Posted on Leave a comment

Atmosphair’s 20th anniversary… Sun… Wind… Weather hold…


It seems like the theme of the season is “Weather hold”. Once again, my plans to skydive have been thwarted by the weather.

I arrived at Parachutisme Atmosphair on Friday evening just in time for a lasagna dinner at Marquis’ restaurant on the DZ. Had a couple of beers with friends, then went to bed so I could be up bright and early to get on the plane.The staff were nice enough to lend me a camper to spend the weekend in comfort. Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of the Caravan taking off for a 16 000 foot jump (the load was completely booked before I even finished work on Friday, so I took advantage to sleep in).

With the sound of the plane flying by, I hurried to get dressed and get myself manifested on the second load. Once manifested, I noticed that there were a bunch of people preparing for a big way and asked to join. Niklas Hemlin was load organizing and I didn’t want to miss this. This pushed me onto the 4th load for a 10 way.
The weather was looking nice, but there were still some clouds out, nothing to worry too much about. We went up and managed to get 4 very solid points done. Niklas was great at identifying peoples’ strengths and weaknesses while flying and was quick to help correct them.

After the first jump, I had myself manifested for another big way and we did our dirt dive for an 8 way…

Then it happened…

It started to rain….

Then it started to pour….

We could see the holes in the clouds mocking us but they were being blown towards us. The rain stopped. We prepared ourselves to get on the load when it happened “C and D licenses only, wind is up to 21 MPH”.
Those words tore a hole right through my chest. I had been looking forward to jumping for weeks and haven’t gotten to because of the weather and here I am, at the DZ waiting to get on the plane… What a kick in the pants!

As everyone prepared to get on the plane, the microphone blares “weather hold”. All the C and D licensed skydivers’ faces turned red as they were already geared up and ready to go. They put their gear away and I laughed at the irony.

This pattern happened several times over the next 8 hours. Needless to say, we waited a LONG time for our next big way.

In the meantime, I took advantage to converse with Niklas about life, his experiences, how he ended up living in the US. It turns out it was fairly simple: He wanted to skydive. He was born in Sweden which has similar weather to Canada. Summer time, you could skydive… When the weather permitted of course. The rest of the year just sucked. So he decided to move.

While we waited for the weather to improve, Pierre, one of the DZOs and I gave out several participation prizes that were graciously donated by our friends at Deepseed and UPT (Thank you both!!!)

At around 5 pm, the clouds were all gone and the wind was dying down, so we prepared ourselves and got a 12 way going. Once again, we got 4 solid points and had a good time doing it.

We had just enough time to get one last jump done, just in time for sunset. Niklas decided to make us work harder on this one, a satellite formation. We all had a MUCH harder time with it (myself included), but it was a lot of fun. 3 points and nearly a 4th again. We clearly won’t be winning the world competitions with this kind of performance, but I must say that I had an amazing time doing them.

The day was followed by a steak dinner at Marquis’ which was very welcome as I was famished.

I must commend the team at Atmosphair for their organization. They set up a boogie with some of the lowest prices ever seen in Quebec (20$ + tax for a jump) and managed to pull off an amazing event regardless of the weather. My hat’s off to you guys!

Blue Skies!



Posted on Leave a comment

Will you raise the bar?


Hey everyone!

The off season’s half over, with that, Sebastian Bos at GoSkydive UK got in touch with me and wrote up a post about this past year’s accomplishments… What do YOU have planned for 2013? Think you can raise the bar higher?


A new breed of heroes have raised the bar in 2012

By Sebastian Bos

It’s been a tough few years for sports fans who’ve had to watch a succession of their favourite sporting idols fall from grace. First it was Tiger, then came Lance and the final admission that brought an end to the slow puncture of his reputation. Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula 1 was chequered at best, while the old master Roger Federer began to show signs that his reign at the top of the tennis world may be coming to an end. And, of course, footballers continued to be more trouble than they were worth.

Can we consider 2012 to be a changing of the guard then? Bradley Wiggins won the Yellow Jersey clean at the Tour de France; Team GB inspired a nation with their feats of strength, speed, intelligence, coordination and determination at the Olympics; and both Andy Murray and Rory McIllroy played their part in creating the most memorable year in British sporting history.

