Catching up with… Rémi Angéli

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The Mexican skydiving scene was lucky to welcome this awesome Frenchman in its mist…

Rémi Angéli
Photo by Alvarez Gen

The skydiving scene in Mexico has not gone unnoticed by its vast, nearby community in the US. With world class coaches such as Luis Prinetto, Inka & Claudio Cagnasso, Tex and more making trips down to coach. And noticing the local Mexican freefly crew attending high level US camps such as Flight Camp, LSD and Tropical Space Camp, it begs the question: When and how did Mexico’s freefly skydiving scene blow up? 

It didn’t take long to find at the center of this quickly-booming level of freefly a Frenchman full of passion, who is coaching and creating events from Cuautla to Puerto Escondido. Looking further, you can see the hard work and passion behind the vision Rémi Angéli is pushing in the sport in Mexico, the vibe he is creating for young freeflyers and skydivers, and how much he’s been working to elevate the level of flying, exposure, and safety in the Mexican skydiving community. It’s never a one-man job, but it’s obvious to see how much this one man has had an impact on the Mexican scene. 

It’s never a one-man job, but it’s obvious to see how much this one man has had an impact on the Mexican scene

After watching Rémi coach at Fly4Life‘s camp, and inviting him to coach LSD Angle Camp, I sat down with Rémi to learn more about who he is and and what the future looks  like for himself and skydiving in Mexico. 

Rémi coaching at an LSD Camp (Level Slot Dock)
Photo by Alvarez Gen


Alright Rémi, let’s hear about your history first. When and how did you get started in the sport of skydiving?

I started skydiving in 2004 at Skydive Pujaut, when I was 19 years old, studying Sports Education at University of Avignon. I was also doing a lot of kayaking at the time and working as a barman in a nightclub on the weekends at that time.

My best friend Florian Lascombes invited me to take the course with him in 2003 but I had no money. So I worked more, and the year after I could finally get in!

I started wanting to be the best, as I always did in sports.  An ego thing you know! 🙂 But this time was not the case, I struggled and I was pissed off because another friend of mine, Babou, was doing better than I was. My instructor, Miz, called me “chicken” because chickens do not fly, just to piss me off a little more. It worked! Everybody still calls me ‘Chicken’ when I go back to France. After the course I went straight to freefly and found my way. My motivation evolved from ego to passion – which took a while and I’m not entirely finished yet!

So I began working as a packer and I grew up in the “Tombé du Ciel” school under the quidence of Benoit Serrell that was my “Master” in many ways. Then I went on to cameraman, freefly coach, belly coach, and AFF Instructor in 2009 after 2 years studying with the FFP (Fédération Française de parachutisme). I finished university the same year. 

Flying down the stunning coast at Puerto Escondido

What took you to Mexico from France?

I had what the doctor called a depression in 2009 (I lost my shit basically) for one year while I was finishing studies and ratings. My Russian friend Rolland helped me a lot to get through this. At the end of that year, I had both studies and ratings, I was ready to move. I began to look on the internet for other countries where I could possibly build another life and start again. One day, at my little brother’s apartment in Montpellier I found this touristic book about Mexico and on the first page the text read “In México everything is possible”. That was enough for me. I left France with 5,000 euros, my ratings and my parachute. I took a plane ticket to Cuba, to reconnect with life for 6 weeks. I spoke with people again, made new friends, danced a lot, made love again. This all helped me decide to continue living. 

I landed in Cancun in March 2010, took a bus to Puerto Escondido right away and relaxed for one month. I had little money left and I began to look for dropzones where I could possibly work, but I wasn’t receiving any responses. I asked the boss of the Buena Onda Hotel in La Punta if he knew something about skydiving and told me that a big group of skydivers were about to arrive in the town the following week. I waited, and sure enough a traveling boogie arrived in Puerto Escondido. I met Enrique Ochoa and Neymar and we made a few jumps together. They presented me to the legendary Antonio Montaño. He followed me on a first level I did with Karin. After landing, Antonio asked me to get my shit on the plane because we were going to Skydive Cuautla the next day!

Rémi and friends at Skydive Cuautla

Can you tell a little about the skydiving scene in Mexico and what your role is? 

The Mexican skydiving scene is growing in quantity, evolving in quality and is beautiful, because of the energy of the people and the places where we jump. Skydive Cuautla and Skydive Puebla are so close to the 5,700 meters volcano Popocatepetl that you feel you can touch it! Puerto Escondido is just a paradise, and you can find more incredible drop zones in Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, Paracaidismo Lago, in Monterrey, Querétaro. And the weather is always good!

Mexico is also growing fast, technically speaking, and reaching international standards with their school, events and operations. It also has an extra spicy taste unique to the culture, so it’s a pleasure to live here and be part of it!

About my role, I am another one surfing the wave of consciousness blowing at us at the moment. I do my best to stay in, help people to surf it too and get helped myself when I fall. 

