Memoirs of a Licensed Jumper

January 16, 2016
Authored by laura morris
December 16, 2015 - January 16, 2016 
Well, as the majority of you all know the skydiving season ended the first week of November. This dreadful week is usually followed by the disbanding of the Skydive Danielson crew as we all hibernate throughout the winter while trying to occupy our time with winter sports, college, work, tunnel time and of course Netflix and chilling. However, for some of the full-time staff the off season means heading south in favor of warmer weather and ... skydiving!! Some Skydive Danielson staff members were planning on being at Skydive City in Z-Hills, FL all winter. I devised a plan to road trip with licensed jumper Zac and tandem instructor Stephanie down to visit them during winter break. The plan was perfect. We would party all the way down the coast, jump as much as we could in the Sunshine State and I would return North with my Tandem Rating. I'll leave the partying stories out, but once we arrived the real fun began. We stayed true to Skydive Danielson fashion and hop n' popped our first jump out of the Otter. More jumping followed as Z-Hills Christmas and New Year's boogie kicked off. Steph and I decided to take a wingsuit (squirrel suits for you newbies!) first jump course which was pretty awesome! The first jump was a little nerve racking and kind of felt like learning to skydive all over again. A couple more jumps and I was comfortable enough to fly on my back. It's really freaking awesome the distance you can travel along with the extended free fall time. The boogie raged on both day and night with an enormous flood of people. Even my pops decided to show up to try and understand why his son continues to jump out of planes constantly. Little did he know he would soon be part of the skydiving culture. During the second week of January my tandem course took off. The first day consisted of a lot of paperwork, classes and training. Day two and three were both phases of the tandem rating which consist of five jumps with a Tandem Instructor Examiner and five jumps with experienced skydivers who have over one hundred jumps. All of the jumps went smoothly thanks to my wicked awesome Tandem Examiner Karl and Miss Stephanie. I worked on different exits and heading control during my training tandems to prepare myself for my first student. After all my paperwork was signed off i approached my first student, my father and presented him with two options: Option 1 - he gets strapped to me and Steph flies outside, or Option 2 - he gets strapped to Steph and I fly outside. It should be noted that my dad has never jumped out of a plane and in fact hasn't even been in a plane since 1990 when the military last ordered him to be. Also, my dad isn't a gambling man so I was a little surprised when he decided that I would be his Tandem Instructor. I thought for sure he would have gone with Steph since she has close to one thousand tandems and is a total badass. It was cool watching him as the plane climbed because his face was glued to the Otter window taking in all the sights we skydivers slowly grow numb to. All the training paid off because my dad survived and actually enjoyed the experience! We all celebrated my tandem rating with a few beers that night. After getting my rating, the rest of the trip was jump, pack, repeat. Just like the Summer life. However, all good things must come to an end and that end came when Zac and I headed back North. All in all, the trip was a success! Now it's back to looking for that time machine I lost so I can skip the rest of this Winter life. I look forward to seeing the Skydive Danielson crew and making it bigger and better than ever! Cheers. 

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