But across the pond in America, one man’s achievement rose above them all – quite literally. In record breaking Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, the world was presented with an adventurer who was prepared to push the boundaries of human technology to the limit and test the laws of physics like no one before him. Leaping to the earth from the edge of space isn’t something most people can get their heads around, but by bringing skydiving into the limelight from 24 miles up, Baumgartner demonstrated what makes it the pinnacle of adventure sports. How else could you enjoy the stunning views of the world from thousands of feet up with absolute freedom while travelling at over 100mph – or in Felix’s case nearer 800mph? In becoming one of the most viewed moments of 2012 across the world, Fearless Felix allowed us all to share in that sense of excitement and anticipation that comes with being courageous enough to make that leap. Skydivers often speak about their love of the adrenaline rush that they get from freefalling and the sense of empowerment that they get from facing up to a challenge and proving that they can do anything.

If you’d like to try something different and push yourself out of your comfort zone, why not try a Skydive ( out for yourself? At GOskydive thrill seekers are offered the best training and equipment available to make your skydiving experience an unforgettable one.


If you aren’t in the UK, but are planning a trip there, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the people at GOskydive. If you’re simply looking for general info about the dropzones in your area, send us an email and we’ll be glad to help out.


Blue skies everyone!



Posted on Leave a comment

Party d’halloween et fin de saison Atmosphair – Par Pierre “Peter Pan” B.

Hey everyone, bonjour tout le monde!

This one’s only in french as I didn’t write it and don’t have time to translate it, but I’ll re-write it later this week for all you Anglophones out there.

Je n’ai pas pu être au party de fin de saison et d’Halloween à Atmosphair, donc j’ai demandé à mon ami Pierre de m’écrire un article à propos. Voici le résultat:
Un party à l’image de Parachutisme Atmosphair : simple, authentique et combien énergique. Le moment est venu de dire au revoir à la belle saison 2012 et son party de fin d’année devait être à la hauteur de la belle saison et surtout à l’image des parachutistes.


Après une dernière journée de sauts pour les moins frileux et les plus crinqués, tous sont invités dans le hangar pour souligner la fin de la saison : un party costumé! Plus de 100 personnes (certaines arrivaient même de Montréal!) se sont déplacées pour participer à ce party. Ce fut un franc succès : décor, musique, personnages venus on ne sait d’où, tout y était!!!


Parachutisme Atmosphair a la chance d’avoir parmi ses membres deux artistes bourrées de talent : Julie et Joany qui ont su réchauffer la salle et mettre une belle ambiance pendant qu’on se régalait au buffet à Marquis.


Qui dit party de fin de saison dit place à ceux qui se sont démarqués! Soulignons la personnalité masculine de l’année : Guy Labarre, les personnalités féminines : les Kit-4 et la recrue de l’année : Jimmy Desbiens.


Après le repas, place à la danse! Dj Sp@cE y était pour dégourdir les pattes et tenter d’épuiser les infatigables. L’esprit est à la fête et les gens en demanderont encore et encore, en passant par les demandes (très) spéciales, et ce, jusqu’à 4 heures du matin! Quelqu’un a osé croire que ça se terminerait tôt?


Sans oublier les nombreux prix de présence offerts. Un remerciement particulier aux commanditaires Adam de Skydive Addiction et Frankais qui ont fait plusieurs heureux!

Parachutisme Atmosphair peut dire sans prétention : mission accomplie!
Blue skies tout le monde!

Posted on Leave a comment

Skydiving in Hurricane Season – Part 4 – Skydive Sebastian

Hey everyone,


For our last day in Florida, we decided to make it a big one! We made a 2 hour trek from Daytona Beach all the way south to Sebastian Florida.

Sebastian is a small town with a BIG drop zone… The DZ is known for it’s proximity to the ocean and the beach jumps that they organize.

We got there on a rainy-ish day with mixed weather. It was sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then sunny, then rainy, etc..


For our first jump, Geneviève and I just decided to go and enjoy the view. On the plane, I met a guy named Nick.

Nick, as it turned out was a CReW dog and was going to have fun in the sky. I got so caught up in conversation with him, I barely noticed that my helmet, that I had put on my side before take off had fallen out the pilot’s door which he had opened to get some air. Luckily, I caught wind of it before we took off. (Good thing too!)