It’s a very big wave, you can fall and get back in with no rush. Good for learning. And if you think that you know how to surf already there are some harder sections to help humble you, so no worries! 🙂

I am another one surfing the wave of consciousness blowing at us at the moment. I do my best to stay in, help people to surf it too and get helped myself when I fall 

Rémi joining the rodeo fun
Photo by Pipo Franco

How much has the sport evolved since you’ve been in it?

Since I am in  Mexico I’ve seen a lot of changes. Technically speaking for sure, safety-wise also… but more than anything a change of mindset from the people. Skydiving can be the best thing to feed egos, but it can also be a door to mindfulness. This is what we try to focus on here and we help each other in this process, with love and respect (as much as we can).

What sort of physical processes do you have in addition to flying?

I practice what they call now yoga. I exercise regularly to keep the power and recover faster! 

I practice meditation, I’m not really good at it but I am getting there. It feels good to center myself once in a while, and I feel things I never felt before doing it, so I keep going on this path. 

I practice contemporary dance in town, twice a week, for rhythm, strength, coordination and memory. It also helps me to socialize and express my feelings in another way outside of speaking. I wish to do the same in the sky one day. Also it helps me to face states of frustration, because there are a lot of excellent dancers and I struggle sometimes to remember the choreography as fast as them. 

Sunset angle flying jump over Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
Photo by Uriel Santa Ana

What is your philosophy on learning as a skydiver? How do you approach learning, how do you teach others to approach it? 

Be. Do. Have. 

We all want results, and need to do our best to get them, but first we need to be who we need to be, to act as we need to act, and then we will have the results we are looking for, which engages more mental values than technical skills. 

The philosophy on learning I try to implement is that everything is perfect. A mistake is a treasure because we can grow from it. 

My approach on learning evolves every day but lately I try to be on a balance, depending on how I feel about the student I am jumping with. To help him in his growing process as he is helping me in mine. It feels like an exchange of knowledge and I am always thankful for that.

A mistake is a treasure because we can grow from it

Skydive Cuautla, with Gil Guevarra leading in CAMPechano
Photo by Sergey

You have created two incredible events I’ve been fortunate to coach at and experience their vibe. They really are special. Tell us about SolAjado and CAMPechano.

SolAjado represents the perfect energetic balance, physically and mentally, for an efficient, smooth and sensitive flight between sólido and relajado – SolAjado. 

It began as a joke from my friend from Puerto Vallarta, Chris ALV, a living legend! And I used it to name one of the events I organize in Mexico.

CAMPechano began as a joke too, during the last night of the SolAjado event, which came from my friend Omar Tapia. A Campechano is a taco made with different types of meat, representing a mix of things. Like us: skydivers flying together, but so different from each other, which gives it this incredible flavor. So I decided to use it to name the second big event of the year I organize in México. More is coming, we are feeling inspired!

[Note, you can sign up to these events on Rémi’s website]

The vibe at CAMPechano
Photo by Sergey

You’re on a very busy schedule of coaching, sort of in your own league in Mexico. How do you stay balanced and avoid burnout?

I actually became a little out of balance again during and after the Fly4life Camps this year so I am not in a good position to answer. It’s an easy thing to fall into as a coach. But I began to feel better when I found new projects to support with more values to my eyes and when I started training for myself again. 

Having another circle of friends helps too, the dancers think differently, it feels good to listen to them too. And being in nature is the one thing which always fixes everything right away.

Spending time alone is also necessary, to reconnect with this little thing inside me and be able to create with less external influences. 

“Being in nature is the one thing which always fixes everything right away”
Photo: Proyecto Centeotl by Margoulette Bousquet

What sorts of things are coming up in Mexico for you? 

More projects involving positive impacts with the help of the skydiving community (planting trees, helping to educate the next generation). I’m always looking for more balance to bring to the community and more events in different locations to show off the beauty of Mexico. Get ready for it!  

I find new projects where I can put energy into positive impacts on the planet. I get involved in the local community to help maintain sustainable activities like organic growing process, reforestation and I feel a lot better now because of this. Everything makes more sense. 

I want and will involve the skydiving community to support this project with donations or actions, to help to keep a balance between what we take from planet Earth and what we give to her in return.

In this way I involved an indigenous community to do the gifts of the last SolAjado event. I will use sustainable textile and involve another community for this next one coming in September. See you there! 


Rémi Angéli at Puerto Vallarta
Photo by Scott

Rémi Angéli is grateful to be sponsored by Performance Designs, UPT and CYPRES.

If you want to learn more about his adventures and his events follow his site or his Facebook page!


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Meet: Alethia Austin

Alethia is a passionate skydiver whose love of flying has helped her dream world in skydiving.  As Marketing Director of Skydive Spain, Skydive Algarve and Skydive Hibaldstow, Alethia gets to work at three of the biggest DZs in Europe. Alethia created the popular LSD Bigway camps, focusing on vertical flying skill building in big groups as well as her latest spin off, LSD Get Sideways angle camps. With nearly 3k jumps in the past few years, Alethia is a coach and load organiser at events around the world, bringing her love of flying and learning to students and skydivers of all levels. 

Currently, she is training hard for the Women's Vertical World Record. 

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