For many of us with the winter arriving, this also means our skydiving season is over. Or at the least, you will not be skydiving as often during the colder, wetter season. Maybe this is your first off season, or perhaps you are a veteran skydiver who has made it through a few off seasons already. Either way, the upcoming winter season can sometimes make us go a bit crazy, not being able to jump. However, even though we will not be jumping, there are still things we can do to keep our skydiving life on track. I do not think it is a good idea to completely put skydiving on the back burner, during off season. Keeping our minds and bodies active and our sport relevant in our minds, will have us ready and more prepared for when we will begin jumping again. And so I have created a list of 7 things to do during the off season.
Once the season is over and you will no longer be skydiving, its a good idea to check out what gear maintenance you may need. For example, it can take a while to have your AAD serviced. So take a look and see if your service date is approaching. This would be the perfect time to get that done, while you are not using your gear.
Consider getting your container washed. Although you can certainly wash your container yourself, if you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, go see your rigger! During the season your rig can collect a lot of dirt and dust and maybe a few grass stains. Your rigger can take apart everything, and give it a good wash and then reassemble everything for you. Your rig will look so bright and clean when the skydiving season opens!
Remember to get your reserved repacked. Check the expiration date on your reserve. If your reserve repack comes due in off season, I suggest waiting a bit closer to the season opening date. Book your reserve repack in with your rigger closer to the season opening. Make yourself a reminder in your phone so when the date approaches, you wont forget!
If you have the ability to do so, go fly at the wind tunnel over the off season. Hopefully you are fortunate enough to have a wind tunnel close to where you live. While you are not skydiving, why not improve your body flight skills? Being able to fly at the wind tunnel will keep you learning in the sport while you cannot jump. And its a perfect way to pass the winter season. Once the season starts again, you will have new skills to take to the sky!
Organize some time to share with your skydiving buddies. Sometimes we do not see our flying friends as much over the off season. The tunnel can be a perfect place to catch up with them. Flying for fun with a few guys or getting serious training with a friend, either way you are back flying with friends! Best part is, when you share time with friends, it becomes a lot more affordable to fly.
Check your videos out
If you are like me, I take a bunch of cool videos during the skydiving season, and then upload it to my computer and completely forget about it. During the off season its a perfect opportunity to organize you videos and photos. Go through them so you can laugh and enjoy your previous jumps. Also use it as study material! You can review body positions and acknowledge potential safety hazards during any jumps.
Another great idea is to edit a season skydiving video. Find your favourite videos and jumps and make a nice edit. This is fun to share so that your friends can see your footage from jumps you made together. Its also an easy way to combine the best moments of the year, so you can get rid of the excess videos. Saving every video takes up space, and its not often we go though every single one to watch again. A season video takes the best and favourite moments of the skydiving season and puts it all in one place.
Its a good idea to always be conscious of staying active and fit. Take some time a few times a week to do some strength training, stretching and cardio. During the off season you may have a bit of extra time on your hands so maybe you can even sign up for a work out class to keep you motivated. Keeping yourself fit and active will help you once the skydiving season rolls back around. You will feel good physically, which will help keep you going through those long jumping days. And both strength training and stretching can help your body flight skills due to increased body strength, mobility and flexibility.
Plan for next season
Take some time to get excited for next season by making a list of all the events, boogies and skills camp you want to attend. This is a good way to organize your schedule and start considering your vacation requests for the upcoming year. Perhaps it is also a good time to make budget for finances you might need to save to make these skydiving events a reality. If you are going to need to travel, take a look ahead and save some money by booking flight tickets and accommodation extra early.
A quick tip for preparing for events is registering as early as possible. Some times you can save money by registering early. As well, some very popular events have registration that fills up really fast. Make a reminder on your phone for the event registration opening date. Get the best possible chance of saving your slot in the event by signing up as soon as registration opens.
Read and watch
There are many different ways to continue to learn about skydiving during the off season. Pick up a skydiving book and find entertainment in some of the many published memoirs of skydivers and base jumpers. Take some time out to study more theoretical books. This is an amazing opportunity to expand your knowledge on gear, canopy flying and body flight. Check out our blog post on the top skydiving related books to read, to get some inspiration on where to start!
During COVID lockdown, the social media in the skydiving world was very active in creating content. Many well known skydivers and manufacturers where creating videos sharing knowledge and making interviews with veterans in the sport. Go to the Facebook pages of companies like Performance Designs, Icarus Canopies and LB Altimeters, check out their video archives. You will find tons of videos to review and learn from to keep your skydiving mind stimulated!
Travel to keep current
The best way to keep yourself immersed in skydiving during the off season, is to go skydiving! Travel somewhere that is warmer and the DZ stays open year round. This way you are able to stay current over the off season, and it keeps you from going crazy missing skydiving. Hopefully you can find a sick skydiving event or boogie to attend. Usually over the holiday season, there are lots of destination boogies. Skydivers from all over travel to jump in the warmer weather. So why not split up your off season with some skydiving trips!
Keep coming back
Do you have any other ideas on what to do during the skydiving off season? How do you spend your off season? If you like the article, please let me know, send me an email or a message on Instagram. I want to know about your experience and thoughts!
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