
“I've been doing this for well over 30 years,” Roland laughs. “It will take quite a bit more to burn me out.”
“People at the inaugural Summit said they are looking forward to the next one. I am confident that we will see a lot of progress in the industry and the sport before it takes place,” Hilfiker said. “Indoor skydiving has huge potential to grow and evolve as a sport, a fun activity and as an entertainment for all. In any case, it can be a viable proposition without being part of the Olympic program any time soon.”
All images courtesy Support Air. For updates on the next Global Indoor Skydiving Summit, visit www.indoorskydiving.vision and/or www.indoorskydiving.stream

By nettenette, in General,

Jedi Wear Skydiving Suits Review

Full disclaimer right at the start: I have been asked by Nick, the owner of Jedi Air wear to write a review for his products. I have not been paid to do so though I do measure for Jedi Airwear and have received suits in payment for that. I also consider Nick a friend. That said, for those that don’t know me, I’m rather blunt and to the point and tell things as I see them. I am taking the time to write this review because of the commitment to improving their products year after year and customer service I have received from Jedi Airwear. I hope this review helps people evaluating different brands of suits and offers insights into how Jedi Airwear treats customers and product development.  So keep that in mind when reading the following. 
What does a jumpsuit need to do? Well that depends on what you’re doing as a skydiver. As a full time instructor I have a couple of suits; my go-to red and black Instructor suit, camera wings and swoop shorts, and a freefly/tunnel suit. 

My Instructor suit is my day-to-day suit. It needs to be able to take a beating while doing tandems, offer lots of range for AFF and have a pocket for my phone, a pocket for bungees and, most importantly, it needs to be comfortable as some days I’ll end up wearing it for 14 hours at a time. My current instructor suit is one of the original Jedi Airwear Instructor suits and does all these things well. Double lined Taslan with Cardura knees and butt and a YKK zipper mean I am not worried about the knees when I am packing or the butt when I have a heavy tandem on a no wind day in the middle of summer when the ground is hard and rough. Three years and 1500 jumps on my current instructor suit form Jedi Airwear and it’s still going strong and only now starting to show signs of wear. It’s tough, it’s affordable and it does the job well. As a bonus I have seen the latest iteration of the Instructor suit which have been tweaked slightly with updated pocket closures and single layer options. 
My camera wings are used for filming both tandems and formations. Four years ago when I first started wearing Jedi Airwear products I wanted a different wing shape and mounting point than was offered at the time. Jedi Airwear worked with me to change the shape and bring the mounting point forward which resulted in a [email protected] camera jacket that matched how I wanted to fly. Filming in sit with tandems or formations from underneath with loads of range and an easy transition or staying above and in control while filming belly formations from 4-14 way this jacket has never let me down and has helped make my camera jumps easy.  I have seen Jedi Airwear do various different designs to match customer requirements frequently over the last four years.

The freefly suit, well actually both of them as I am lucky enough to have a short sleeve and normal version, fit well and feature the same Taslan, Cordura and YKK as the instructor suits with a nice fitted design and spandex in the right places to keep movement unrestricted. Used for tandems a bit during the summer as well the suit has held up well. The company is now working with Steve Howes on tighter, more advanced, tunnel specific suits. The one thing I would change is the Velcro closure over the zip, but as that’s my biggest gripe with the suit I am pretty happy. 
As for the swoop shorts? They do what’s expected; they take a beating and they keep my legs cool on the hot days.  They have an inbuilt belt with large fastex clip and zipper which both work well and the design suits my legs well with good coverage over the knee with cordura when seated, standing or kneeling and they don’t bunch up around the crotch when my rig is on. They have original pocket design, which was placed similar to jean pockets, which was a bit inconvenient but after learning from this design the new swoop shorts have a pocket placed on the thigh with a horizontal zipper.

