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What are you truly passionate about?



Earlier today, someone asked me a question that got me thinking…

He asked me what I was passionate about… Immediately, I replied “Skydiving”. To which he then asked “why?” sell me on your passion.

Six hours later, I find myself still thinking about the question. I didn’t have a hard time answering him at all, but it got me to thinking do we all truly feel the way I do? Does every other skydiver who’s passionate about the sport truly sold the same way I am? Or maybe I’m the one who’s not as obsessive as they are. Some skydivers I’ve met told me that I was stupid to take time off to rest my sprained knee while others just said “that sucks”.

In life, not everyone finds something to be passionate about, some people spend their entire lives searching for this passion while others know it early on in life. I stumbled upon it randomly while on a “yes man” challenge.

I had spent a year as a yes man starting in January 2009 where my best friend and I would say yes to any and all invitations to participate in activities, go to events, learn things, travel, etc… Obviously, we had to use logic in our endeavors (I did however give a lift to a homeless person, which looking back on it, probably wasn’t the brightest idea, but he did show me a spot where I could park my car for free downtown any night).

That year lead me to learning Salsa dancing, traveling to Cuba, New York, Boston and the Bahamas, bungee jumping, doing my tandem and many many many other things. It probably was one of the best years of my life.
After having done my tandem, I had approached the owners of the DZ and asked them about doing my AFF to which one of them replied “that’s what they all say” and laughed. He did proceed to offer me to join them in Zhills for my AFF course and the rest is history.

Fast forward 4 years and I’m now a sponsored skydiver as well as an equipment dealer and I find myself a big part of the skydive community in Quebec. A lot can change in such a short period of time when you love what you do… So what are you passionate about?


Blue ones!


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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!



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20th Anniversary of Parachutisme Atmosphair!

Bonjour tout le monde!


Nos amis à Parachutisme Atmosphair célèbrent leur 20e anniversaire cet année.

Pour fêter ceci, ils font un concours mensuel ou ils donnent soit un saut Tandem, un rabais de 15% sur un cours de parachutisme ou des sauts gratuits dépendant de votre statut comme parachutiste.

Je vous suggère fortement de mettre vos noms!

Bonne chance!

Hey Everyone!

So our friends at Parachutisme Atmosphair are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

To highlight this momentous occasion, they are having a monthly draw giving away either a tandem skydive, a 15% discount on skydive lessons or some free jump tickets depending on your status as a skydiver.

I strongly suggest that you all sign up!

Being that it’s in Quebec City, it’s all in French, but just to sum it up:
You fill in the details, (Last name, first name, e-mail) then the same for a friend you’d like to refer.

Good luck and Blue Skies!


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The off season….

So while most people here are “enjoying” the off season… Some of our friends are out in Dubai living it up at the world skydive competitions.


We’d like to give a shout out to Rise N Shine (Bruno from Brainshell’s team) as well as the Flying Ferns (Shan from NZ Aerosports’ team).
To those of you who who are competing, we’d like to wish you all the success in the world!

We’re all watching you!


I unfortunately haven’t gotten the rights to post any photos yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll have an update!


Blue skies everyone!



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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!


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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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Interesting article

So this past weekend was fairly rainy, so I didn’t get the opportunity to do any skydiving while I was in Victoriaville visiting my girlfriend, however I did get the chance to give her her birthday gift. I’m taking her Hang gliding.

I know it’s not skydive related, but she’s already a skydiver (with more jumps than I have I might add) so what do you get someone who already loves the sky? A completely new experience that will throw her off guard! =D

We’re planning on going within the next couple of weeks, so look out for an article about our experience with that.


I came across an article on the PD website about Pack Volumes that is quite interesting as most skydivers don’t seem to think about that when buying their canopies/containers. Different canopies pack differently and each type has a different total volume when packed, this article talks a bit about it, figured I’d share it with all of you.

Pack Volume: The Untold Story

by: Ian Bellis

How big does it pack?, Will it fit in my container?, I’ll buy the one that packs smaller.

How many times have you asked or heard someone ask these types of questions?

