Youtube video courtesy of Tim Ransby.
I have always figured that if you’re going to jump out of a plane, you don’t want to do it naked. It might seem like you’ll have more things to worry about than clothes when you’re falling to the ground, and that’s true, but it’s the ride up and the videos you see after that are unpleasant. That’s why I made sure I did my 100th skydive in New Zealand, where I was only expected to do it in my underwear, rather than in Australia where it is done completely starkers.
I was lucky enough to do my 100th at the Good Vibes Boogie, a skydiving festival in Motueka. It was my third time there, and I got to do my Undie Hundie with all my old skydiving buddies from New Zealand. Living in Australia I have moved around a few times, and have never quite made the same group of friends that I started with in NZ.
The amazing thing about 100 jumps is that it seems like an unimaginable goal when you start jumping, but when you get there, you don’t feel that experienced or invulnerable. I still felt like I was only just beginning my journey in the skydiving world.
I spent four days at Motueka, jumping as much as I could possibly squeeze in to get to my 100th jump. I needed to get in 26 jumps in those four days, and made it on the last plane load of the last day.
On such a special occasion my friends Tim and Kevin were enthusiastic about joining me, and we planned out a horny gorilla. There is no technique involved, we just interlock our legs in the door of the plane, and then tumble out holding each other’s arms in a sort of seated circle. All going well we will eventually right ourselves before the forces involved pull us apart.
The plane ride up was freezing of course – it reaches about -10C by the time we reach jump altitude of 12,000ft. The jump itself went brilliantly, holding our formation the whole way down. The only thing that bothered me was the feeling of my parachute lifting off my back as the wind caught it, something I only noticed because I could suddenly feel the wind screaming at 200km/h up my bare back. I’m told I always look calm in videos, but that’s not the way I was feeling at the time.
So here’s cheers to Tim and Kevin – thanks for the memorable jump guys!