Bottom line there are many great suit providers out there offering various features at various price-points however I feel Jedi Airwear represents good value for money with a suit that matches my flying ability and needs. The quick turnaround time, usually 3 weeks or so, is a nice bonus too. 
About the author: I have been a full time instructor since 2012 and have earned various AFF, tandem and coach ratings in Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK with a little over 5000 jumps and 30 hours of tunnel time (I like to pretend I can freefly). I own Overdose Industries Ltd and am also a rep for Squirrel wingsuits. 
   -- 
  David Keevers   Director   Overdose Industries LTD   Company Number: 10574178
  T: 0747 6824 317   www.overdoseindustries.com  

By licker, in Gear,

A Brave New Tunnel World

Luxfly, Tunnel Tech and the Mighty Braffs
It seems like tunnels are popping up everywhere, doesn’t it? As a dyed-in-the-wool aficionado of all vertically-oriented wind, this can hardly have escaped your notice. Another thing that hasn’t escaped your notice, we’re willing to bet, is that none of these tunnels have popped up within a lunch-break drive of your fine abode.
Wanna do something about that? Well: As it turns out, you can. And you can do it even if you’re not personally made of money. Want proof? Meet Steve Braff, a true tunnel-building dynamo. He and his wife/business partner, Magali share a deeper history in windytubes than pretty much anyone on the planet -- and now, they’re building Luxfly, the most exciting indoor skydiving wind tunnel project in Europe, using the brand-newest, top-of-the-line-est technology to do so (Tunnel Tech, to be specific -- but we’ll get to that later). Suffice it to say: The Braffs are a good example to follow.
Currently, Steve and Magali -- collectively known as their vertical wind tunnel consulting business, Starfly -- are keeping busy not just with Luxfly, but with .other tunnels around the world. As a point of note, Starfly is utterly unique -- Steve and Magali are the only people in the world who do this kind of work, helping others to build tunnels. Outside of Starfly, there are two industry operators: the customers, who want to have and operate tunnels, and the tunnel manufacturers, who want to sell vertical wind tunnel technology. Until Starfly, there’s been no one in between to smooth the steep, bumpy road to a grand opening.

Pretty in pink
“Right now, we have five projects in process,” he says. “But it varies. Sometimes, we help people out with optimizing their existing tunnels; sometimes, we help them start projects, or assist them in different phases. We work with a group of investors to which we propose our projects. The specific investors depend on the location and the host country. People who want to build tunnels can work with us at every stage. We can do it from A to the end.”
“Since I was a kid, my dream was always to fly like Superman,” Steve grins. “And that was the only thing I ever wanted to do.”
Steve started skydiving at 21 years old. He’s celebrating his 23rd year in the sport this year, with around 8,000 skydives, a thousand BASE jumps -- and, very importantly, lots and lots of hours in the windytube.
“I was always interested in the tunnel flying industry,” he explains. “It always amazed me, what people were doing in there.”
For a very long time, Steve funded his freefall habit by working at the family company: importing Italian coffee into the Braffs’ native Belgium. One day, after 15 years of working side-by-side with his brother, mom, sister and dad, he decided it was time for a change.
“I said: You know what, I think I'm going to quit,” he laughs, “And sell air. So I did.”
“There’s enough money around the world to serve everyone who wants to invest,” he insists. “The issue is that there aren’t enough ideas, or the people with the willingness to push them.  When somebody tells me they’ve been trying [to get a tunnel started] for two years and they can’t seem to get the money together, I just tell them they need to push harder. Never give up.  It only depends on you. The money is there, and you’ll unlock it if you try.”

Tunnel Tech airducts with Hubble-level surface precision and finishing
Steve doesn’t want you to think that he’s under the impression that it’s easy to convince someone to invest in something as big as a tunnel. The price tag of a windytube is plenty high for a project that most humans have only seen, occasionally, on TV.
“You need to transfer your passion to the investor,” he advises. “If you are capable of doing this, then you’re already doing great work on the investment. Even if you have a business plan and you can prove with paperwork that your wind tunnel is going to make a lot of money -- super nice presentations and Excel sheets and all the trimmings -- you still need to make your potential investors believe in it with their hearts. If they don't believe in it with their hearts, they will not invest.”
“Think about it,” he continues. “You’re asking them to invest millions of Euros in a building with wind blowing at 200 kilometers per hour through the walls. It is crazy. We still run into this all the time when we go to new contractors. Why all of this for a flight chamber? Why all of that construction around it? They don't understand.”
In 2006, after one false start at a Belgian dropzone, that decision took Steve and Magali to create a truly watershed moment in what the rest of the world knows as “indoor skydiving.” Inspired by the idea that training in the vertical wind tunnel could revolutionize skydiving -- at the time, a very new and unorthodox philosophy -- the pair decided to build the very first vertical wind tunnel facility in Belgium. It was called AirSpace and it was, in a word, visionary.
“I am a big fan of Apple, and their thing was always to think different,” Steve explains. “And that resonates with us, because it’s really the way we live. We are always trying to improve and make stuff differently; not to be just another tunnel. Our tunnel was a huge success because of that, and because we wanted to do everything we could for the for the flyers.”
Steve and Magali built “their” tunnel from scratch. To do so, they quit everything else in their lives to focus full-time on creating the facility -- including their home.
“My wife and myself, we decided we were going to go full on,” he smiles. “We wanted to know everything -- every bolt, every detail -- about our tunnel, and about the industry. So we left our rented house and moved into the contractor container on the construction site. We lived in it for a year. It was a really nice experience, day by day following the progress of construction.”

