Catching up with… Emma Mattacola
Thoughts on the battle for the World Cup, just round the corner!
What can you do if you get to the dropzone and it’s chucking it down with rain, or ‘blowing a hoolie’? [very windy] You’ve made the journey, you’re back in the skydiving community, so don't go home. Here are some ideas to make good use of the downtime, combat boredom and keep you entertained…
Go to the cutaway harness (or rig it up if you haven’t one at the DZ). Attach your own rig to it and go through your EPs. Can be more fun and realistic if you do with a friend or a group, take turns at shouting ‘malfunction’ .. ’twists’.. etc
If you have a hard landing, for example in turbulence, a PLF may save your bones from breaking - but when was the last time you did one? Get a group on the fan trainer and practice PLFs till they are instinctive.
Get out the tuffet and run a fun accuracy competition from the fan trainer. It’s actually a useful exercise for accuracy jumpers to practice their foot placement.
Get your best DZ packer to run a packing lesson. Then hands-on practice any new techniques. Include a tangle test if you’re feeling really brave/bored.
Great on a windy day – everyone guesses where the WDI will land, if thrown exactly overhead, by pinning a marker on the DZ map. Send the aeroplane to 1,000 feet with a JM and a WDI. Entry fees put into a kitty, winner takes all.
If you’re feeling really enthusiastic, a variation is to buy loads of rubber ducks. Everyone who enters writes a number on their duck. The ducks are lobbed out of the plane in one flock, and the closest duck to the target takes the kitty.
Your DZ probably has some cool people who’ve been around the sport for a good while - competitors, judges, record-breakers, canopy pilots, crew dogs, riggers and more. Ask them to run a question-and-answer session, so you can pick their brains and find out more about their area.
Have you seen all the classic skydiving movies? Point Break, Cutaway, Dropzone, Fandango, Chronicles, Antigravity, Crosswind, From Wings Came Flight, Willing to Fly…
There are loads of videos online, with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about skydiving. Search for what you want - or try these highly recommended series: Rhythm’s Landing Patterns, the Rhythm instructional series, Foundations of Flight by Axis, IBA tunnel video tutorials, the Flight-1 Safety Series.
If you have one nearby organise a crafty tunnel session. If the weather stays bad you’ll be glad you did – if it clears up you’ll be well in the groove!
This is for when you’ve been at the dropzone 2 or 3 days in bad weather and almost lost the will to live. It’s the perfect way to revitalise the DZ and give everyone a laugh. It even gives you something to put on the day video!
It’s a simple race, head to head, with 2 teams at a time. Each team has two people; one gets on the creeper in a freefall position, they are the navigator. Their teammate is blindfolded, turned around 3 times to disorientate them, and must follow directions (left and right) given by the navigator. The course is a figure of eight around some obstacles, teams go in opposite directions to make sure there will be some conflict! It’s not as complicated as it sounds– watch the video below, from Moorsele big-way camp. Thanks to Kate Cooper-Jensen for the concept :)
1. Groundbound activities at a DZ can carry more chance of injury than skydiving!
2. The following activities are DANGEROUS if attempted sober, in the daytime. They should ONLY be undertaken at night after copious amounts of alcohol: