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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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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!




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What a week for Canadian skydiving!

Hey everyone!

Sorry about the delay on the posts, I had quite a setback with my move, just getting back into the swing of things.


So this week was quite an insane week for Canadian skydiving in Quebec. It started with Mission 100, the Lemay family’s 2 year project. (For those of you who don’t know, the Lemay family are also known as team Evolution, they are and have been team Canada for 4 way relative work for many years. They also happen to operate two drop zones in Quebec and part of Skyventure Montreal.)

Mission 100 was first attempted in 2011, but unfortunately didn’t pan out after a few attempts. So they decided to give it a whirl in 2012 a second time. 102 skydivers participated, and 102 skydivers made the formation.

Here is what it looked like from below:

(Picture by Andrew Toman of the Hired Guns – Parachute Montreal)

This was a HUGE event for Canadian skydiving, and it is sure to be remembered by at least 102 people who now have their names in the record books!


The second is equally as impressive, but completely different in it’s own way:

This past weekend was the Go Big boogie at Voltige 2001 a weekend oriented around big ways. 17 000 foot skydives, 3 caravans and lots of smiling faces!

They broke the Canadian head down record with 29 people!!!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the record, but as soon as I do get my hands on one, it’ll be on our Facebook page!


I’d like to congratulate everyone who participated on a job well done!

And I want to give a shout out to the organizers of these events as without people like them, skydiving would be a lot less organized. =)


Blue skies everyone!