From The Mag

Reader question: What comes easy to you? What doesn’t?

Written by Lara

This month’s reader question is a two part-er! We all have things we have to work at in skydiving and BASE jumping and paragliding and life and what-have-you. But then there are some things that just came naturally and we didn’t even have to think twice about doing them.

For me, landing a canopy has never really been an issue; I can generally fly a pattern, flare at the right height and stand up (when appropriate). Body flight though, hoo boy. There is a disconnect between my brain and my body parts that I have to work really hard on. “Okay, so I want to side-slide to the right, that means I have to dip my left … no, right … no wait, left? Knee? Elbow? Hair? Shit!”

PD New Beginning

What is 1) your natural talent and 2) your “I will have to work on this until my dying day” non-talent?

Selected responses will be printed in the August 2015 issue of Blue Skies Magazine. Comment here with your name exactly as you would like it printed in the mag.


  • What came easy to me? Wingsuiting … felt completely at home in that flying straight jacket.
    What has been hard? Freeflying. I’m starting to be convinced that it’s just something I’ll never be good at …

  • 1) If you’re listening carefully you can hear the crickets chirping. That’s because there was nothing at all that came easily or naturally to me skydiving. If there was a hard way to do something while skydiving, I figured it out.
    2) The skill which was most difficult to learn was flying my canopy. After 20 years, 3 broken bones, 5 canopy courses and any number of Wiley Coyote landings, I can honestly say I am a decent canopy pilot.

  • What came to be the easiest: Crashing into the ground 8 out of 10 landings

    Hardest: Landing tippy toe soft those 2 out of 10 landings 600+ and still working on tippy toe soft landings

  • Easiest: CRW (CF) – I took to it like a duck to water. In 1998, after one of my early tandems, I looked up and saw people doing CRW [at Airborne Adventures, a now-defunct DZ in western MA] and said, “When do I get to do THAT??”
    Hardest: head-down. This really bugs me, as I take some measure of pride in my proprioception, but when I go inverted, I have to work SO much harder at remembering to do the opposite of what I want to do in order to get a desired effect.

  • I found landing the old round canopies on target was easy, right from the start. When I changed to a “square” canopy, I found it really hard to land where I wanted and also found it hard to figure out the timing. I banged into the ground regularly. It took a lot of perseverance to figure it out, and to re-figure it out each I downsized over those early years. Of course, nowadays we have much better canopies–and good coaching too. Both make it easier if you keep you head about it. My DZO, who has been skydiving for 40 years insists that “the good old days are now,” and I have to agree. It is a great time to be a skydiver!

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