Steve and Magali Braff
Though ‘home’ was technically a shipping container for the Braffs that year, the heart of the idea behind that tunnel -- and, now, LuxFly --  was, charmingly, to make it into as homey a place as possible. The Braffs integrated a cozy lounge bar; as much wood as possible, moving away from the stainless-and-plastic aesthetic that pervaded (and still pervades) the vertical wind tunnel oeuvre; a deep sense of comfort and place.
“We were insistent that it had to be like a house,” Steve says. “I wanted people to come in and walk around in their bare feet. When I saw that for the first time, it felt like success to me.”
The year it took to build AirSpace -- still fast for a tunnel project, which is normally it is two years from the point of financing, securing building permits and organizing all the construction to the grand opening -- taught Steve and Magali a boatload.
“Sure, it was a lot of ups and downs -- a lot of them -- more downs than ups, okay -- but, at a certain point, you have to look at it a bit like the stock market,” he explains. “You need to be patient and you need to keep believing in it. That is your only source of strength. Not depending on anyone. It's yourself; your own belief.”
The tunnel truly bloomed under the Braffs’ management. This is one couple, however, that doesn’t make a habit of resting on laurels, no matter how comfortable they might be. After a few years, they decided to sell it and move on. It felt like time to grapple with another project (this time, on the border with Luxembourg), and to start helping other would-be tunnel owners with their own projects.
“We earned a lot of experience over the course of all those years,” Steve says. “We traveled a lot, both skydiving and tunnel flying. We have seen a lot of wind tunnels. We took all those ideas we discovered over the years and we put them into in Luxfly. It's going to be super, super, super special.”
According to Steve, Luxfly is going to be “the 2020 version of tunnel flying.” The design aesthetic -- still a secret, as of publication -- promises to be groundbreaking. The pair decided to make another, perhaps even bigger change: a total technology rethink. While AirSpace used top-of-the-line-at-the-time German tech (ISG), the Braffs decided to build Luxfly with Tunnel Tech, a multinational vertical wind tunnel technology company that’s making huge strides forward in safety and efficiency.
“I must say [Tunnel Tech] have blown us away with the quality of their product,” Steve explains. “First of all, I’ve known Slava, the CEO, for many years. When I heard he was making his own technology -- and that they were building a 15-foot with less power consumption than a 14-foot -- I got very curious. Then I started following their projects in Japan, in Moscow and in Korea, and I was totally convinced.”

The LuxFly structure & the Tunnel Tech machine are ready for assembly
“It was a risk, of course, because it’s a new company, and it always feels safer to go with a company that has built 15 tunnels versus somebody that has built three,” he continues. “But that’s our history. With Airspace, for example, I think we were the fourth ISG tunnel; perhaps the fifth. So being the fourth Tunnel Tech wind tunnel doesn’t feel so crazy. Tunnel Tech really are rethinking every part of the tunnel -- how we can do better, better and better -- contrasts a lot with where now a lot of manufacturers are now. When you have a certain design that's working and selling, the tendency is to just keep it until people demand something new. Tunnel Tech keeps well out in front of that.”
With Luxfly’s gala grand opening set for the end of January, Steve and Magali are up to their eyeballs in preparations. They insist, however, that they are always available to help people out -- to make new tunnel dreams a reality.
“We are passionate people,” he smiles. “We just want to share our love of flying.”

