Skydivers swooping in out of the sky, first time tandem participants, aircraft taking off and landing, burgers grilling, beer flowing, cameras snapping, video playing, kids playing and friends and family gather. Drop Zones are international hot-spots. Skydivers from all over the world descend on Florida year-round. A real ‘happening’ place! Visit one of Florida’s many professional skydiving centers for all that excitement and more. Participate or just watch.
You DO NOT have to be a skydiver to enjoy most of the drop zone destinations.
November is a big event month, in DeLand, so you have plenty of time to schedule. Events for 2017 are being posted now. Of course, events occur all over the world, if you are traveling and wish to coordinate with one of those events, leave a comment below.
Although I wasn’t there to catch the world record, the photo above is of a weekend attempt at a 108 Way Sequential 3-point world record as well as a POPS world record. A 2-point World Record was achieved and all were very satisfied as the weather was not cooperating.
The following are some photos of the 2nd week of activities at Skydive DeLand. This formation is part of the K2 64-Sequential Big Way
These ladies are responsible for checking off that each big-way skydiver returned from the jump. Safety is a very critical component of all skydiving activities and DZ’s are constantly working to improve safety and responsibility.
As you enjoy all the activities, this is an active airport and you get to see some incredible takeoffs and landings as well as observe vintage aircraft come and go.
Curt and Jeannie Bartholomew Founders of Alter Ego a company they manage with a team of professional and accomplished skydivers. World Champions! Curt has 8,000+ skydives dating back to 2006 and Jeannie has 4,000+ dating to the same year. The rest of the Alter Ego Project team has over 11,700 jumps among them. Typical jumps, according to Curt, exit the plane at 5,000 feet, referred to as ‘hop and pops’.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/60563557” target=”_blank”> Watch Curt sail between buildings, over a pool and guests and through palm trees and landing on the beach in Mexico! Crazy! Skill! Confidence! 5 P’s!
Javelin Odyssey – Harness and Container
Vigil – Keeping Curt Safe with an automatic activation device, ‘AAD’ device.
Viso II – Altimeter by Larsen & Bresgaard.
LiquidSky Suits – Everyone has their style and fashion choice.
Cookie Helmet – G3 model.
Jeannie Bartholomew 4000+ Jumps
We are ready to tackle the World Games July 20th, 2017 at the new facilities at Skydive Wroclaw. Our primary goal for 2017 is World Championship’s at Wroclaw – held every four years. Events are scored on Speed, Accuracy, and Distance. Jeannie and Curt will be the first husband and wife competitors in this championship. Only the top 15-20 canopy pilots in the world make it to this event. The (IOC) Olympic Committee will use this as a test bed for selection as a new Olympic sport, says Curt. “Our primary goal for 2017 is a world championship”, Curt and Jeannie Bartholomew.
The Swoop Challenge is another international event the team is very competitive in. This year Team Alter Ego placed 1st and 2nd in the men’s division while Jeannie placed a bit down. Jeannie Bartholomew of Team Alter Ego also had her best competition to date, which put her in 15th Place Overall. She set her personal best Speed run 2.411 and her first 100 point scoring run done in Accuracy.
Entertainment and Sporting Adventure
Bring your camera/video gear, long lens, and binoculars. Many photo ops as you will spend several hours here. Feel free to wander the grounds and find your happy POV. The skydivers are accommodating to the novice, ask them questions during your visit. Perhaps one day, you will tandem or go to the next level of AFF or Accelerated Freefall which consists of an 8 Level course.
Rick’s (pictured below) had his first skydive 6 years ago in Las Vegas, NV and he now has 300+ jumps in his log. Rick flies under an Aerodyne Pilot 150 canopy packed in a Vector-3 (United Parachute Technologies) container. His safety is monitored by a VISOII Altimeter. Rick is one of the safest, most detailed skydivers who frequent Skydive DeLand and Skydive Sebastian. He participates in up to 28-way dives creating formations with several different maneuvers/shapes.
Leslie’s (below) first jump starting her AFF adventure was in DeLand, December 2012. Now 400+ jumps to her log, Leslie is flying under a Performance Design Sabre 2 135 canopy packed in a Vector3, Micron container manufactured by United Parachute Technologies. Leslie’s outfit could not be complete without the ultra-comfortable suit manufactured by Tony Suits. Leslie also uses the Viso II altimeter.
Bill Booth of United Parachute Technologies – Founder, is the legend behind the UPT brands of Vector, Skyhook-RSL and Sigma. Tandems skydives were first started at the DeLand airport and I can assure you that Bill was a key player in the genesis.
(L-R Above) Vector-Micron, Skyhook-RSL for Cutaways, Sygma Tandem Rig
Bill Booth, chatting it up with a tandem skydiver at 80 years of age, keeps passionate after 50 years in the sport. “Anytime I’m feeling kinda down I come to watch first time and tandem videos, it gets me going again,” says Bill. When asked which competitive team he most associated with he said without a doubt- Mirror Image. In the business world, John Sherman (Razor) is one of the ‘old guys’ still alive that I had the most association with.
Mike “Mad Dog” McGuire kicked off our families interest in skydiving when he piloted my Niece’s first tandem on December 24, 1994, at 11:00 am. Kristina was 22 years old. Mike is one of the most experienced skydivers and base jumpers in the area. I believe Mike is retired from jumping and has started a new adventure. (verify)
Mike “Maddog” Maguire
Parachute Rigger Fee runs between $5 and $10, plus tip.
One of the largest contributors to skydive center’s revenue comes from Tandem Jumps. A single canopy (reserve chute) jump, usually from 13,000 feet, with a ‘passenger’ hooked to the front of the skilled diver’s harness.
Top Left – Post-Jump Top Right – Preparation Bottom – Tandem Room w/Gear
What to do in Deland
A key component contributing to the success of SkyDive DeLand is the city of DeLand. This small city has great restaurant choices, art, and music festivals and is a major attraction during Bike Week and Biketoberfest annual events. It’s only minutes from world famous Daytona International Speedway and Daytona Beach. An annual event just prior to Thanksgiving is the DeLand Fall Festival Of The Arts, their 24th annual this year. One other major event in the downtown area is a music smorgasbord called the DeLand Original Music Festival featuring over 120 original acts. The ‘Songwriters Showcase of America’ produces the festival with this year being their 16th.
The local college, Stetson University, recently added a football team and competes in most NCAA sports and is rated #5 in Regional Universities-South. While there, be sure to check out the Athens Theatre in downtown and, the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House in DeLeon Springs. The sugar mill is located just a few miles north of DeLand. DeLand is NOT a ‘One Trick Pony’ community. The Airport Restaurant and Gin Mill has a Burger voted “BEST BURGER IN DELAND”. You can watch skydivers land from their deck.
The City of DeLand was founded in 1876 by Henry Addison Deland, a baking soda manufacturer from New York. DeLand was formerly called Persimmon Hollow (Persimmon trees were abundant in the area). Henry DeLand also founded the DeLand Academy which later became Stetson University.
You can arrive through Daytona Beach International Airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport, Orlando International Airport or Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. No port excursions out of Port Canaveral are available at this time.