I’ve traveled all over the world to skydive—even for just one crazy jump. But now, I only have to drive twenty minutes from my home in Bend, Oregon to skydive. Since Skydive Awesome! opened in Sisters, I can shred the sky in my own backyard.
Skydive Awesome!’s dropzone is at the Sisters Eagle Airport at the base of the Three Sisters Mountain Range. The first time I walked into the office there, I opened the door and saw one of my old friends Ryan. We met at a dropzone in Utah, and we jumped together for about a year. Now, he is one of the owners of Skydive Awesome!. The team in Sisters is really friendly, and I love spending a day with them jumping as many times as I can.
I started skydiving in 2006, and since then I’ve skydived around 700 times. The jumps allow me to practice with my parachute and refine my skills for BASE jumping.
Like BASE jumping, skydiving requires focus and methodical planning. Any fear, anxiety or hesitation comes from lack of knowledge. The more you practice, the more you can relax under pressure and enjoy the view.
Some people like to wear jumpsuits when they’re skydiving—it just depends on what makes you the most comfortable so you can focus on the jump. When I skydive, I like to wear Superdry, a European company whose clothes I like. The T-shirts are cool and comfortable, and I don’t feel constricted in the air.
Skydive Awesome! has one plane, a small Cessna 182A. The plane circles Central Oregon for about twenty minutes to get up to altitude.
The day we jumped was different than other times I skydived in Central Oregon. There was more wind than usual in the high desert. It wasn’t enough to keep us grounded, but I had to make small adjustments during the skydive.
I jumped out of the plane at an altitude of 10,000 feet (~3,000 meters). During the freefall, it felt like I was surfing around the big, white clouds that spotted the sky.
I opened my parachute at 4,000 feet (~1,200 meters), which is a little higher than I normally open the canopy. I wanted to give myself more time to get a feel for what the air was doing that day, make adjustments and prepare for my landing in the wind.
Skydiving in Central Oregon gives me the best views of our local volcanoes. Each time I skydive here, the view gives me a new respect for the mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful—and one of my favorite—places to skydive in the world.