A dozen immutable truths.

In light of safety day just past, I thought I should make a suitable post to this blog. A few basic rules to always remember while skydiving, some I was taught, others I had to figure out on my own. I now share them all freely with anyone willing to read my words.

  1. ALWAYS listen to your Instructors. Their words, their signals and their actions. If you have ANY questions, ask them as soon as it is appropriate, hopefully while you’re still on the ground. Most importantly, if your only Instructor ever turns their back on you and flies away; you had better know what to do! PULL. Do it slow, be steady and get the job done. SLOW IS FAST. Always be sure to smile and thank them.

  2. Do not be vulgar or vain with anyone. It’s just rude. There are too many good people and little ears around the dropzone – I can only speak personally to a half a dozen dropzones.. however, I believe this is a universal truth. Many might laugh at your dirty jokes or questionable words.. first, always check to see whose ears might be around.

  3. Always do your work first on any skydiving activity. All good things always come at the end. The end of a minute, pull. The end of an hour, debrief. The end of a day, bonfire. The end of a week, rest. The end of a month, boogie. The EOY? Party!!!

  4. You may be a Skydiver today, but you’ll be a parent, child, or spouse forever. Make them proud. Make sure they know you’re planning on being a skydiver and why. That doesn’t mean you need their permission, you are an adult after all. However, they have the right to be aware of your choice, especially if they disapprove. If they disapprove, make sure you’re making someone else proud with your skydiving. Maybe your friends, Instructors, or just yourself. If you’re not making someone proud, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it or just have figured out the right reason why you should be doing it yet.

  5. Do not ever intentionally let your actions hurt or kill any skydiver, yourself or another. This is pretty self explanatory I think at face value. But you really need to think about the consequences of all your actions. Perhaps you gave advanced advice, to a novice. Perhaps your cork, takes out a friend. Perhaps your tail strike, takes down the plane. Be cautious! If you’re not sure what I mean, see rule #1.

  6. Never cheat another skydiver; if you think you might be getting the better end of deal, make sure they are firmly aware. In all good deals, no matter how many people are involved, everyone should be getting a fair deal. One mans junk might be another’s treasure, just make sure you tell them if you’re selling junk!

  7. Never steal from another skydiver; it’s just wrong. duh. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why we should need a “stolen gear” section on dz.com…. perhaps someone should invent a pilot chute that only responds to the true owner or valid user of the given rig… opps, almost forgot rule #5.

  8. Don’t openly lie to another skydiver, unless you have discussed it, at that time or before, with an Instructor. Such as, to ease my sudden fear, I was told in my FJC that tail strikes were impossible. Of course later in my training, when it was most appropriate, I was taught a dozen reasons why tail strikes never should be possible. I now thank that Instructor for that little “fib”, else I’d never got out of the door.

  9. Do not worry about how skilled the next Skydiver is.. or his gear, his beer, or even his girl (okay.. some might say the girl is fair game!). If you think another Skydiver is so much better than you or has better things.. you should probably take a good look at yourself and see what problems you can fix in your own Skydiving career. Perhaps, even ask that Skydiver for their help to improve your own situation.

  10. Never take too much. Time. Speed. Attention. Friendship. Beer. Food. This list could go on for ever… However, as always, I’ll focus on Altitude. Always remember.. when the shit starts getting deep, or if you feel like you might be getting too low.. check your altitude!! Consider tracking or pulling if you’re no longer in the mile high club!

11.You are not alone. There are thousands of Skydivers in the USA and many more world-wide; take a good look at all your friends at your dropzone. They all love this sport, just like you. We all want to be safe. Help them out if you see them breaking the rules. Let them help you, when they see you doing something that you should be doing better. We are all in this together, each and every one of us. And by helping each other out, only then, can The Greatest Sport on Earth, truly dominate the world.

  1. Ten seemed like a good number of immutable truths to have about a single topic. However, one bonus rule, really seemed required and I think it was. I’ve tried to explain rule #12 a thousand times in my life and I can never quite get it down on paper. In fact, I don’t believe I will ever be that good. Of course, I won’t let that stop me from sharing what I do know. Somehow, these truths form a loop. The moment I truly believe I understand rule #12… I find myself starting all over again at rule #1.

Blue Skies, Tame Winds, and may Peace forever be with you all.

Thanks for reading.

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