By nettenette, in News,

Performance Designs closes out the PD Bullseye 2019 competition at Skydive DeLand

Performance Designs hosted the PD Bullseye Sport Accuracy series across the US and Europe this summer. The competition visited 5 countries, 9 dropzones and met over 400 skydivers. This series was a chance for people with under 500 jumps to test their sport accuracy and become better canopy pilots. The 23 finalists traveled to Skydive DeLand on December 6th to meet each other, the PD team, train with Flight-1 and then compete for the chance of becoming a PD Sponsored Athlete. After an exiting competition the winner was announced: Paul Winner from Skydive Orange. Second place was taken by Lori Patalocco from Skydive Spaceland Houston and Third place by John Victor from Skydive Spaceland Dallas.


“I felt that going into the competition, I had a chance. I’d put a lot of time into working on canopy skills this year. Then you get to the finals, start meeting the competitors and you realize that everyone has been working hard and the pressure was on. This event was incredible and thanks to PD for coming up with an idea that made so many people focus on their canopy piloting. What's next for me? I got my coach rating this year, and want to continue working with new skydivers and keep progressing on my free fly skills. Canopy wise, I’m hoping to attend an FLCPA event this coming year. I'm proud of myself and all the competitors for all the hard work we put going into this competition. I'm honored and excited about the amazing opportunities that our ahead for me.” - Paul Winner, PD

Bullseye 2019 Winner
Congratulations from Performance Designs to all the finalists for their hard work and enthusiasm for becoming better canopy pilots. Stay tuned for more details on PD Bullseye 2020.
“We’re super excited about how the 2019 PD Bullseye season turned out. Loads of newer jumpers discovered and were excited about developing their canopy flight skills in a fun and competitive environment. It was great to see this series work and create greater enthusiasm in our community for safe and fun canopy flight. Learning to fly and land your canopy well is cool, and we’re glad we’ve been able to do a little part in promoting that.”


Albert Berchtold, PD Marketing Manager

By Administrator, in News,

The 2019 Malfunction & Incidents Collection

We recently posted an article showcasing some really sweet videos to get you amped to hit the sky. The reality however, is that not every jump goes as planned. Sometimes you find yourself victim to a bad pack job, bad technique or failed equipment. The collection of videos below are some of the malfunctions that made their way onto Youtube in the past year. Use these videos to learn from other's mistakes, look at how others reacted to their incidents and how it affected their outcome. While some malfunctions one can laugh about later, others should serve solely as a lesson to other jumpers.
From the uploader: "On my first jump with my Strix i had a toggle fire and needed to cutaway! Not the best body position and pitched with some speed. This is the only way that my great SABRE 1 wingsuit canopy can get into a diving spin."
From the uploader: "After an uneventful jump, on deployment one of the riser covers of the Wings rig did not release, leading the PD 90 to deploy unevenly and start violent spinning behind the neck of the jumper. He was about to cut away the wing and pull his reserve when the riser cover released. The jumper checked his altitude, reasoned he had altitude to keep working on it a bit longer and then untwisted. He landed back at the dropzone exhausted and shocked, then switched container manufacturer as soon as he could."
From the uploader: "Bag lock is a b*tch, especially on a tandem skydive. This TI and passenger were in the saddle by 1650 feet."
From the uploader: "A skydiver has some heavy line twists on opening, which he fights all the way down to his hard deck before cutting away and deploying his reserve parachute -- which also opens with heavy line twists. Yikes!"
From the uploader: "Skydiver rides his reserve parachute safely to the ground after a canopy malfunction!"
From the uploader: "A pilot chute in tow malfunction is never fun, especially when you try to manually deploy your main parachute and end up flipping onto your back with a mess of lines wrapping around your leg. That’s exactly what happened to this skydiver. He pulled his cutaway, deployed his reserve and crossed his fingers that the reserve would clear the ball of $#!t above his head."
From the uploader: "This jumper deployed their main, saw a malfunction they could not recover from, and cutaway. Their three-rings separated but a line got caught and the main parachute remained connected to the container. While attempting to clear the line entanglement, it appears the jumper pulled on their RSL and extracted their reserve pin; giving them a two-out. The jumper flew the reserve and, twenty seconds before safely landing their reserve, the main finally released."
From the uploader: "As they exited the plane this jumper’s deployment bag came out of their container and gave them a horseshoe malfunction. They realized their pilot chute was still in the BOC and deployed it in an attempt to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, the pilot chute failed to extract the main, resulting in a SECOND malfunction! This time the jumper was faced with a bag lock. They cutaway their main, regained stability and deployed their reserve."
 