She and I did a 2 way fun jump and I opened high so as to just enjoy the view. It’s truly a beautiful view. The plane takes off from the DZ, flies over the ocean then flies back towards the DZ to prep the jump run. Being that the wind was coming from the ocean, we flew out pretty far. Now, Geneviève having never been to the ocean before this trip was in awe. Someone even asked her on the plane if she was scared because she kept looking out the window haha! Come landing time, I ended up making a bad decision and attempting to land crosswind. This was a terrible idea and I ended up messing up my landing and cutting my leg up pretty bad. Luckily, it started raining, so while I was off cleaning myself up, I wasn’t missing much.


Afterwards, Nick offered to lend me a CRW canopy so that I could jump with him. This canopy turned out to be quite famous. It belonged to none other than Mike Lewis. Now, for those of you who don’t know who Mike Lewis is… He is a Skygod… But not just any Skygod. He is a CRW Skygod who has helped this part of the sport grow enormously. He has participated in countless records and this canopy was the one he flew for the world record. He joined the formation as number 100. Needless to say, this canopy was more famous than I was haha. It also has 3 holes in it that are un patched and is probably almost as old as I am… Perfect for CRW!!!! =)

So after swapping out my Safire2 and showing me some tricks for replacing your canopy (Thanks Nick!), Nick had put the Lightning into my container. Notice the beautiful look it gave my brand new Vector?

Anyways, during the jump, Nick showed me some basic CRW control maneuvers, we did dock once, I was on top of his canopy on a 2 person stack. We tried to have him dock onto me, but I wasn’t able to get myself below him and close enough to him to do so so we flew side by side and he taught me how to lose altitude in quick bursts before coming in for the landing.


As usual, a CRW landing is a fairly rough rolling or sliding landing. I hit my leg again and suffered some more pain. I also ended up getting my new rig filthy… Again! Since I was leaving within 12 hours, I grounded myself so that I could get it clean before putting my main back in there.


Overall, I loved the drop zone, it’s much more of a laid back place then DeLand is, it seems to be a DZ where you can just go and have some fun. There are relatively few belly fliers there, most people either do CReW or they Freefly.


If you have a review of a DZ that you’d like to share, send me an email, I’d like to post it.


Posted on 2 Comments

Skydiving in hurricane season – Part 3 – UPT visit



Hey everyone,

I trust you’ve all been well, I’ve been super busy dealing with my day job, dozens of different appointments that I kept putting off because of skydiving (Dr, Dentist, etc…), getting back to training at the gym regularly (6 days a week).

Basically, just been quite hectic this past while.

So anyhow, without further ado, here’s part 3 of our trip to Florida.

Our visit to UPT.

On our 4th day in Daytona, we realized that we couldn’t simply spend our time skydiving and that we had to go around and do some tourism. Our first stop was UPT. Being our sponsors and being that they simply ROCK when it comes to customer service, they took us on a tour of the facilities.

Mark Klingelhoefer (who from now will be referred to as Mark K for obvious reasons) was the man to show us around. I must say… This man knows his stuff. There is not a piece of equipment that he doesn’t know inside and out and he is more than happy to tell you about it.

Mark used to sell replacement gear so he has gotten to know everything piece by piece. I won’t go into details about every bit of equipment on a container as it would be long and tedious to read, but if you’re curious, just head on over to the UPT Facebook page to see all the different add-ons and parts of a Vector 3 there are. If you still have questions, just send him a message.

So UPT’s facilities are located in DeLand florida. They have 3 addresses. The main building where everything is made and the offices are, there is the shipping and receiving building and the rigging loft.
We started off in the main building.
Mark showed us some of the more “special” containers.

The black and red “thing” in the middle was Bill Booth’s first ever container. It was the beginning of a new era in sport skydiving. Notice that there is no reserve flap. This is because this rig preceded reserves being packed into the container. People still jumped with chest or belly mounted reserves.

Speaking about reserves. Above, you will find the “cutaway” snaps. You would open up the mechanism, put your thumbs into the metal loops and pull both simultaneously. If you didn’t pull them at the same time, you’d end up in quite a mess.

