The personal accomplishment of participating in a World Record Skydive has very little equal in the sport of skydiving. From this 164-person formation of jumpers head-down in the skies over Chicagoland to the insane 400-way pulled off in Thailand in 2006 (in which our very own Kirk Verner played a key role), to this high-flying female record jump set in Arizona, these events require incredible resolve, resilience, concentration and agility. Oh–and mad skydiving skills.
If you’re squaring up to the idea of putting yourself on the roster for a record, you’ve come to the right place. Skydivers from all over the world come to Paraclete XP to get in fighting shape for their biggest skydiving challenges; we’re more than ready to help you meet yours! As to the best strategy, well: Here’s our very best advice, from skydivers who have been there and done that.
Pick a record and set the date! This is going to be a challenging journey, so making a firm commitment is the first and most important step. Pledge to yourself that the results will be worth the inevitable investment–low investment, low reward, right?
Currency is, of course, absolutely key. But in order to make the inevitable cut, you’ll need to train harder than your average bear. Much harder, in fact.
Show up at the dropzone like it’s your second job. Go to as many camps in that discipline as you can. Bonus: This will also get you on the radar of the people who organize the records–as they’re generally the skydivers who are giving the camps. (Skydiving legend, Roger Nelson, said: “Make training hard so competition is easy.” Great advice.)
Keeping your focus where it needs to be–and remaining flexible to input–is one of the major challenges of taking on a world record. To help, you need an experienced skydiver on your side who can help to guide the process.
With this much hard-work-jumpin’ in your schedule, it’ll be necessary to divert your focus in constructive ways. To avoid burnout, make sure you make time for fun jumps; for playtime in the tunnel; for yoga.
Be ready to ride the emotional roller coaster. Training for–and, of course, participating in–the event will have more than its altitudinal ups and downs. You’ll be required to demonstrate superhuman endurance and perseverance. (For example: Some world records are made when it’s sweltering outside, so you have to dirt dive in the sweaty, sweaty sun, then go up in the plane and freeze at the higher altitudes.) Some records happen over the course of several days, so you’ll perform the same skydive over and over again–perfectly, so help you god. You can rest assured that no record is a cinch. Your good attitude will determine your outcome.
This might seem to go along with the previous bullet point, but it’s distinct. As the process pushes your envelope, remember–the training; the hard work; the skill-building; the cross-training–this is what you came for. Enjoy every nibble.