Vertical World Record 2015 – it’s ON!

After multiple record camps and strenuous selection process, the vertical world record attempts kicked off at Skydive Chicago this morning.

The standing record is a 138-way, also set at Skydive Chicago in August, 2012. This years goal is ambitious – 175-way. The organizers are confident they have the talent to get the job done. The logistics of such an operation are overwhelming, but the team behind the record is adept at thinking on their feet (or, well – heads!) and adjusting when necessary.

Melissa by Ryan Risberg

Melissa Lowe will be our intrepid reporter on site – providing daily insights and updates from the record. We hope to bring you both words and video – and for those of you using smart phone app Periscope for live broadcasts, add MelissaLowe to your list to catch live updates from time to time.  We just caught a snippet showing the participants wrapping up a debrief and getting ready for another dirt dive (click here to watch in a browser).  Topics to work on from the first jump include ironing out the kinks, improve exit timing, adjust plane line up and onboard oxygen. On on!

Periscope Video: World Record weather hold video report – and mockup action.


Marian Sparks – Jump for the Rose

Texas jumper Marian Sparks began jumping in 2006 at the age of 51 and by now she’s up to 2020 jumps, calls Skydive Spaceland home and has no plans to hang up the rig. Marian has competed in 4-way and 10-way at Nationals and has quite a few 100+ ways to her name. She’s a state, national and world record holder – coach and mentor, and a feisty member of SOS (Skydivers Over Sixty).

Marian Sparks by chad hall

In 2009 Marian was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following a divorce in the prior year, she was without health insurance, facing challenging surgeries and treatments. Houston’s largest breast cancer facility, The Rose, stepped up to take care of Marian. The Rose is a clinic dedicated to helping women survive breast cancer, regardless of their ability to pay for treatments. Having been on the beneficiary end, Marian wowed to pay the clinic back, once back on her feet. This was the start of Jump For The Rose (JFTR). To date, Jump For JFTR_Logo_generic_largeThe Rose has raised over $85,000, broken five skydiving records, set two national women’s records and one women’s world record.  Each year the event grows bigger and 2015 will be no exception to that. JFTR is a full-fledged non-profit corporation with a board of directors manned exclusively by skydivers. DeLand canopy manufacturer Performance Designs, Inc is a long time supporter of JFTR. This year they are offering up a limited edition breast cancer design canopy. $500.00 of each canopy sold go directly to JFTR.  Models included in this promotional offer are Sabre2, Spectre, Silhouette, Pulse, Stiletto, Storm and Katana.  To place an order, contact Marian directly via email ( The order must be received by September 1st, 2015.  Four immediate production slots are available for this unique canopy  – order before the end of the month to have your canopy in time for the Pinkfest Mini Boogie at Skydive Spaceland come September!


Marian plans to continue to host the Pinkfest each year, and other dropzones are joining in.  Skydive North Florida and Skydive Dallas will be on the schedule next year.  Inquiries about hosting a JFTR fundraiser are welcome – send inquires to Marian via email. If you are not able to make it to an event but would like to make a donation, please visit the team fundraising page.

“Wingmen” the movie

It’s no secret that wingsuiting and wingsuit BASE are media darlings. Both have provided the world with some absolutely spectacular visuals from places we would traditionally not have seen, from angles we wouldn’t have dreamed.

Wingmen is a movie released exclusively through Vimeo On Demand and features Espen Fadnes, Ludovic (Ludo) Woerth and Jokke Sommer. Directed and produced by Siesta Films and Ellioth & Winther Film, the trio flies in places like Reunion Island, Tianmen Mountains of China, Bangkok and more.

Along with featuring incredible flying and cinematography, the producers do an excellent job of capturing the human side, speaking candidly about the dangers of the sport, what it means to them and why they fly.  Ludo passed away during a wingsuit jump in March of 2014.

The movie is available exclusively on Vimeo (rent or buy) and distributed by XTreme Video. Follow them on Facebook or check their website out for other incredible documentaries – both in and out of the sky.

Fluid Wings releases a new canopy – the Helix

DeLand based Fluid Wings have released a new high-performance crossbreed canopy, the Helix.


From the company website:

The Helix may have all the desired characteristics of an everyday wing, but it is built to Fluid’s high standards of a modern competition wing. The Helix is intended for free-fall use, so the deployment performance was a major consideration in the development. Those who have flown it tell us the openings on the Helix are “the best they’ve ever had”! The Helix was designed from the beginning to be fun to fly, whether filming, training or canopy piloting, the Helix will energize your jumping and excite you. 

  • Harness: The Helix is much more sensitive to harness input than most typical cross-brace wings. The wing rolls almost effortlessly and doesn’t require huge inputs to get the desired result. This only gets better as the wing is accelerated. 
  • Rear Risers: Whether you are in flight or swooping, the Helix design was optimized to fly on rear risers. It has more power and a wider range on rears than similar wings on the market. The Helix is very efficient in converting vertical speed into forward speed, and is the best in its class on a long spot. 
  • Deployments: Throughout development and during demos we have received positive feedback from all users regarding the Helix openings. We have found the openings to be smooth, well-staged and with less tendency to shake violently or search for a headings during the snivel than some other cross braced wings.

The Helix retails for $3,200.00. For a limited time, the canopy is available in Hybrid Construction (sail fabric internally) at no additional charge (normally $100.00).  As an introductory offer, the Helix will also ship with an RDS (removable deployment system) at no additional charge, a $339.00 value.  For more information, please visit the Fluid Wings website or follow them on Facebook or contact the company directly.



Blue Skies Mag Photo Contest on Instagram!

To celebrate our new cover look and to celebrate the fact that Skydiving, BASE jumping and paragliding are FUN, we are doing a quick photo contest on Instagram!

Post up a photo of a FUN moment in the sport, tag us using #blueskiesmag and #BSMi67 (issue 67 is the July issue). Our favorite FUN photo will net the person submitting it a free 1 year subscription to Blue Skies Magazine. Winner will be announced at the end of July, so get snapping!

Our Instagram account @blueskiesmag
Our Twitter account: @blueskiesmag