i59: November 2014

Marco Waltenspiel competing in the accuracy event during Skydive PINK Klatovy’s Pink Canopy Piloting Open 2014. Photo by Wolfgang Lienbacher, lienbacher.com.

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On the Cover

Wolfgang Lienbacher catches Marco Waltenspiel touching down in the touchiest round of CP competition, accuracy. Sydney Owen Williams discusses one of the favored topics for all newbies: quitting your job to skydive full-time.

N00bs, the industry needs more young energy and fresh ideas to keep it progressing. If you want to be an instructor and aren’t totally scared off by the reasons not to work in the sport, then start talking to instructors and jumpers you trust. Get some sound advice about the path you should take to getting your ratings, then go forward with enthusiasm!

Featured Photo

Saying goodbye to warm temperatures in the northern hemisphere. Julie Kleinwort and Shaggy Isaacson over Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Photo by Javier “Buzz” Ortiz.

The FlyBy

  • Reader Question: What are you most thankful for?
  • Comic Relief: Take It DZ by Nadene Beyerbachadventurecreative.ca
  • Monthly tit4tat, tit4tatcanda.com
  • Skydive Chicago’s Rookiefest by Hillary Hmura
  • Skydive Temple’s Deadman Boogie by Wendy Faulkner
  • BSBD, Eldon Burrier: A tribute by Dennis Swift


Skydive Pink Klatovy’s Pink Canopy Piloting Open 2014 Photo Essay by Wolfgang Lienbacher, lienbacher.com. Wolfgang captures the agony, the ecstasy and the pink at Klatovy.

Get the Shot by Randy Swallows

Super cool new feature alert! Photographers will tell you, in detail, how they “got the shot” so you can go out, recreate and develop your own style and technique. This month, Randy Swallows, randyswallows.com, talks about the fish-eye lens.

Fish-eye lenses can be used for so much more than just fitting everything in the shot.

Girls Just Wanna Get Flying by Annette O’Neil

The cleverest ginger interviews Paloma Granero, one of the best tunnel flyers in the world. Why *are* there so few female tunnel instructors, anyway?

The “girls-can’t-instruct-safely-in-the-tunnel” myth is one that cries out for busting, and one of the best arguments against it is Paloma Granero.

Super Sky Sleuth

Original by the fucking legend that is Maccawww.MaccaDigital.com. If you didn’t find all 10, answers can be found here: Super Sky Sleuth Solved! Let me know what you think of this, too – love it and want more? Hate it and want less?

Super Sky Sleuth


That Swallows guy again! He got another shot, of 8-way FS team Qatar Falcons at Nationals.

PD New Beginning

They were a guest team but would have taken second in intermediate with an 8-point average.

SkyCouples: Scott & Crystal by Eli Godwin

Did you miss SkyCouples? Eli Godwin is back with the cutest dual-aerial couple yet, Scott and Crystal. (That Crystal!)

I think a lot of my male skydiver friends wish that Scott was their boyfriend!

We’re Creating Quitters by James La Barrie

Seriously, if you run or manage a drop zone and haven’t subscribed to James La Barrie‘s newsletter and/or read his column and/or hired him to help you, well I just don’t know. This month he tackles the waiting game we make students go through. The game that’s so ingrained that I hadn’t even questioned it until reading his column.

If a student is riding the fence about whether to become a skydiver or not, they’ll probably fall on the wrong side nearly every time. It’s as if we test those entering the sport by saying, “How bad do you really want it?” Only the hardest of the diehards, the ones bitten so badly by the sport that they can’t live without it, make it through.

We’re Creating Quitters

Go with the Flow by Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen learned something on a river in Maine that will help you be a better skydiver. True story.

There’s nothing more frustrating as a beginner than trying to stuff 240 square feet of nylon into what seems the smallest bag that someone was capable of making. The harder I try, the larger it gets. The Zen just escapes.

+Turning Points+ New FS World Order by Kurt Gaebel, NSL

You used to be able to predict with decent certainty who would win, but some countries are intent on throwing spanners into the works. Kurt Gaebel, National Skydiving League, discusses who stands where and why the cats are sleeping with the dogs.

Belgium is only the fifth country since 1985 that has won a gold medal in any formation-skydiving competition event.

The Way of the Jump Pilot by the Fuckin’ Pilot

Lest you be distracted by the poop and sex and porn stories, he is an actual jump pilot. This month he rounds up a bunch of his fellow pilots to talk about why they keep taking us up to altitude.

Nowhere else in flying does a pilot have to learn to deal with a shifting load of crazy jumpers, but passengers who leave halfway through the trip—all while making sure passengers exit in exactly the right spot, at exactly the right altitude and at the perfect speed every single time.

The Way of the Jump Pilot

Coming Home by Melanie Curtis

As always, we save the best for last. Your monthly dose of sanity, mindfulness, LTD and Blue Steel is here! So we all know the roller-coaster adrenaline and excitement of life is the ish, but you know that feeling after, when it’s all over? That’s the “aaaaah” Melanie Curtis, melaniecurtis.com, is relishing this month.

Feeling the comfort of coming back to where you came from, connecting with your own story, your own values as an essential preparation before firing your own engines back up and forging ahead.

Dear SkyGod