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Skydiving in hurricane season – Part 2 – Review of Skydive DeLand

Hey everyone!

I’m not really sure how to start up a part 2, so I’ll simply continue where I left off.

On Day 3, the weather was looking great out and being that we didn’t get to jump at DeLand on our first or second days in Florida, we were DYING to get into the sky.
We were supposed to stop off at UPT for a tour of the place, but couldn’t hold back from going jumping.

We got to:

And immediately proceeded to the Manifest.
Being that it was a Tuesday and the weather’s been on and off, there weren’t many skydivers… But we were extremely lucky, there was a group of Military jumpers following a Flight-1 canopy course. And where there’s military jumpers…
There’s the SKYVAN!!!!!! We had a lot of fun jumping from the Skyvan that day. We were about 3 or 4 going to full altitude, the Military guys were all doing hop and pops, so we basically had the plane to ourselves up high leaving us a lot of space to run =).

After doing a few jumps, I did a quick tour of the place, it’s really quite a big DZ..

Fairly straight forward, this is the DZ restaurant/bar

Outdoor “Tiki” bar which is pretty much just an open area anyone can go behind to bar tend.

Flight-1 School building

Waiting area/loading area

Packing room/climbing wall

more of the same packing area (Very comfy carpet)

Team room/packing area #2

Team room – another angle.

Tandem room – Mad Dog is Tara’s father and currently works at UPT… He is an extremely bad ass individual!

Enormous creeper pad / waiting area.

My overall opinion about Skydive DeLand: The drop zone has some extremely talented skydivers, a really cool Manifest staff and some awesome planes. The coaches there really know their stuff and are always keeping their eyes open for opportunities to coach you and help out (and not always for a price). The drop zone has plenty of indoor packing area to go around, lots of room for people to just hang around and talk, plenty of benches and a great restaurant that actually has reasonably priced food and good portions.

And to boot: Jump tickets are 23$!!!!!!! They have bulk options as well (50 tickets +) which lower the price, but at 23$, Geneviève and I were extatic (Being that it’s 35-36$ back home).

Needless to say, DeLand is set up to be a busy drop zone and it’s been said that DeLand is the epicenter of the North American skydive universe. But According to Mark Klingelhoefer at UPT, it’s NOT because of Skydive DeLand.

Tune in later this week to find out why…

Blue Skies in the meantime!


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Skydiving in hurricane season – Part 1

Hey everyone!

This is the first part of my multi-part article about my trip with Geneviève to Florida.

We left Montreal on Saturday the 8th at 6 am, the TSA was quite easygoing with Geneviève’s rig at the airport, they even let her through with her hook knife (We’re unsure whether or not they even noticed it).

I got the whole drug and explosive scan done where they swab my hands, belt and shoes to see if I’ve come in contact with anything suspicious. (Good thing I left my grenades and cocaine at home that day or I’d have been in a ton of trouble haha)


Once in Florida, we did the usual rental car thing, got a pay as you go plan and headed over to our hotel. Perry’s Ocean Edge “resort”. It was a 2 1/2 star Motel on the beach, couldn’t really ask for more in Daytona Beach without spending an arm and a leg. And what skydiver in his or her right mind will start paying good skydiving money to stay in a nice hotel when he or she is used to sleeping on an airplane hangar floor?

The hotel staff were nice enough to upgrade our room and give us a view of the ocean. Geneviève, having never seen an ocean before was extremely happy about that.


We didn’t really do too much that day as we were exhausted from our super early wake up and our flight.

Come Sunday morning, we met up with Tara from UPT who took us to a breakfast restaurant called The Old Sugar Mill.
It’s in a protected park that has some very nice trees and scenery.  It’s a pancake place that lets you make your own pancakes on a griddle in the middle of the table. It also happens to be the only restaurant in a 50 mile radius that actually serves REAL fruit. (this will be important in a later article)


After breakfast and a mini tour of the area, we headed back to Skydive DeLand where Tara had parked and she handed me a box… A 30 Lb box…

This 30 Lb box however, contained my rig and my new Neptune N3 altimeter!! =D


We toured around the DZ (The tour will be in the next article) and with enormous excitement I opened my box to find all the goodies inside!

Here’s a picture of Tara and I while I was trying it on.


The day was way too cloudy and windy to get any loads in the sky, so after hanging around the DZ for about 3 hours we headed back to our hotel. I went to take a nap and ended up like this:


Needless to say, I was a VERY happy camper.


Coming up in the next article: Our tour of Skydive DeLand!


Blue skies everyone!



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Getting out of our comfort zone



So just before heading to Florida, Geneviève and I went hang gliding. It was my birthday gift to her that I had offered her back in June.
We were supposed to go earlier in the summer, but she had gotten sick and couldn’t go. We had rescheduled a couple of times, but always had weather holds.

