Their lives are built around the love of the sky while experiencing the greatest adrenaline rush.
Andy Ford: What do I love about skydiving? Skydiving is the most complete sport in the world. It doesn’t matter how many jumps you do, there’s always something new to do. It’s an amazing experience. Every time you go up is different, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Rene Logan: Skydiving means, yeah, it’s actually all my life. I wake up with it, go to bed with it. I don’t have something else in my life. It’s only skydiving. Almost a addiction.
Richard S.: Skydiving is, I guess having fun. Freedom. Basically just having fun, having as much fun as you can, with the people that you enjoy sharing time with, and yeah, just going crazy, going wild, jumping out of planes.
Piri Rewa: I got into skydiving to do wind-suiting specifically. It’s where you wear the squirrel suits. I love that, it’s just like flying. The skydiving, I like it but the wind-suiting doesn’t compare.
Lynette Ward: It doesn’t matter who we’re taking up, whether it’s a male or a female, we’re here to strap people onto our front, they were a harness. We jump from an aircraft, whether it be a helicopter, a fixed wing from around 13,000 feet, and introduce them to skydiving.
Accidents, incidents. Ohh, let me think. Yep, I suppose there could. We have a big competition here in November, and the guys are doing lots of swooping, where they drag their foot across the pond, and land on the land. Yeah, there’ve been a few trip ups. Yeah, I think some guy hurt his knee when he swooped his foot across the water, landed a bit funky, and rolled, hurt his ankle, or hurt his knee something. Yeah, it happens.
Billy Sharman: It’s actually, for us it’s actually safer for us, skydiving or jumping out of an airplane, than it is actually driving to and from work. You know the numbers are in your favor when you’re jumping out of an airplane. You know, you have a main parachute, if that has malfunctioned you get rid of it, and have a reserve parachute. Reserve parachute is packed by a professional. A guy that’s gone to school, he’s gone and he’s learnt how to pack a parachute so well that it minimizes the risk of that parachute malfunctioning.
Brad Cole: So like this particular person has not used their reserve in the last 180 days, and it came due for a pack job, and here we are.
I’m more or less right now just prepping it. I’m going to lay it on the ground, and do a very detailed folding process with it. Right now I’m just kind of getting everything orientated in the right position, just very quickly. This is more or less what a main pack job would consist of. A main parachute, I’d be done with it. I’d be ready to move on and put it inside the deployment bag, and go jump it again. This one however, I’m gonna lay it on the ground and work on it for about half an hour.
Billy Sharman: You know when you start, very first start going through your skydiving career, or skydiving as a hobby, you get taught these safety procedures on how to save your life. Every time I jump out of the airplane I touch all my safety handles. You know, I’ve got three at one, it’s gonna open my main parachute. Two, the other one’s gonna get rid of my main parachute, if that malfunctions. Three, I use this reserve, and that’s gonna open my reserve. I think everybody gets nervous, and some there’s definitely things that can go wrong. You know it’s definitely something that you look at and be like, “Well, this could happen and that could happen.”
But the more you do it, the more understanding that there is, certain things in skydiving that protect you against the things that can go wrong.
Voiceover: Oh shit. Oh fuck. What the fuck is that man? Oh dude, that scared the shit out of me.
Billy Sharman: You know I think if you have the right mindset, the right knowledge, and you’re taught the right way to go about it, I don’t think there’s that much danger in it, you know. It’s a pretty safe sport. Probably more safe than say, you know, Formula One racing, but at the end of the day anything that you do’s gonna have some danger in it.
Brad Cole: I think most skydivers, and most tandems view this sport as their therapy, you know. It’s probably more expensive than going to a therapist, but a lot more fun.
Billy Sharman: People ask “How much money does it take to start skydiving?” My response is always, “All the money that you have in your banking account,” ’cause that’s what you end up spending. ‘Cause this sport just sucks you right in. The people, the camaraderie, the friends that you make here, are life and death situations you know. You tend to bond very closely with people.
Brad Cole: I think the situations, the trust scenarios that you put yourself into when you jump out of an airplane with people, the friends that you make are lifelong. You know like I said, there’s other sports out there, for sure, that you live and die with your friends, but you know if you skydive long enough you lose friends. You have friends that die, and if you skydive longer you have more friends. It’s just the nature of the sport. Most people that are dying these days in this sport are people who are pushing the edge. It’s a relatively safe sport but on a daily basis people that you meet, in and out, or people that you start jumping with, the friendships you build. I think that would be my favorite thing about it.
Piri Rewa: What do I get out of skydiving? For 60 seconds I don’t have to worry about anything. For 60 seconds I live 60 seconds. Like I’m not worried about what’s happening later on tonight, or I don’t have any dish washing liquid, or what’s for dinner. Like for 60 seconds, as that clock ticks down you fully get 60 seconds of your life, from 13,000 feet to five and a half, or if you choose to go higher or lower. You know, like I feel you truly live because you’re not worried about anything.
Definitely, I mean, like I said I wouldn’t be here if it didn’t make me happy, and at the moment, for what I’m doing in my life it makes me happy. Very much so, and I try to remind myself that every day.
Lynette Ward: What do I love about skydiving? A couple of things, I suppose the chance to travel the world. You can pick up wherever you go, and see the world from a different angle. You know, how many people actually see the palm from above. That’s pretty amazing. The adrenalin in itself, and again I really love introducing people to the sport. I love to see their buzz. I love to see them get what I get out of it, and that’s the excitement of it all.
Benjamin Forde: I mean it’s my passion. It’s the feeling of freedom. It allows me to get out of what I’m doing and have a moment by myself. Even though you might be jumping with 100 or 200 other people at the same time, and holding hands or whatever, you’re still by yourself. You’re still, your mind is completely by itself, and that’s a rare feeling. It’s hard to get anywhere else.
Speaker 10: People they think it’s a very selfish pursuit. They think it’s all about you know, just the rush, or the thrill, or the adrenalin, and I won’t lie, it is about those things, but there’s also something about what we do that’s very sort of meditative, and very peaceful, and is also about the science of doing this. It’s about the achievement, the competition, the pushing of the boundaries of what humans can physically do.
Rene Logan: What I want to know, let people know is that skydiving is really relaxing, and not extreme, and going for the rush. It’s the most beautiful sport there is I think. It’s so nice to see the view and to jump out of a plane in the morning. I think it’s the best feeling there is.
Johnathan Tacle: Probably that it’s one of the most misunderstood sports and I think people think of skydiving as one of the things to do on your checklist before you die, but I think it’s actually a way to celebrate life on a regular basis.
Voiceover: Meanwhile …