Next came the extractor. Nowadays, your pilot chute is a little less than 2 feet across. This was it’s grandfather. The first ever hand deploy pilot chute. As you can see there were air pockets somewhat similar to those on a ram air canopy that would cause the drag that would pull out your main. (And no, it’s not collapsible).

Next came this furry beast. This was Bill’s 10 000th rig manufactured. (Notice some upgrades?). To celebrate his 10 000th rig, Bill decided that he wanted it to cost 10 000$ to make. So he had all the metal parts gold plated and put mink fur lining all over it. Mink fur being the most expensive available at the time. But after completing it, he realized that it had only cost him 6 000$ to make.

So he added two of these:

Bill only flew it once to say that he had jumped it and planned to put it away. But a few weeks after he had made it, he got a phone call from none other than Playboy mogul Hugh Heffner. Hugh had heard a rumor about the rig and wanted to know if it was true. Sure enough, Bill told him about it and Hugh asked him if he could borrow it for a short while. Two Playboy Playmates ended up jumping the rig…. Bill’s only disappointment? He got to jump the rig, the Playmates got to jump the rig, but he didn’t get to jump the Playmates.

Above: Bill jumping rig 10 000.


At some point, Bill went to a ZZ Top lookalike contest and ended up winning 1st place. What did he win? A pair of blue leather snakeskin boots.
He was so proud of these boots that he decided to make rig # 20 000 and a jumpsuit to match.

The only problem with a jumpsuit that matched blue leather snakeskin boots? Well… leather jumpsuits in Florida on a heavy set man… You get the idea.

I don’t have images for # 30000 and 40000, but # 50 000 was also a very odd looking one:

And finally number 53821. this one was used for a jump from Everest.

The rig was standard except a couple of mods: 1) it had small loops that held his oxygen tubes in place and 2) the handles were modified to fit his thick gloves.


After Mark gave us the tour of all the rigs, he brought us through the workshop. I call it a workshop and not a factory simply because everything is done by hand and I have the image of a factory needing machines.

The first area was a stitching area where the pieces are stitched together in groups. The person in this picture was making reserve cover flaps for military orders. (The whole row she’s in does NOTHING BUT military orders). We can’t divulge how many containers are made for confidentiality reasons, but I can say… It’s a LOT.

Another view of the same room, this time from one of the edges to show you just how big the room actually is. (There are two identical rooms like this plus a HUGE empty storage area that they recently built)

Now, a container is built of many different pieces. In each area, someone is responsible for cutting shapes for some parts, someone else stitches those together, someone else puts another part that was made elsewhere in the workshop together with the now made piece and stitches it, and so on. It’s a veritable relay race with each person doing something different. For example: we met a woman who was making hackies to be stitched onto pilot chutes. All she did all day was stitch two pieces of leather together and filed them with filler. Someone else would then stitch them onto the pilot chutes as they are ordered.

Above is the back pad. Notice that the harness isn’t a part of it? It’s actually stitched on as well. (It’s done very securely, but it isn’t made as a single piece… Hence the warning not to put your lines bgetween the D-bag and the reserve as it could risk ripping it. You wouldn’t detach from your parachute, but you’d have some expensive repairs to get done)

The final picture shows you just how many different colors you COULD have on your custom Vector.

For those of you wondering: The pig logo is called the wonderhog. It was designed in the 90’s as the name of the first sports modified container was the wonderhog. It was named the wonderhog because the reserve was piggy backed on top of the main instead of being belly mounted.

UPT has a long waiting period simply because they cannot fill all the orders in a shorter time span. All the staff is supposed to be off on Fridays yet they have been working every Friday for months simply to get all the orders out, yet more simply keep on coming in.

It was simply awesome getting to tour the UPT workshop, I learned a hell of a lot from Mark and I have to say. Bill is a mad genius for coming up with all of his inventions and if it wasn’t for him, most people involved in skydiving would either be jumping completely different gear or simply wouldn’t even be involved in the sport at all.

I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone at United Parachute Technologies for their hospitality, Tara for getting me my rig on a weekend so that I could jump with it, Mark for taking us on the tour and Rosi for agreeing to sponsor us.