Pack volume has become a major advertising point for manufacturers and a decision making factor for purchases, but before you go out and buy the “smallest packing canopy” of a given size There are a few things you should know:

I. Canopy Size:  “All 170’s are not created equal


Q. When you see a canopy advertised as 170 square feet, how big do you think it really is? The answer may surprise you…

A. It all depends on the measuring method! Canopies can have their span (wingtip to wingtip) and chord (nose to tail) measured in different locations. Which locations are used can have a significant impact on the resulting numbers. P.I.A. attempted to devise a method which would standardize the measurement of canopy area. There were problems inherent in this method however, and based upon the resulting variance, which are due to factors in the construction of canopies, we cannot use these numbers to accurately compare one manufacturer=s canopy to another. This has resulted in the current situation where the different manufacturers have addressed the “area question” with their own measuring methods. Each method has a certain validity to it. There is no one correct method, however everyone should be aware of the following: Whether it is top surface or bottom surface, along the curve of the airfoil or along the chordline (see fig. 1), the resulting area can easily vary by 10%-20%! What this means is that unless you are comparing two canopies within a certain manufacturers measuring method, you cannot directly compare the advertised area of one to another! If one manufacturer measured another’s canopy, they would undoubtedly advertise it as a different size. Even if the sizes were identical, the airfoil size and shape alone could significantly affect the volume of the canopy, not to mention its flight and landing characteristics.

Another aspect is whether a canopy is measured while laying flat on the ground or if the measurements are based on the canopy’s configuration while inflated. Once a canopy inflates, its actualsurface area is quite different (smaller) than if it was measured lying flat. The reason for this is the distortion of the cells when actually inflated and flying (see fig. 2). The important thing to remember is the size of the inflated and flying canopy is what you will have to land.

The bottom line here is, you might not have as much canopy over your head or reserve packed in your container as you think…


II. Construction Method


Q. If you have two canopies of the same size (measured the same way of course), then they should have the same pack volume?

A. Not necessarily. The type and amount of reinforcing tapes, types of seams, the number of ribs, air locks, etc. will all play a part in the pack volume. In the final analysis, the more fabric, tapes etc. in a given canopy, the larger the pack volume. This is something each individual needs to decide on their own in terms of its worth. While some people might accept a slightly larger pack volume for a reserve with more reinforcement, they might not feel the same way when it comes to their main. It is up to you, the important thing is to understand the difference in construction, their benefits and drawbacks, and then make an informed decision on which canopy to buy.


III. Fabric Type and Related Variances


Q. Why does one type of fabric have a larger pack volume than another?

A. Several reasons for this one:
Fabric thickness
is one aspect. Different types and production runs of fabric have different
thicknesses. This affects the pack volume of the fabric itself.

Zero porosity vs. Low porosity (F111 type):

While most people assume 0P fabric packs larger than low porosity, in part due to its thickness, the more important factor is the person packing it. We have all seen individuals who can pack a 0P canopy of a given size into a container easily, while that same canopy container combination would give others “fits” trying to pack it. This is obviously not due to any change in the pack volume of the canopy. The truth is, it is easier to maintain control of low porosity fabric while packing, which allows the average person to pack it noticeably smaller. Zero porosity fabric has great advantages in longevity and consistency of performance though. One option for people who do not want to deal with the packing of zero porosity, but would still like some of the benefits in longevity and performance, are canopies constructed of a combination of zero porosity and low porosity fabrics. At least two major manufacturers offer canopies of this description.


Zero porosity vs. Zero porosity:

Some people believe that, all things being equal, (which we have already stated is almost never the case) one 0P canopy would pack the same as another. Not true. “Not all 0P fabric is created equal. The different methods for producing the yarn, weaving the fabric and processing this woven fabric into low porosity or “zero porosity” can have a great impact on the pack volume. It can also have an effect on the longevity of the zero porosity aspect of the fabric. Not all 0P fabric remains 0P. While this change could result in easier packing, it may not be desirable in terms of opening, flight and landing characteristics (another subject for another article). Suffice it to say, if you are not sure about the fabric used in a particular canopy, ask the manufacturer about any long term porosity testing they have done.

Fabric lots:

Even with the same type of fabric from the same manufacturer, there can be variances of 30%-50% from one fabric lot to another! Amazing as this might seem, this is an area that no parachute manufacturer can control. Parachute manufacturers buy their fabric from textile manufacturers and much as we would like it to be otherwise, this variance is inherent in the fabric manufacturing process. While it does not affect the fabric structurally, it does have the stated impact on pack volume. Everything involved from the drawing of filaments, to weaving those filaments into fabric which is then processed into low porosity or zero porosity “canopy fabric” incorporate processes which can change the ultimate pack volume of a canopy. One aspect which is often overlooked is what is known as the “hand” of the fabric. This is the ease with which a fabric can be folded, pretty important when you consider that’s all packing is. A fabric with a “soft hand” will pack smaller than a fabric with a “stiff hand”. The best analogy used to explain this concept to me was the “wet paper” analogy. Take a piece of paper and wad it up into a ball as tightly as you can, now take another piece of paper (the same size) and wet it, now ball that piece up. Which one is smaller? The wet paper would be said to have a “soft hand” the dry paper a “firm hand”.