From the uploader: "After an uneventful wingsuit flight this jumper deployed his main and found himself with a line over that sent him spinning. Unable to fly the canopy, he cutaway and – after dealing with some line twists – landed without further incident."
From the uploader: "This skydiver pulled at 4k feet to get comfortable under canopy again -- it was their first jump after a 4 month break from skydiving. Once they deployed, they checked their canopy and thought it was an end cell closure, but quickly realized that it was actually a line-over. They began pumping the risers to clear it and continued to do so until they reached their decision altitude. The jumper claims they were preparing to cut away when they did one last pump of the risers and cleared the line-over."

Top 10 Skydiving Videos of 2019

Ever tried searching "skydiving" on Youtube? It's a mess, between a million Fortnite videos and vlogger's first tandem jumps it's a nightmare finding quality content on the platform. So we've made it a bit easier for you by running through the last year of skydiving footage and selecting a few of the best videos we could find, so you don't have to wade through the crap. Below is a list (in no particular order) of some of the best skydiving videos we came across during our search, whether it be quality camera work, the vibe of the video or something that makes you want to get up in the sky. We've intentionally omitted a number of wingsuit videos as we'll be bringing you a special collection for those soon. If you have any additions drop us a link in the comments and we'll put together a part two with your suggestions.
1. Eye Candy
This video is just awesome to watch! Nothing too crazy taking place, but the camera work provides some truly awesome eye candy. Who wouldn't want to skydive after watching this?
2. The Highest Swing
Everyone loves balloon jumps, right? Well we've got a balloon jump and a swing jump in one on this. A cool watch for sure!
3. Sister's By the Sea
We're a sucker for boogie footage. There's something about the community vibe and the awesome sunset jumps that make boogie compilations some of our favourites.
4. A Compilation
Alright, enough with the malfunctions for now - this is the only compilation in the list, this video showcases various jumps, some of which are definitely worth being reshared. While this video was uploaded this year the compilation itself uses clips from a number of jumps spanning over a few of the recent years gone by.
5. The Story of Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld
From the creator: "In 1992, professional skydiver Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld boarded a plane for a routine training jump. Six weeks later, he awoke from a coma to discover that a terrible accident had crippled his body and shattered his dream of becoming a World Champion."
6. Ballistic 2019
Skydive Burnaby in Canada hosted Ballistic 2019, a new skills camp. Overall this video just has some cool flying scenes that will make one want to get into the air.
7. Invasion 2018
Despite the date on the title, this video was uploaded in early January and showcases some awesome scenes out of the Invasion boogie at Skydive Sebastion.
8. FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championships 2019
We can't just neglect our tunnel rat brothers and sisters. This year's FAI World Indoor Championships showed just how far the sport has come in the past decade. 
9. Maja Kuczynska - Unstoppable
One of the coolest videos of this year that incorporates both indoor tunnel flying and skydiving. A question often asked, is how do experienced tunnel flyers handle their first few skydives, and are they able to easily translate their skills from the tunnel to the sky - this video answers that question.
10. Skydiving Onto a Motorbike
From the creator: "Incredible footage shows an Australian skydiver jumping out of a plane to land on a fast-moving motorbike in New South Wales.
Skydiving instructor Scott Hiscoe performed the high-adrenaline stunt with Red Bull motocross athlete Robbie Maddison over the skies of Wollongong.
In what was reportedly an Australian first, the pair achieved the stunt on their third attempt.
Mr Scott said: “It was always going to be a challenge with a lot of things having to line up to be successful, but who better to do it with than Robbie Maddison? Pulling this stunt off over my own hometown of Wollongong made it even better.”