Part 4 to come soon…

In the meantime:

Blue skies everyone!


Posted on Leave a comment

Great weekend at the Tokaya Chick’s Boogie



Hey everyone!

So I was at the Tokaya Chick’s Boogie over the weekend… And apparently, so was everyone else! There were over 100 people signed up for the event and it looks to be that there will be even more next year.

The event was organized by Karine Lemelin and Karine Provost, the two ladies also run Tokaya, a green company that basically designs and sells clothing made of Bamboo.

I wasn’t present for the whole weekend as I had to work on the Saturday, but I did manage to get there just after dinner time. They had turned a barn into a dinner hall and did a wonderful job at it!

As a side note: The boys from Parachute Montreal all skydived in wearing dress shirts and bow ties which was quite funny to see… Pretty much a James Bond style jump.
Dinner was raw vegan… Not exactly my thing, nor my girlfriend’s, but I’m guessing that for those who are into it, it must’ve been great =)
After dinner, they started some games, had a couple of bodyguards (guys) strip their clothes off for prizes, who could do the most squats with their lady friend in their arms, etc… I found some of the games more fair than others as some were geared towards applause, which usually leads to who has the most friends there winning. But all that aside, I’m pretty sure everyone had a lot of laughs.

This was followed by a percussion band who played as they walked everyone from the barn to the Manifest where there was a DJ booth set up and people could continue to party the night away.
The drummers played at least a couple of hours and got everyone engaged which was great fun.
The DJs looked kind of bored though, but that was simply because people were having such a great time with the percussionists.

There weren’t any drinks available for people who hadn’t thought of bringing anything with them, so for some people, it was a dry night, but the night went on until at least 3-4 AM.


The next morning was sort of rough for some people as an 8 am wake up for skydiving isn’t always very easy after partying all night, but there were plenty of people in the sky.
I was on a couple of loads organized by none other than Melanie Curtis. I only got on two loads that day, but Nick Grillet (From Arizona Airspeed) got into the skies and showed people how things are done!
He came up with a bunch of fun skydives including a Speedstar to back flip 10 way. (10 people racing to form a star, then all back flipping).

The day pretty much continued on that note, there weren’t any activities on the Sunday unfortunately, but from what I read on many Facebook statuses, people seemed to have had a great time.

Sorry I didn’t have much more to say about it, but I wasn’t there for the whole time. 🙁

Blue ones for now everyone!




Posted on 3 Comments

You absolutely have to get to Boogie Fest….



If you don’t have the chance to get there by the last day (August 5th) then you ABSOLUTELY MUST attend next year.

This was the first boogie that parachutisme Atmosphair had and what a boogie it was!
It started on July 25th and will be going on until August 5th.

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend by Pierre Bilodeau AKA Peter Pan. He’s one of the 6 DZOs at the drop zone which is located just outside Quebec city in Quebec Canada.
He was setting up the event organized around Festivent which is a hot air balloon festival in Quebec city.

Pierre never ceased to impress me during my entire time at the DZ. He is extremely lively, always up for fun jumps and was simply a blast to be around.


Unfortunately I have a day job, so I was only able to attend for a couple of days. I arrived on Saturday July 28th at around 8 PM. Just in time to see a sexy 2 plane 30 way sunset jump. The load was organized by the lovely Katie Woods, an English skydiver who lived at Deland for a while before moving north to the Montreal area. Katie took care of organizing all the big ways of the weekend for us. (More on that later)

After the sunset load landed, I had the opportunity to be welcomed by Scott Bland and Paul Litherland who were running the Wingsuit camp.


They were doing a briefing of the last jump that was done with the camp.


I had never met Scott before, but Paul and I had met when I was doing my AFF at Skydive City in Z-Hills. He’s a great guy and a hell of a photographer!

After I met them, I proceeded to set up my tent next to the hangar and I went on to eat with everyone at the dining hall. when I was greeted by this:

A sexy BBQ/Smoker for our ribs! That’s right, dinner was a rack of ribs… MAAAAN do they know how to sell themselves to me =D.
Following the dinner, we were given a fire breathing show by a couple of skydivers:

This was followed by a bunch of beers and some partying in the packing loft.
Unfortunately, my camera didn’t manage to take such great shots in the black light, but we were given a live DJ show and a sweet light set up!