IV. Testing Methodology


Q. If I use the P.I.A. chart, won=t I be able to get an unbiased comparison of pack volumes?

A. This is a valid question that gets asked often. P.I.A. has attempted to provide an objective listing of pack volumes. The problem is that the current equipment and methodology for arriving at the P.I.A. pack volume numbers is not 100% repeatable. What I mean is, the same person can test the same canopy twice using the same technique and still obtain significantly different results. How can this be? As hard as P.I.A. has tried, the equipment and the test cannot alleviate many potential variables. It involves a volume chamber, which is basically a graduated cylinder manufactured to specific dimensions, and the application of weight to a canopy placed in this cylinder. The canopy can be placed in the chamber differently; the required weights can be placed on the canopy with or without applying pressure, etc. The current temperature and humidity can have an impact as well. Although P.I.A. has employed a procedure which arrives at an average value from multiple tests, the results are volumes that we cannot objectively compare. The P.I.A. chart itself shows the difficulty of the task. Although P.I.A. has attempted to eliminate as many variables as possible, the chart still shows a seven cell PD-235 (700 cubic inches) as having a larger volume than a nine cell PD-260 (650 cubic inches). This difference would lead one to believe the smaller 7 cell packs larger than the 9 cell, even though the 9 cell has similar construction methods, 25 square feet more area, 2 additional cells, and more suspension lines! This is not very likely. Several companies are currently trying to devise their own testing methods, but until a consistent method is developed that all parachute manufacturers utilize, we cannot compare one canopy to another in any meaningful way.

V. Summary


Q. So what does it all mean?

A. The statement “the numbers never lie” is not always true, as shown here. Luckily, most canopy manufacturers provide canopies to the container manufacturers for sizing purposes. The container manufacturers are therefore an excellent source to determine canopy-container compatibility. A few recommendations from the author regarding canopy pack volume:

1. Never base your purchasing decision on pack volume.

The numbers you are using may be deceiving.

2. Decide on canopy model and size before container size.

It is not the container you will have to fly and land for hundreds or thousands of jumps in all conditions (bad spots, high winds, turbulence, etc). While certainly your harness must fit  properly, the container size itself should be based solely on your canopy choice. To do otherwise would be akin to finding a set of wheels that you like the looks of and then purchasing your car to fit them (doesn’t make much sense, does it?)

3. Test jump a canopy before purchasing.

Many companies offer demo programs on both mains and reserves, use them. Do not put a canopy in your container (especially a reserve) without giving yourself the opportunity to fly and land the same model and size under “controlled conditions”. You may find that a “small packing reserve” is not as big as you think. It may not be a canopy you would feel comfortable landing under all circumstances. The same is true of the main. Would you buy a car without a test drive?

4. Choose your canopy size based on the worst case scenario.

If you can “just barely” pull off a landing in the landing area, with a bit of wind, you probably should look at another (larger) inflated size and/or model.

5. Be careful accepting advice from the local sky gods.

In some cases they may have forgotten what it was like to be at your experience level. What seems normal or “conservative” to them now, would have been a canopy they wouldn’t even consider when they were at your level.

6. Utilize the experience of the people building your equipment.

If you have questions, get your dealer to ask the container or canopy manufacturers or call them yourself.

7. When choosing a canopy size and model, take into account several factors:

Your current canopy (frame of reference), your currency (number of jumps per year, layoffs due to season, etc.), your pilot profile (conservative, aggressive, etc.), your experience (how many jumps, what types of canopies), your home DZ (small or large landing area, quantity and location of alternate landing sites, etc.).

8. Choose your canopies wisely…

When you find yourself wishing you had more canopy over your head in order to make it back from a bad spot or land your reserve off field, it’s too late.

VI. Conclusions


Too much emphasis has been placed on pack volumes. We need to remember that it is just a

“numbers game”. We can see that comparing the “pack volumes” of canopies may not have any corresponding impact on our ability to pack a given main or reserve into a given container. The first thing is to choose your canopies based on performance characteristics (opening, flight, and landing), then factor in the ease of packing (not the volume), 0P vs. F111 vs. combination. Then ask the container manufacturer of your choice what size container accepts your canopy choices. If you stick to this method you will have a system that is easy to pack and performs the way you would like.


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Voltige this coming weekend!

So last weekend I got to head out to Voltige for a few hours with a few people who wanted to try out a tandem. Being at a DZ I obviously couldn’t just go and not jump, budget being slightly limited, I only did two. I got an 8 way track jump done (where i lost the group and ended up about 300 feet above everyone) and  5 way spider (I was the left arm).


This weekend I’m heading back there with my girlfriend and a couple of friends of mine who want to try out a jump and I’ve got some extra spare funds, so it’s looking like fun times ahead!

The weather’s going to be slightly cloudy though, so we’ll see how things pan out. More to come!


Blue skies everyone!



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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!