Boogie Dozen

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Twelve Tips to get the most from your Christmas Boogie…

Photo by Gustavo Cabana

You’re excited as can be, this year’s been a disaster but you’re off jumping for Christmas – woo hoo!

But let’s make sure you come home in one piece..

1. Covid-Aware

You’ve made the decision to step out of home and expose yourself to more risk – that’s fine and what we do as skydivers. Jumping out of aeroplanes is exposing yourself to an abnormal risk. But just like skydiving, you can choose to keep it as safe as possible. Wearing masks, using hand sanitiser and avoiding close contact are like a protective condom, worth the small extra hassle for a pretty cool benefit 😉 Find a comfy face mask for every day and ideally a medical quality one for travelling.

2. Travel Smart

Travelling by airline is a contact risk but you can minimise it by maintaining social distancing, at least from the person in front in the line (and glare at the people behind you, whilst ostentatiously sanitising your hands with your personal bottle of hand sanitiser). Allow even more time than normal. Don’t eat or drink on the plane if you can avoid it. Check out relevant country/state Covid rules before you go, you may need to take a Covid test, fill out extra documentation, quarantine when you get home.

Make sure you take all your documents, are insured, and your kit is in date. Consider rental gear – you can often rent weights at the dropzone, saves carrying them. If you don’t have your own kit, rental is a good option to maximise your jumps by not having to wait for club kit.

Stay small at the beginning and take time to enjoy the scenery
Image from Algarve Boogie

3. Take your time

Most of us have hardly jumped this year. You don’t need to rush on the first load. Get a DZ brief, check your gear. Consider a solo or small familiarization jump, especially if it’s been a few months since you jumped, if you haven’t been over this DZ before, or if the landing area looks a bit tricky. Be aware that, just as you’re getting current, new people may arrive who are not (red flag).

4. Gear Checks

Everything may be different to your home DZ but don’t let that stop your gear checks – before the jump and a pin check on run-in.

5. Landing Direction

One of the most important things is to understand who or what dictates the landing direction. Windsock? Arrow? First one down?

6. If in Doubt, ASK!

If there is anything you are not sure of, from where to load the plane to exit order to beer lines, ASK! Most often if you have a question mark in your head then others do too.

7. Make Friends

You will be surrounded by people from many countries, DZs and walks of life. Go out of your way to talk to them, you’ll be enriched by their company, they are all potential new friends.

Fun times during Vector Festival

8. Do something different

Don’t just do what you do at home. Try something new – a tracking dive, balloon jump, follow out a tandem, do a hop ‘n’ pop, hybrid dive, a beach jump. It’s a BOOGIE!

9. Protect from the elements

Most likely it will still be comparatively chilly, especially in the mornings. Take warm Buffs, thermals, gloves and layer up. Don’t forget to sunscreen your face, as weird as it may seem.

10. Make your own decisions

It’s easy to get ‘boogie fever’ and go along with the crowd – but remember it’s your life. Don’t be shy to stand down because the winds are above your personal limits, or you don’t like how the clouds are building, or you feel you’re way out of your depth.

11. Beware the booze!

If you go large on a party night consider taking the next day off – or at least turn up in the afternoon, don’t try to skydive when you’re broken. Be aware alcohol can lower our normal protocol, you may want to hug all your friends and undo all your Coronavirus-safety precautions.

12. Have fun!

Stay safe, and have a huge amount of fun!

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Meet: Lesley Gale

Lesley has been in love with skydiving for 35 years. She is a multiple world and national record holder and a coach on 20 successful record events worldwide. She has over 100 competition medals spanning more than 25 years and has been on the British 8-way National team at World events. She started Skydive Mag to spread knowledge, information and passion about our amazing sport.
Lesley is delighted to be sponsored by Performance Designs, Sun Path, Cypres, Cookie, Symbiosis suits and Larsen & Brusgaard

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