I went to bed fairly early… In fact, I was snoring by about Midnight. The next morning, bright and early I started roaming around the DZ meeting more people. Pierre got me onto the second load for an 11 way big way which was a great chance for me to warm up and also get to be part of what would be a full day of big ways!

Katie was organizing all the loads and took care of all the briefings and planning. We just needed to go where she told us to be haha. =)

The first jump was done from the Caravan, which was fairly successful. I unfortunately wasn’t able to get my hands on any shots of the jump.


The second was an 18 way that turned into a 20 way as we were being briefed by Katie. This was done from both the Twin Otter and the Caravan, 10 in each plane.


I’d like to point out that Pierre mentioned that this was the first time he was able to dock without issue. Being that he doesn’t have complete use of his legs, being able to dock at all is a feat in itself. Hat’s off to you Peter Pan!


The following jump was a 16 way which didn’t go as smoothly unfortunately. What was of note is that Katie divided the jump into two sides, one side being the more experienced skydivers, the other being the less experienced ones. The only side that actually connected completely was the less experienced one. NYA NYA! (Ok, enough teasing, the more experienced people were jumping from a different plane altogether haha)



The final big way of the day was another 20 way. on my exit, I banged my head on the handle bar and messed up my exit, caught up to the group, but ended up on the wrong side of the formation, by the time I had placed myself in the right area, I was too low to be able to catch up to the group, so I flew off. My messing up lead to it being a very symmetric formation however, so it wasn’t all bad. 🙂

All in all, I learned a heck of a lot during that day and I truly appreciate the fact that this boogie was set up the way it was. No one was left behind, be it their 100th big way or their 1st, they were allowed to participate and were given ample coaching and proper briefings to get to learn.

The wing suit peeps also mentioned that they loved the camp and that Scott and Paul were great teachers (I never doubted it).


We finished off the day by doing a drawing and a contest for a few prizes that our sponsors had given me to hand out as well as the event sponsors.

UPT had given me some shirts, packing pull-ups and two 30%/15% discounts on brand new Vector containers. (For those of you who don’t know, Vector containers are among the best on the market, and 30% off the price + 15% off add-ons saves a HELL of a lot of money)

NZ Aerosports sent me some stickers, temporary tattoos, packing pull-ups, bottle openers and a few other goodies.

Vigil sponsored the event directly by giving a 50% rebate on a brand new Vigil AAD and a Vigil backpack.

Frankais also sponsored the event directly by giving a 30% rebate on a pair of Freefly pants, a 100% rebate on a a pair of freefly pants, a free reserve repack and two packing mats.

Aside from these, there were 10 tickets to Festivent (The Quebec City sky festival) and 5 flashlights (Sort of a gag gift I guess)


We decided that we would raffle off everything to all the participants of the boogie who had signed up.

Since there were so many winner, I’ll simply name those who won big prizes:

Hélène Bouffard – Reserve Repack
Mario Morales – 30% rebate off Freefly pants
Jérome Caron – 100% rebate off Freefly pants
Odile Bélanger – 30/15 rebate off a UPT Vector Container
Martin Casgrain – 50% rebate off a Vigil

Now, I mentioned that there was TWO rebates from UPT.

For the second rebate, we figured we’d have a bit of fun. Since NZ Aerosports had sent us a whole bunch of temporary tattoos, we figured we’d have a little contest:
The person who came up with the most original placement of said tattoos would win the prize.

Here are some highlights:

We had such a hard time deciding on this as there were lots of great ones, so we ended up picking the top 6 and doing a draw for the winner.

The winner of the contest was Nicolas Alie-Chartrand.

I’d like to take a quick second to that UPT and NZ Aerosports for their generosity and for sponsoring some gifts for the event.

I also want to give a HUGE thank you to Pierre and Isabelle for being so hospitable. I’ll DEFINITELY be back.

Blue skies in the meantime everyone!




Photos by:
Marc Guerin
Sylvain Demers
Martin Casgrain
Guy Labarre
Denis Lessard
Jose Calderon
Alain Houde

Posted on 3 Comments

Review: Skydive Gananoque

Hey everyone!

So first thing’s first, I’d like to Lucie to the team, I’d also like to wish Ashley ( well and I’m happy to hear that she’s well on the road to recovery. =D
It’s always hard for me to hear about friends of mine that sustain injuries, especially the kind that stop them from doing the thing they love most… Skydiving!


So Back to the topic at hand. Earlier this month, (March 31st and April 1st) the “Frenchie Invasion Tour” (my friends from Quebec and I) went to Skydive Gananoque.
I had never been there before (Yes I bought beer) and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I heard a lot of stories about the place from friends of mine that had gone about the crazy campfires they have there. (More to come on that later on in this post).

Friday evening, I was picked up by a couple of friends, and we headed down to Gananoque (1000 islands). We arrived just after 8:30 PM to check in at our motel.

Needless to say, we’re kind of childish (Would you expect different from a group of Skydivers?).



So we headed out to a restaurant called the Riverside Bar & Grill.
We were greeted by Will McCarthy (The Co. DZO at Skydive Gananoque), his girlfriend Michelle (Who also happens to be a Skydive coach) and a bunch of the others from Quebec.

The food was awful, but we had some beers and headed back to the hotel.

We proceeded to do what skydivers do best: Crack open a case of beer and sit around and tell stories.


The next morning we headed over to the DZ to meet up with the rest of the group and start our day.

Now, Skydive Gananoque is fairly off the beaten path in a sense, you could quite easily drive right by it without realizing you passed it until you’re 5 miles down the road.
We had a GPS with us, so we sort of got saved by that.

The Drop zone has quite a big landing area, it’s easy to spot from the sky and has a HUGE hangar… Unfortunately, the packing area isn’t so huge, so we just packed in the hangar.

(Pictured above: Rachel P and Alex D.)

(Above: Aerial view of the DZ taken by Will McCarthy)

So we began our day with the tandem master refreshers. As I had already mentioned in my last post.
(Above: My girlfriend and I posing for the camera before we “risk our lives” in the hands of someone who’s name we don’t even know =D )

Following  the tandem jumps, we did several loads including Lucie’s 100th. The load was planned by Will McCarthy and was quite a success.
(Pictures above taken by Alain Milot)

Of course, this jump was followed by a good old fashioned Pieing (Video to come)

(Above photos taken by Alain Milot)

We ended the day all together at another restaurant in the area (I can’t remember the name) then headed back to the DZ for an INSANE campfire. I’ve been around a LOT of campfires at lots of DZs, but this was BY FAR the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never witnessed someone needing a farm tractor to keep it going… (Yes, Will supplied a tractor for this campfire)

And no, the logs were not cut before being used. (For you tree-huggers out there, all the trees being used for the campfire had fallen during the winter)

Overall, I can confidently say that this is my favorite drop zone that I’ve been to so far. Tom and Will McCarthy are extremely welcoming, the entire staff of Skydive Gananoque were great to us and jumping out of the sexy King Air was a blast as always.
I will most definitely go back, and I suggest that anyone who’s reading this head there too!

A HUGE thank you to Tom, Will and Michelle (Didn’t get a good shot of Will to post):

As well as a shout out and thank you to Alain Milot for allowing me to use his pictures:

PS: I’ll be back at Gan on Victoria Day weekend, I hope to see some of you there and maybe get a few jumps done with all of you!

Blue Skies!


Posted on Leave a comment

PST Pics – Taken by Steve Tambosso

So I got in touch with Steve Tambosso the local photographer at PST.

He sent me some REALLY sweet pictures that he shot.

You can check them out below: (Click on them to zoom)

Posted on Leave a comment

Winter jumps at PST

So first off, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Adam Mabee at Parachute School of Toronto for the ENORMOUS hospitality he showed us at PST.

Not only were we welcomed with open arms, he made sure that we got into the sky even when mother nature wasn’t 100% cooperative. The wind conditions were perfect, but cloud ceiling wasn’t very much so….
We got several hop and pops done, some emergency exit practice and luckily I even managed to get in on one of the two loads that got to 9.5k (We had a blue hole opened up for us for about an hour on the Sunday).

Long story short, Adam was a great host, and I honestly look forward to going back to PST again.

