Jack Davies is a Hibaldstow regular, whats more, he has just won the British Parachute Association – New Skydiver of the Year award. Being a relatively new jumper, we decided to interview him to find out what makes him tick and how his journey began.
I guess it all stemmed from doing a tandem jump a couple of years ago at Silver Stars. I enjoyed it so much I’d booked up to do an AFF course only a few months later. For whatever reason at the time, (probably weather) I chose to start out in Spain. I
naively assumed that I would be able to breeze through AFF and everything would be plain sailing. Instead I found myself stuck at Level 4, unable to grasp turns.
After returning from Spain I set about trying to get myself some coaching and practise in the tunnel. I was put in contact with Rob Spour who was running tunnel camps at the time and things went from there really. After some sessions in the tunnel I found I could not only turn, but also wondering why I couldn’t do it sooner.
Fast forward a few months and I managed to nail my AFF and spent a bit of time doing some fun jumps. Throughout the wintery months of last year I met Stu and some of the other Hibaldstow coaches at the tunnel. I spent my winter working on FS1 skills before making the journey up to Hibaldstow DZ last April. Since then, it seems like I’ve spent most of my free time there!
I’d always been a fan of so called ‘adventure sports’ like climbing and kayaking but nothing too extreme. As I kid I played football for a few years but it didn’t really interest me. Skydiving is definitely the most extreme sport I do currently, although it doesn’t feel so ‘extreme’ anymore!
I’m currently sitting at 151 with a few more planned this weekend if the weather stays nice.
The first I knew was when I was sitting in the theatre listening to the citation being read out. This year was my first AGM/Expo so I was unaware that awards were even given out, which made the surprise even nicer. Looking back I can see why Rob (Spour – instructor) and Noel Purcell (CI) were insistent that I went!
A lot of it is the community and the people. For sure jumping out of a plane is great but it’s even better if you’re doing with other people – whether it’s a 2 way or a 22 way. Then once the day is over, there’s still a few more hours of hanging out with everyone at the bar.
Another factor has to be the sheer breadth of the sport, there’s still so much more to learn and to try. For instance I’ve just started doing some FF over the winter months; I’d love to try the 8-way nationals this year as well as entering the A class in 4-way this year.
When you first start half the battle you will face is going to be a mental one. At some point or another you’re going to hit a brick wall and struggle with something; be it your first jump or your FS1 graduation dive.
I think the best advice I can offer is don’t give up, don’t become frustrated because we’ve all been there and chances are we’ll all be there again at some point in the future. And never be afraid to ask for help, there’s always going to be someone who is more than happy to help.
But above all else, enjoy it, every step of the way.