fbpx Skip to Content

From the Desk of Dan BC – March 2018

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld Posted by: Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld 6 years ago

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld

Perris Newsletter | March 2018

It’s truly amazing how skydiving has expanded, grown and continued to develop over the years. The dream of flight has reached new heights and is still climbing.  I’ve been fortunate to have had a front row seat to much of this and I’ve recently realized that the development cycle within each discipline has been much the same.   

In the early days “sport parachuting” was only about having the balls to jump from a plane and burning a hole in the sky. It was more falling than flying. It was all about being or getting “stable” on your belly.  On your belly, you had the best chance of your very questionable parachute working and saving your life.

Then one day someone came up with the crazy notion and thought, “I think I can fly.  I think if there was another jumper in freefall with me I may be able to actually “hook up” with them.”  After many unsuccessful jumps flying near and far from each other with marginal (at best) control, the first two people docked and Formation Skydiving was born (they called it Relative Work then). 

Photo courtesy of International Skydiving Museum

As more people learned to do it and got better at it the groups grew and started doing different formations. They began to see how fast they could get together, how many formations they could do on one jump. It became a competition. “We want to go bigger, faster than we’ve ever done before!” (That doesn’t sound like skydivers at all does it?) It evolved into 4way and 4way became the foundation for going bigger. FS jumpers did the first 100way. A new sport was off and running and after 60 years we still haven’t found the limits.

FreeFlying was exactly the same. I remember being on the plane every day with Omar and Olav watching them, jump after jump, completely unstable and out of control (They could hardly get to, much less stay on, their bellies. What were they doing???)  Finally one day they did it, they hooked up while flying on their heads and FreeFlying was born. 4way VFS started. Sequential records are popping all over. FFers broke the 100 ceiling with the first 108way.  The scores go up, speeds increase, records keep falling. Limits?  I think not.

CReW was the same. Except if I recall, I think it started with a canopy collision. The two jumpers lived through it and thought it was fun. But, that it would be much more fun if they actually planned it next time. 4way, 100way….(you get the idea).

Wingsuiting is going through the same cycle.  At the Nationals in Perris last fall it was amazing to see the Acro Competition. 2way teams doing sequences of formations.  It was a thing of beauty, incredible to watch.  If 2 can do it now it will be 4way soon. The 100-way won’t be far down the road.

dan dupuis wingsuit flying at Perris

I’m happy to say that at Skydive Perris FS, FF, WS, CReW and all other jumpers share and enjoy the DZ, planes, and sky together equally. We all are amazed at what the others are doing, cheer each other on and support one another.  It’s really cool.

Each of these disciplines is so much the same yet also unique.  They are all about that dream of flight that we share, but enjoying it in a slightly different way.  They all start with individuals who, first and foremost, had the balls to make their first jump.  And they all evolve into and grow out of 4way.  (You knew that’s where I was going with this, right? :) ).

Come and fly in the skies with us at Skydive Perris!!!

Stay Connected
Get personalized newsletters tailored to your interests! Choose from tandem skydiving, indoor skydiving, fun jumper events, or happenings at the Bombshelter Restaurant and Bar.