Catching Up With Emma Jaber

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Australian skydiving coach and Team Horizon’s new addition 

All smiles
Photo by Felix Wetterberg

One thing I can really relate to is someone who is in love with flying. Someone who puts their own personal time into learning, following, training and flying as much as they can. That’s what I’ve recently witnessed in Emma Jaber. A new addition to California’s Horizon team, this Australian-born skydiver who has made the move into coaching is a welcome energy into females who coach. 

Where are you from and based out of?

I’m Australian and I’m currently traveling between Australia, Europe and the US. 

What’s been your skydiving progression?

At the beginning of 2018 I decided to learn how to skydive on my own after a sunset tandem in Mexico. However, it was not the best time of year in Australia to start skydiving, so I was advised to go to the indoor skydiving tunnel. I completed around 1.5 hours in the tunnel before I started my AFF. 

After my AFF I got into tracking/angles with friends. I jumped every possible opportunity and tried to consistently train in the tunnel as much as I could afford. 

I was very lucky to find a friend with the same goals and willingness to jump every weekend as me. For hundreds of jumps we just did two ways, leading each other on different lines.

Friends in the sky
Photo by Dave Hyndman

How many jumps do you have?

I have around 2200 jumps. 

How’d you get started as a skydiving coach?

I have worked in education since 2008. Although skydiving started as a hobby it soon became an obsession. I started leading more jumps and found myself being looked up to. The teacher in me naturally started sharing information and supporting others. I particularly feel passionate about women’s retention in the sport and ensuring women feel safe and have equal opportunities. 

What is your teaching style?

As a bachelor-trained educator I understand that everyone learns differently, everyone comes from different backgrounds, everyone has different goals and they also have different budgets. This means that not one ‘teaching style’ will work for everyone. In the short amount of time I have to get to know my students, I do my best to understand them and how they learn best. I also feel it’s extremely important to build trust. I do this by being completely open and honest with my students. We set achievable goals and I talk through the learning journey. 

Other than supporting students with strategies to develop their flying, I endeavor to ensure that we have fun! Getting a smile or a high five from a student during the jump makes my day.

Photo by Mohammed Alghazali 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.

What do you think about the position of females in the sport and how, if at all, that differs in experience?

I particularly feel passionate about women’s retention in the sport and ensuring women feel safe, included and have equal opportunities. Females are obviously the minority in skydiving and it can often feel like a boys’ club. Our experience and opportunities can be very different to our male peers. Females offer a different perspective to flying than males. Stereotypically we are built differently/have a different wing and our nature/personality is generally more timid. I encourage women to find their confidence and model inclusivity. 

If you are eager to progress as a female leader in the sport my advice to you is to be professional from the start. If you want to be taken seriously, then take it seriously. You may need to prove yourself more than your male peers but at least you know 100% you earned your way.

What are some of your personal goals as a skydiver?

I don’t necessarily have any specific goals other than to fly for myself as much as possible. Even as a teacher I will always be a student and that’s a magical and endless journey. 

Leading a friend in Dubai
Photo by Dave Hyndman

What’s your favorite part of coaching? 

That I get to be a part of someone’s learning journey. Teaching is the most rewarding job in the world.

How’d you get involved in Team Horizon?

I met Jesse Jaber in the US on my travels and we instantly clicked with similar goals and teaching beliefs. Jesse, David and Beau (Team Horizon) are very big on supporting women to become leaders in the sport and it made sense for me to join the team. 

One piece of advice you would like to leave readers with?

You will always be striving to achieve the next goal but don’t forget to enjoy the learning journey. Celebrate your achievements and remember how far you’ve come.

Head up at Funny Farm
Photographer Cam Puttee

Let’s give a shoutout to your sponsors!

DEEM, LB, UPT, PD, GoJump America, Gold State Gear, and Sexy Stows.

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Meet: Alethia Austin

Alethia is a passionate full time international angle and freefly coach. As the creator of LSD Bigway Camps and LSD Angle Camps, she's been running skills camps in skydiving for over 8 years around the world. Some of her coaching and LSD camps have taken her to Botswana, Egypt, Central America, North America, Europe and more. Alethia brings her years of yoga teaching, love of good health and healthy living into the way she coaches angle flying and vertical flying. Alethia was a regional captain for the Women's Vertical World Record and has two world records. Her sponsors include UPT, Tonfly, PD, Cypres and LB Altimeters.

You can find her on Instagram at Instagram.com/alethiaja

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