We finally made it out on the 7th of September. It was quite the experience, let me tell you…

We went to a place called Distance Vol Libre which is about a 30 minute drive from Nouvel Air located in St-Paul d’Abbotsford, a small town by a 1000 foot hill.
The school has a ground level area on a smaller hill that is similar to a Drop Zone, but doesn’t have flat land as well as a second area on top of the higher hill in between a bunch of trees.

To get into the sky, you either go off the high hill or you are pulled up by a motorized hang glider. We went up with the latter. My tandem master was a gentleman by the name of Martin.
A 6 foot tall man with hands bigger than my head. He was very friendly and extremely talkative.  Geneviève went up with another instructor. Everyone went one at a time, so she went first.

The motorized hang glider brought us up to about 4000 feet and then we released. On the way up, Martin gave me a brief explanation of how it would work and since I already knew the scenery (having jumped at Nouvel Air many times) he skipped that part and proceeded to teach me the basics of flight. A hang glider works sort of like a wing, you turn it using body weight which swings left to right like a pendulum. You use the bar under you to control this movement.

To turn, you simply pull the bar closer to you to move your body forward on the glider, which then puts the glider on a downward slope as more weight moves to the front. Then, you move your body to the direction you want to turn and push forward on the bar to move your body to the back of the glider which will flatten the slope of the glide. When you want to stop the turn, you simply do a slight turn in the opposite direction.

Needless to say, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but I did get to fly it a bit. It was a lot of fun. The one thing I found extremely impressive and interesting is that hot air pockets will make the glider rise. It isn’t on a slope like a skydiving canopy, so when it hits these spots of hot air, the glider rises. In a matter of 30 seconds, we had risen about 500-600 feet. Martin explained to me that you can actually glide for hours on end without stopping and that he sometimes stays up there until he has to come down to go to the bathroom…


It was a very fun experience and I’ll definitely do it again, but in my mind, it doesn’t compare to the thrill I get from skydiving. It’s a totally different experience. Geneviève loved it, here’s a picture I took before she went up for her ride.

I’ll be posting a lot over the next couple of weeks about my trip to Florida including our tour of the UPT factory!


Blue skies everyone!



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Skydiving in Iran… Not so simple



Hey everyone!


So I got the chance to speak to one of our fans on Facebook, her name is Fatemeh, she lives in Iran. In Iran, women aren’t allowed to skydive… Not many people are in fact allowed to, so when I found out where she was from, I asked her to write about her story. Here it is:

So it goes back to the time that I was doing gymnastics, It’s been like13 years that I’ve been a gymnast and now I found myself needing more adrenaline. First, this desire took me to sports like Bungee Jumping, but it didn’t satisfy me. I needed more, I needed to go higher.  I had a normal family so started to save money and wait to become 18 years old to start skydiving! At first, I was looking forward to start this in my own country but I heard that women were not allowed to fly and just a few civil male jumpers are skydiving in Iran. It so was disappointing! But fortunately I’ve saved enough of my money to go to Skydive Dubai. After I did my first jump, I couldn’t really believe that it was happening to me. That I’m gonna skydive and fly high! I just couldn’t believe it! But it happened, and after my first Jump I just couldn’t stop. I wanted more and more and more! Now I’m a skydiving addict =D So once again I find myself saving money to be back to different drop zones and get all my Skydiving License . I’m also looking forward to being allowed to do some civil jumps in my country because there are so few female skydivers in Iran.
In Skydive Dubai, I met brilliant people who make you believe that skydiving is just as easy as eating a pie 😛
Remember BIG smile on your face while skydiving all the time! Your greatest responsibility is to enjoy your jumps !
Blue Skies !
This just shows how motivated a person can be to partake in our beautiful sport. Not only does she save her money for years, but she flies to a completely different country just to participate!
My hat’s off to you Fatemeh!
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5 more days…

Hey everyone!


I didn’t forget all of you, I simply ran into a few bumps in the road that sort of stopped me from skydiving for a couple of weeks… My credit card got compromised and I was somewhat tight on funds being that I’m heading to Florida this coming weekend and need all the spending money I can get. DeLand is gonna be sweet!

We may also be making a stop off at Sebastian before coming home, so look out for a multi-part article about the trip. 🙂

We’ll be making a stop off at UPT to hopefully get a tour of the place and I’ll have an article about that one as well.


I’ve got a great announcement to make as well. Bruno from Brainshell has agreed to sponsor Skydive Addiction with an awesome new helmet design. For those of you who don’t know, Brainshell is the company behind the awesome custom airbrushed helmets some of you have seen in the skies and at Skyventure Montreal.

I’ll be doing a series of step by step highlights of how they do their work and what everything looks like before, during and after the job is done. That will be done over the winter so look out for all of that so keep your eyes peeled for that!


Blue Skies everybody!