By Meso, in General,

4 Upcoming Halloween Boogies

Skydive Arizona - Halloween Boogie (25 - 27 Oct 2019)

No registration fee - discounted $22 lift tickets
Organizing by Arizona Dream, AZ X-Force and Arizona Airspeed
Crazy 8s event brought to you by Arizona Anthem
Canopy training by Justin Price
Nightly Entertainment and Free Boogie Beer!
Annual costume contest with Epic prizes! Free Curv container for Best Costume!
Sugar skull face painting, Hot air balloon jumps, DC-3 jumps and more!
Skydive Sebastian - Halloween Boogie (2-3 Nov 2019)

NO registration fees!
What you'll get:
*Wicked FF, RW, Angle, and WS organizing
*costume jumps
*tricky contests
*spooky games in the air & on the ground
*treats from our sponsors
So book that flight or make it a roadtrip, and don't pay any registration because its all on us!
Keep an eye out over the next two weeks while we announce all the s͏p͏o͏o͏k͏t͏a͏c͏u͏l͏a͏r details about LOs, events, sponsors, and prizes!
Spaceland San Marcos - Halloween Boogie (24-27th Oct 2019)

"Two Otters and a Super Caravan to keep your happy butt in the air!!! We're filling in our list of organizers.
Here's what we have so far....
Freefly - David Lange, Carly Barto, Konstantin Petrijcuk, Tyler Perkins
Belly - Louis French, Scott Latinis, Doug Feick, David Bowen
Wingsuit - Anthony Kimball Zoo dives, contests, shenanigans - Brian Casserly (AKA Pussfoot)

Saturday night entertainment - Derek Lewis - https://www.facebook.com/FiveMinuteParty-116054008418316

Saturday night - Costume contest!! It's easy to play! 1) dress up 2) show up 3) impress the judges....you can win free jumps!

Register at https://sanmarcos.skydivespaceland.com/shop/event-registration/2019-san-marcos-halloween-boogie/
West Tennessee Skydiving - 28th Annual Halloween Boogie (25-27 Oct 2019)

Inverted Biplane Jumps, $100 a slot, $50 for video Michael Mullins Super King Air, 7 min to 14,500ft -$26 a slot (half price early bird special if you manifest before 8 AM)
-Helicopter Jumps Coach Jumps are always free to students who are trying to acquire thier USPA "A" License
-Balloon Jumps
- $150 Rental gear is not available for balloon jumps. Must have USPA A license
Registration will be $35 this includes 5 raffle tickets (you can purchase as many additional tickets as you want) Dinner, free beer, and free Jell-O Shots!!
The winner of the costume contest on Saturday evening will receive one weekend of free jumps courtesy of West Tennessee Skydiving (does not include gear rental) Mark your calendars guys and don't miss out! Let's have us another amazing boogie this year!!!

By Administrator, in Events,

Welcome to Paradise. It’s Called Mayotte

Thanks to Vewuha Parachutisme, Your #SkydivingVacationGoals Just Upleveled
Got the almost-wintertime blues? If you’re in the northern hemisphere, that’s a very likely yes. Don’t despair, dear reader. We’re here to push a few daydreams your way. Perhaps, we’ll even put a brand-new DZ on your bucket list: One where you can jump onto a sandbar deep in a turquoise expanse of ocean, then hop on a boat and pootle back to an island, then wiggle into a swimsuit and make friends with sea turtles, then tuck into a beach barbecue with a bevy of new friends. Can you think of a sweeter escape from your snow shovel? Yeah… neither can we.
The sandbars and sea turtles in question are, interestingly, technically located in France -- albeit a very remote handful of France. They’re in the island country of Mayotte -- part of the Comoros archipelago, located in the northern Mozambique Channel off the coast of Southeast Africa. You’ll find it on the map tucked between Madagascar and Mozambique. Mayotte was purchased by France in 1841, becoming an overseas department of the country significantly more recently (in 2011). These days, it’s touristed mostly by French sunseekers and scuba divers; soon, with a lot of work and a little luck, it’ll be on the sport-skydiving map.

