After investing a lot of money into my first skydiving seasons (and by “lot” I mean a reeaaaal lot) I recognized that if I wanted to keep going like this, I should try to get some money back from the sport I love. Since the tandem instructor job didn’t seem to be a good idea for me tiny dwarf and I didn’t have the experience to catch students as AFF teacher, I decided for being a video flyer. There was an urgent need for videots at my dropzone and therefore they were happy to get me.
It takes a bit of training and also experience, since it is more than just falling straight and like a stone. You have to know how to fly your body and different speeds and follow some important rules. Tandems move. Tandems turn. Tandems wobble. Tandems change speed. Tandems are slow. Tandems can be fast. DSLR cams on your head are heavy and can ruin your neck with a bad canopy deployment. A day filled with video jumps in summer is stressful and exhausting, not every guest is nice and you want to play the funny clown for them. And afterwards you have a load of editing work, which is not the way I want to relax after a 10h day at office.
But: you share an experience with a stranger, which will be unique in his or her lifetime. In most of the cases they try it for the first time, and all of us who did it already know how awesome the first freefall was. It is something frightening and exciting that will definitely make them proud of themselves afterwards and happy too. This video and the pictures will be a memory of this incredible thing and they will probably will show it even their grandkids. I had paralyzed jumpers, bachelor parties, couples filled with love and jumping together, siblings, friends, 12 year olds, 72 year olds, colleagues, tv teams or wedding guests – not one single jump was as the one before. And if you do it right, I mean by music and catching the emotions, you enable them to feel it a little bit again every time they watch it, the excitement, the thrill and the goosebumps.
The tandem instructors also enjoy the company and love to see the reactions. I try to show them how much the guest is freaking out and I am always smiling, how matter how fucked up I already feel. Once one of them told me, even though he can’t see the guest, he feels if he or she enjoys it, because they are far more relaxed and easier to handle. And that a video flyer can contribute to this relaxed jump atmosphere.
Of course it is good money and training for my AFF license (if I ever want it). But even more, for me it is also somehow an honor, that I am invited to that experience. Nothing beats the scared first look down when they fall out of the plane. And when they land and you see all these emotions in their faces, when they hug you and feel like the biggest heroes of the world – then I am proud to be a small part of this overwhelming rush. Before I hurry up to pack and start all over again….
Find here my best of video of my first video season.
I will publish a review of my video flying equipment soon. Stay tuned!