So Friday evening around 4:30 pm, we head off from Montreal for a 7 hour drive to Toronto.
We were to be the last ones there, leaving Montreal with somewhat disappointing weather (There was a pretty big snowfall while we were on our way), that left me kind of worried that we wouldn’t get to jump if conditions stayed this way. But as we got closer and closer to our destination, things got greener and greener…
To put things simply: There was no snow after the Quebec/Ontario border.

Now, we’re beginning February in Canada… One would expect to see some white… But seriously, there was nothing at all.

At this point I’m thinking “What the hell kind of a winter jump is this gonna be? I’ll be landing on grass”

But we continue on our way regardless. Obviously we’re not here for snow, we’re here to jump off planes.

Around 11:30 PM, we arrive at the hotel, everyone’s been drinking, we’re last to arrive. The others has stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings and managed to get us sponsored. We would have to skydive while wearing their kid’s crown, in exchange, we’d get 50 wings. For those of you who don’t know, B.W.W. has a hot wing challenge where you have 5 minutes to eat 10 of their hottest wings (200 000 – 350 000 scoville) – More on that later.

So we get drunk and head to bed around 2:30 AM like good skydivers. ( We can sleep on the plane right? 🙂 )

At 7:30 AM, we get up and head out for breakfast then on to the DZ.

We arrive around 10 AM.

The DZ is just opening up, they’re pulling their Cessna 182 out of the hangar (The 206 had just gotten a new engine, so they’re going easy on it for a bit).
I walk in to see this:

Put a smile on my face, even though Adam hates it for being tacky.
I manifest myself on the first load to 4500 feet to get a quick hop and pop done and to simply work off the rust since my last skydive.
While on the load, that beautiful blue sky you see in the picture earlier proceeds to disappear and we’re told that the ceiling is at about 5000 at the moment.
Worked for this load, but later on, it kept creeping lower, and lower, and lower, and lower…
Luckily, Adam kept us warm with a nice fire:

Needless to say, the ceiling never went back up and stuck around 3000-3200 feet.
Adam made sure that our time wasn’t wasted and let those of us who were comfortable do some emergency exit practices:
We may not have gotten full altitude, but we did have a great time.

That night, we went back to B.W.W.

With our pictures from the day as proof:


 We of course got our hot wings…And yes, I proceeded to eat them in less than 5 minutes… Tears, runny nose, burning fingers and all…. I will not go into details about how my poor colon felt the next day.

So Sunday morning, we headed back to PST for some more action. We had convinced Adam to open early so that we could get as many jumps in as possible before heading back.
We were greeted by gray skies and a ceiling of 5000 in the morning. So once again, hop and pops.
I got on the 3rd load, attempted to do a mini track jump with one of the girls, but ended up back-flipping unintentionally on the way out and simply tracking on my own.
After that jump, I decided to sit out for a bit to warm up while the others jumped more.
I’m super glad I did, because Adam came in to announce that there was a hole that opened up.
Before he even got further than the word “hole” to tell us how high we could go, myself and 2 others were running to the whiteboard to put our names on the next load.

We got up to 9.5k, I got to do some head down, and I had triumphed at what I had set out to do: Get a full altitude winter jump done at PST.

All was well until about 500 feet, when I realized that I was coming in to land on a patch of ice. I figure “time to slide on my butt”, I proceed to do so, but then slide another 20 feet past the ice right into the mud.
Those wings + my muddy backside have won me the nickname “Shitty pants” at the DZ for quite some time.

Hopefully Adam and the others at PST enjoyed the laugh at my expense.


Once again, I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to Adam and the peeps at PST for being so welcoming and so nice to this group of crack-headed skydivers from Quebec.
I have to say that of all the Drop Zones I’ve visited, this is by far one of the ones that is MOST fun jump oriented. Adam is a true saint in the sport, he runs the school for the love of the sport and not for the money.
Rentals at 12$ if you pack them yourself are by far the cheapest I’ve ever seen for any canopies at all. (You’re jumping Sabers if you go for the sport canopies)

If ever you’re in the area, be sure to stop in for a fun jump or two, and as Adam constantly says “Just don’t fuck up”.


Blue skies everyone! (More pictures from PST on our facebook page and here)

Adam A!