There is, of course, a story there.
The story starts, as so many good stories do, in Africa. It involves Karen and Steve Saunders, two adventuring British jumpers who enjoy power-couple status: Karen, as a well-known BPA Advanced Rigger and Examiner (well known as the rigger behind Tom Cruise in his latest Mission Impossible Film “Fallout”; as well as a popular FS coach); Steve, as the owner and principal instructor at Complete Skydiving Solutions. (Steve has been a skydiving instructor for many years, a BPA instructor examiner and -- notably -- one of the few expats to hold S&TA Status with the USPA.)
Steve and Karen were working at a dropzone in Kenya in December of 2018 when they met a Comorian tandem instructor named Anly AD. After a few weeks sharing the dropzone life, Anly approached Steve and Karen. He told them he was keen to eventually get a full-time dropzone going in his home country, but that he was (wisely) going to start by planning destination events. He was already all-in committed to the task, having already started to work his full gamut of connections to lay the groundwork. It already had a name: Vewuha Parachutisme. And he wanted their collaboration.
Before these conversations, neither Saunders had heard of Mayotte. It’s off the general tourist map, after all, mostly drawing outside interest for its unspoiled coral reefs, not its sky.

“We thought -- okay, that’s a nice dream,” Karen says, “and then we looked it up. We were floored.”
When Anly asked if Karen and Steve could be available to come out in March of 2019 to help with Mayotte’s first contact with skydiving, they couldn’t agree fast enough. When they landed, their initial impression was in perfect alignment with the photos they’d seen.
“When you’re there, you can hardly believe how beautiful it is,” Karen enthuses. “You just stand there in awe. Volcanoes -- craters -- lakes -- jungle -- beaches -- it is phenomenal.”
They couldn’t stand around for long, of course. Anly had laid all the groundwork he could, but the trio had their work cut out for them. There was no skydiving infrastructure in place. In fact, the country had never seen a single recreational skydive.
The dropzone is based on the country’s single municipal airport: the airport code for which is, charmingly enough, “DZA.” Anly had partnered up with a little flying school based on that airfield, renting a secure space. The first big task, then, was going to be educating Air Traffic Control -- working skydiving operations smoothly between the six-or-so jets a day coming in and out, as well as the military and general aviation workload, none of which had any experience accommodating skydiving. The learning curve was steep, but Steve’s previous experience proved invaluable; under his tutelage, DZA’s ATC learned the system and figured out the delicate timing. Once ATC was on board, the crew tackled the rest of the logistics head-on.
This first event was, in essence, a debutante ball to introduce skydiving to the island of Mayotte. Knowing how challenging it was going to be, Steve, Karen and Anly paced themselves. They organized five or six loads a day to facilitate specialist tandem jumps for regional dignitaries and military officials onto Mayotte’s surrounding islands and sandbars. To add a fun dimension to the challenge, Sébastien Chambet (and the rest of the French freefly team GoodVibes) joined the madness to shoot documentary footage for the French tourist board. The far-flung landing areas required significant boots-on-the-ground work to manage; some of them required hour-plus retrievals; the variables were stacked like Jenga pieces.
 
Luckily, Karen and Steve are stone-cold pros -- and decidedly British.
“Those were long days,” Karen grins, “But we just packed up a bunch of flags, tents and coffee and got it sorted.”
The team’s efforts were rewarded with resounding success. The team celebrated the excellent first impression they’d made with a sunset skydive into a remote, uninhabited island for a barbeque, a super-memorable party and an overnight tent-camp on the beach.
This coming spring -- exact dates to be announced -- will see Mayotte’s first skydiving invitational event. The event itself will be hosted by Anly the DZO, with safety overseen by Steve and Karen, organised by world-class skydivers Milko Hodgson and Sian Stokes. A dozen experienced jumpers will be invited for a week of jumping and exploring, staying among the island’s small selection of boutique hotel properties and sampling the hiking, dining and watersports that make up Mayotte’s idyllic tourist landscape. (Let your thoughts wander to a leisurely afternoon swim with dolphins and turtles, and you’ll have the right idea.)

As if the nascent Vewuha Parachutisme didn’t have enough unique characteristics already, there’s another important one to consider: In a region that has historically seen dangerous, unethical skydiving operations set up by greedy expats, it stands tall and proud.
“Safety is already a foundation of the culture here,” Steve notes, “because this is the owner’s home, and it’s his priority. He is not money-oriented. He’s passionate about bringing skydiving to his own country, and he wants to do it right.”
As Anly and the Vewuha Parachutisme team make ready for the coming year -- and continue to lay the groundwork for a permanent dropzone -- they’re getting more and more excited for the place’s potential.
“This is the kind of place you really have to see to believe,” Karen grins. “It is beyond incredible.”

By nettenette, in General,