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Last Updated: 22nd January 1999

Skydiving Information

If you're thinking of taking up skydiving, or at least doing a single jump for fun, there are many resources available to help you make a decision as to which form of skydive to undertake (Tandem, Static Line or Accellerated Free Fall) and these resources will also give you valuable information on how to progress in the sport. This section has information on Drop Zones and the best books, magazines, and CD-ROMS available (I'll be adding videos in later, when I have more time!). Also check out the Links section of this site for many valuable Internet reference sites (but be aware that not all Drop Zones have an Internet presence).

Drop Zone Brochures

Many people forget that a visit to the nearest Drop Zone (DZ) is probably the best first source of information. By visiting your local DZ you'll get the best feel for what skydiving is all about and find many people happy to help answer your queries. If you can't make it to your local DZ then the next best thing is to phone the DZ and ask if they can send you a brochure. How do you find out where the local DZ is? In the UK check out the BPA web site. The BPA (British Parachute Association) are the UK's governing body on parachuting and their web site has contact addresses and phone numbers for all its affiliated DZs. In the USA the equivalent organisation is the USPA (United States Parachuting Association) and they to have a web site with a list of all affiliated drop zones..  Headcorn brochure Sebastian brochure
If you decide to go to the States be aware that there are some differences between the US and UK qualifications. Ideally you should try and register at a DZ that has a BPA-registered instructor to avoid problems on return to the UK. I can highly recommend Skydive Sebastian in Florida for student jumpers - this is a British-owned DZ and is BPA-affiliated. The CCI (Club Chief Instructor) at Sebastian, Mick Hall, runs his own skydiving holiday company Freefall Adventures which specialises in bookings for Brits wanting to skydive at Sebastian.

Books

Two books come up again and again when new skydivers ask for a recommendation. "Skydiving in 8 Days" by Miles Clarke (a Brit) and "Parchuting, The Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Most British DZ stores have copies of these books or, alternatively, they can be ordered from their US publishers over the net.

Skydiving in 8 days "Skydiving in 8 Days" by Miles Clarke. Published by Aerographics (USA). ISBN 0-9607814-0-4. 128 pages. Paperback. Cost: approx 8.50

This is a diary of Miles' progress through an AFF course. If you're considering skydiving via the AFF route this is absolutely essential reading to find out what it's like. As well as answering every question you could have about the AFF route (with brief coverage of the alternative methods of training), you follow the highs and lows of Miles' progress in what is a very gripping read (I couldn't put the book down!). Although 10 years old now, very little has changed and the book can be regarded as "current". If you choose to train at Headcorn (as the author did) you have the added thrill of being able to laugh at photo's of your instructors taken 10 years ago! If you're wondering if Miles is still skydiving at Headcorn the answer is sadly not. He was killed in a plane crash in India a few years ago. He has left behind a wonderful legacy and tribute to the sport in this book. 

 

"Parachuting, The Skydiver's Handbook" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Published by Para Publishing (USA). ISBN 1-56860-045-3. 398 pages. Paperback. Cost: US $19.95

The skydiver's "bible" with information on the history of skydiving, different training methods, equipment, emergency procedures etc. If you've started your student training this book should be regarded as a "must have" since it contains tons of useful advice and you'll find yourself coming back to it again and again. It has clearly been put together by the authors as a work of love. If you haven't started training yet you might find the contents a little "dry" or overwhelming, especially after the Miles Clarke book, and thus might want to consider the CD-ROM version of the book (see below) which adds some video clips explaining the different training methods and articles from back copies of the USA "Parachutist" magazine too. The book is now in its SEVENTH edition - that's how popular it is! The book can be ordered direct from the publisher over the internet (see Para Publishing hyperlink above).

Skydiver's Handbook

Magazines

Newcomers to the sport are often surprised that they cannot find copies of skydiving magazines at their local newsagents or magazine store. Skydiving is still a minority sport and, as a result, the magazines that are available tend to be available by direct subscription only.

The BPA magazine "Sport Parachutist" Sports Parachutist - The Journal of the British Parachute Association. Free to BPA members. 24 year (UK) or 30 (International). Published bi-monthly. 60 pages approx.

Printed in glossy magazine format with plenty of colour, this is an outstanding publication with news and gossip from all the UK drop zones, as well as equipment reviews, skydiver interviews and everything else you could think of. AFF students in the UK automatically get full BPA membership (and hence this magazine) once they've successfully passed their Level I skydive. Static Line students (who will normally only have temporary BPA membership) should seriously consider taking out a subscription while they're training. For subscription details (credit cards accepted) contact the BPA at Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF. Tel: (01162) 785271  Fax: (01162) 47762. For more information email the magazine's editor Lesley Gale at sportpara@aol.com

 

 

Parachutist - Official Publication of the United States Parachute Association. Free to USPA members (US $55 year) or available on subscription for US $39. Published monthly. 110 pages approx.

Very similar in format/layout/content to the BPA "Sports Parachutist" magazine - but fatter, and more frequent! Many British skydivers take out full membership to the USPA when visiting the States just to get this magazine. Yup, it's that good! For subscription details (credit cards accepted) contact the USPA at 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. Tel: 00-1-703-836-2843  Fax: 00-1-703-836-2843. For more information email the magazine at publications@uspa.org

USPA magazine - "Parachutist"
"Skydiving" - Parchuting's News Magazine Skydiving. Available on subscription for US $42/year (UK). Published monthly. 60 large-format pages approx.

The "independent" newspaper for skydivers has rightly won a reputation for carrying the best skydiving news. You can subscribe via the web site at www.skydivingmagazine.com. Subscriptions can be paid for by credit card or a cheque paid in UK pounds. Contact the publishers at Skydiving, 1725 N. Lexington Avenue, DeLand, FL 32724, USA. Tel: 00-1-904-736-4793  Fax: 00-1-904-736-9786. 

CD-ROMs

"Skydiving, A Multimedia Reference" by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff. Published by Para Publishing (USA). ISBN 1-56860-045-3. Cost: US $29.95

This is the CD-ROM edition of "Parachuting, The Skydiver's Handbook". It contains additional references and 56 minutes of video (of very low resolutiion). The book text is fully searchable with useful hyperlinks throughout. The CD-ROM also contains a selection of the best articles from "Parachutist" magazine in 1995.  The book can be ordered direct from the publisher over the internet (see hyperlink above).

Skydiving Multimedia Reference
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Ian D Smith, 15 Dean Court, Thorncroft Street, London SW8 2BQ, United Kingdom
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