managing Editor • Kelsi Kitchener
may 20, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 9
Skydiving a free-fall thrill
Photo Courtesy nic gonzales
‘Cause I’m Free fallin’: McQueen thrill seeker Nic Gonzales tandom jumps off a plane above Lido, California. Stores that provide good skydiving gear and an instructor to jump with, such as the Parachute Center, offer a safe environment for students to enjoy this exciting sport.
Matthew Tradewell Editor-in-Chief
Free falling from over 10,000 feet above ground may not be the sport of choice for most, but for those who live for thrills, skydiving can be an activity that only the brave can enjoy. While Nevada requires that a person be over the age of 18 to participate in one of these jumps, with just a short trip to the Parachute Center just outside of Lodi, Calif., any student would be able to take one of these “flying adventures.” “Skydiving is like getting the biggest mix of emotions smacked into two minutes,” senior Nic Gonzales said. “It is one of the greatest things you will ever do in your life.”
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Last year, Gonzales was able to participate in one of these jumps at the Parachute Center and for only $100 experienced what he feels as “just fun in a box.” Obviously many fears race through one’s mind before taking on a feat such as skydiving, but despite a fear of heights, this extreme sport is a very common and safe activity. “This place [Parachute Center] has been open for over 30 years, and they have not had a death in their entire career,” Gonzales said. “So that’s a plus for those who think that it is a very dangerous, life threatening thing.” Although sky diving is not an ideal daily sport, if able, choosing to fall from a flying plane at racing speeds may just be that adrenaline rush extreme athletes are looking for.
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Skydiving Fast Facts •Parachute Center has been serving the sport since 1964 and is one of the largest and oldest skydiving centers in the U.S. •The Parachute Center offers a full choice of training programs for the first timer as well as advanced training and team training. •You must be 18 years of age to begin Skydiving (16 and 17 years old with a parent or legal guardian present). •Parachute Center offers an introductory jump course with equipment, training and an instructor for only $100. •The Introductory Jump is from 13,000 feet
and will give you 60 seconds of free fall (approximately two miles). •NO RESERVATIONS are necessary for The Introductory Jump. Parachute Center is OPEN EVERY DAY at 9 a.m., and they ask you to be there by 3 p.m. •If you weigh over 200 pounds, there is a service charge of $1.00 per pound for every pound over 200. If you are 250 pounds and under, you will still go to the top altitude, if you are over 250 pounds, the jump is from 6,000 feet with a shorter free fall time. •When going skydiving, wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes and tennis shoes.