|This is my rig, manufactured by Wings of Zephyr Hills FL.|
I first jumped back in the early 80's when I was a soldier. I had always yearned to follow up on those early experiences, so I decided back in 1998, to learn to skydive. Having such poor and unpredictable weather in the UK, I went over to Florida, to skydivecity for a skydive vacation. Here, I learned to skydive. While on the same vacation, I journeyed to the world freefall convention, the largest gathering of skydivers in the world. This events lasts for 10 days, culminating in 50,000+ jumps being made by approximately 5000 jumpers. I also revisited this venue in 1999.
Skydiving is not really a big mans sport. Alas, I have constant weight issues due to being a naturally heavy-set guy. These issues [for me at least] are:
- Jump planes are always cramped, due to DZ's stuffing as many bodys in a plane as possible so they can turn a buck [they say to make a million bucks as a drop zone owner, you need to start with 2 million...]. Being big is therefore uncomfortable on the ride up - not to mention the other guys having to put up with 'Mr Big' hogging extra precious space.
- Being heavy, the fall-rate can be up to 150mph, this often doesn't feel nice during the opening shock of the canopy [basically, you feel like you have been in a minor car wreck each time]
- Landings are usually fine, but if you have a heavy landing, the heavier guy has much more force upon their bones...
The above factors can all be negated: All I have to do is lose weight It's been 18 months since I jumped....I am getting the urge again....where's my treadmill?.....
This was taken at the World Freefall Convention in 1999.