i52: March 2014

Exit with Skydive Empuriabrava’s Beech 99 during their Christmas Boogie, with Marleen Melissant, Efraim Folgerts, Luis Adolfo Lopez-Mendez, Gregor Van Den Eynden and Jarek Vel Bartek. Photo by Gustavo Cabana • www.guscabana.com

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Like probably every skydiver, I have vague dreams of one day BASE jumping. Getting to altitude in a natural way, not using fossil fuels, the pure beauty of it — it’s all really alluring to me. The cover story, “Never Leave a Man Behind,” by Douggs with the help of his friends makes me question if I really have what it takes to deal with the realities of BASE jumping. Could I not only watch my buddy die in front of me, but risk going to jail by reporting the accident and staying with his body? Man, I just don’t know. Could you or have you?

On a lighter note, we have a monthly comic strip! Nadene from Adventure Creative drew up “Take It DZ.” (Say it out loud.) Of course, we have the monthly tit4tat – which, don’t forget, is an awareness campaign for breast cancer – ink of the month, latte art, reader question and news all in The FlyBy.

Max Heidenfelder wrote a boogie review of the Swakopmund Desert Boogie that is actually a review! Honest and thoughtful, with a few critiques. No “The ____ Boogie is always fun and this year was no exception. Manifest did a great job and we had a BBQ by ___ with delicious ribs and beer.” By the way, please don’t ever submit a boogie review with sentences like that. Has anyone ever actually said out loud, “Blah blah blah was no exception?” No. No they haven’t. And, no one really cares how great the pancake breakfast at the boogie was.

Sorry, that was me straight up bitching. Not cool. Moving on …

Melissa Lowe (the former Miss Melissa Nelson) went to Mexico for New Year’s, Krisanne Combs went to the NorCal Free Flight Film Festival and Angie Aragon went to Bird’s Paradise Extreme Resort, a privately owned DZ in Thailand. These stories are all carefully engineered to make you Polar Vortex sufferers suffer just a little more. I know you were wondering.

Moe Viletto is back, with tales from the making of the movie “Drop Zone.” Tom Sanders of Aerial Focus contributed tons of  behind-the-scenes photos. If you love or hate the movie, it’ll be a good read back in time. 20 years back. Crap.

Out of Window, Out of Body: “Drop Zone” Tales, Part 1

PD New Beginning

Out of Window Out of Body: “Drop Zone” Tales, Part 1

We have a new business-oriented column, too! Marketing guru James La Barrie ran Skydive Carolina for nine years, including the crazy popular CarolinaFest. He has some word-of-mouth marketing tips for DZOs this month, but we think fun jumpers will be interested in the business end of the sport.

DZOs, You Need Yelp

DZOs: You Need Yelp

SkyCouples! The feature that melts even my cold cold heart. This month Eli interviews Animare, the husband-and-wife team of Amanda and Brian Festi. If you don’t have or don’t use the incredibly handy QR code on your phone, here’s the video from their article:

Sydney is also back! Three years ago she was a fresh-faced marketing professional and skydiving n00b thinking about leaving her lucrative career to work in the sport full-time. Look at her now, running the events and marketing at an internationally known drop zone, training with her 4-way team, and generally remembering what it was like to be the new kid. If you’re struggling with fitting in on the DZ, learning a new discipline, getting over the “I kind of suck” hump or like helping those guys out, this is your stuff.

If you’re a subscriber, I don’t need to waste any more of your time telling you how awesome Kurt, the Fuckin’ Pilot and Melanie are. You know you love their columns. This month’s are no exception, and the chili dinner at this month’s boogie party was outstanding and earned rave reviews from all who attended.

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