Defy Newton

The Skydiver's Best Friend

Dropzone Reviews

Fun Jumper drop-zone reviews. Not for the faint of heart.


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Phone: 805-740-9099
Fax: 805-740-9088
E-Mail: jump@skydivesantabarbara.com
Distance to nearest hotel/motel: 1/4 mile

www.skydivesantabarbara.com

Aircraft: 1 Cessna 206 (seats 5) , 1 Cessna 208 Supervan 900 (seats 24)
Training: AFF, Tandem
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Packing Services. Open seven days a week. 15 minutes from the ocean. 18,000 ft jumps available. Jumpers with less than 1000 jumps are required to use an AAD.
Rules:
-NO Jumping with others until A license
-NO camera jumps until 200, and they check too.
-Currency status checked diligently
-Re-pack within the last 180 days, with proof
-Current USPA membership with proof
-If you want to downsize you must have a plethora of accuracy jumps <15 yards from your point of destination
-No inflatables, toys, ect
Wingsuit: 
-200 jumps
-2 wingsuit jumps within the last 30 days.
-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!
Landing Pattern: 
-Left hand pattern with a soft riverbed for students
-40′x100′ gravel peas pit for tandems, fun jumpers with accurate and predictable pattern flying
-Orange flag on the left hand side of gravel peas for wind direction
-Winds mostly to the East, be mindful of strong gusts and variable wind conditions on your final.  Very strong uppers on occasion too.
-Tandems share the area so be mindful of them when you’re landing and after you’re down try and get out of the way.
Night-Ops:
-Small Cessna 206 only allowed for use
-First night jump solo, the rest can be group (but obviously limited by 206 capacity)
-Lompoc tends to get a lot of fog so don’t be surprised if you get fogged out
-No large landing lights, setup with car head lights if you’re lucky.
-HAVE strobs for you to rent, but you’d need to get any glo-sticks or other materials for use.
Boogies & Fun:
-They’re trying for their first boogie this fall, this thread will be updated after :)
-Interactive group on Facebook. You must have permission to have access to the group, which would definitely come after you check out the DZ and get a couple jumps in.  They post the weather conditions for the day as well as tandems, fun jumpers expected, plane in use, and start times.
-No daily sunset loads, but if you can get one organized there can sometimes be a group that is down to jump.
-Payments are run through an account, you must pre-pay for each jump or load money onto your account. The money never disappears but keep in mind you have no idea how much money you really have in your account.
-Fun loads must self-manifest or get together with other fun jumpers in order to get a full fun load going.  Tandems govern load fill unless you physically grab a manifest form and do it yourself.  If not just do your best to pre-manifest in the open spots between the tandems.

 

The bottom line:

PROS  In terms of Tandem Jumps this place is awesome.  The instructors are really awesome and will have fun with you but always keep it professional when it comes to the jump.  Their gear is top notch and their safety record can speak for itself in terms of how well the plane and equipment is maintained.  The views are awesome, there are plenty of outs but watch out for power lines. Their planes are fast, comfortable, and well kept but have a strict policy on load fill.  The short 2 min van ride back to the hanger will be tight but it gives you a chance to make fun of Sean for losing his shoe out the door.

CONS  Small Packing Area for Fun-Jumpers to share with Tandems. Landing area can be windy at times & winds can pick up quickly. Morning fog can be a burn & takes a while to clear. Personally, SSB is my Home & favorite all around DZ. You can’t honestly beat the fastest plane on the west coast:)


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USPA Region: Western (WE)
Location: Skylark Airport (CA89)
20701 Cereal St
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
90 miles SE of Los Angeles

Contact Information
Phone: 951-245-9939
Fax: 951-245-3661
E-Mail: skydive@skydiveelsinore.com
Distance to nearest hotel/motel: 1 mile

Aircraft: 2 Super Twin Otters, 1 208 Caravan
Training: AFF, Tandem
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Food, Bunkhouse, RV Hookups, Camping, Showers, Pool, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Packing Services

Open year round! One hour from San Diego and Los Angeles. Nestled in the scenic recreational valley of Lake Elsinore, CA. Beautiful lake and ocean views nestled in the surrounding San Bernadino and Ortega Mountains. FS, FF and WS organizing and coaching available. Covered packing and creeping areas. Known as one of the worlds friendliest drop-zone. Please feel free to contact us so that we can assist you in planning your stay.

 

Rules:

-NO Jumping with others until A license

-NO camera jumps until 200, and they check too.

-Re-pack within the last 180 days, with proof

-Current USPA membership with proof

 

Wingsuit: 

Elsinore offers one of the best FWC there is in California, they have instructors that teach people daily.  The class is fairly expensive though ($500 for 5 jumps with instruction)

-200 jumps

-2 wingsuit jumps within the last 30 days.

-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!

Prices: 

-12,500ft                                          $25

-5,000ft                                            $19

-Medium Block (22 Tickets)         $500  ($22.72/ ticket)

-Large Block (22 Tickets)              $1000  ($21.73/ ticket)

-Hop n Pop Block (28 Tickets)      $504

 

Landing Pattern: 

-Right hand pattern

-Experienced Jumpers can land close to the DZ

-Hard packed dirt, so be wary

-Very dusty & the wind blows right onto the packing area 

Night-Ops:

-Full Moon Night Ops

 

Boogies & Fun:

-Chicks Rock, Boneanza, Elsinore throws it down for the boogies

-IF you can handle your shit I highly suggest you check out the boogies there and get down on the dancefloor

 

The bottom line:

PROS  Definitely without a doubt the best fun-jumper vibe I’ve found in So Cal.  From the start people were friendly and said hello.  Even as a newbie (fresh 50 jumps) I was able to get onto the sunset tracking dive, which I failed terribly at.  But it was still fun to be apart of a massive 24 person flock (even if i brought up the rear).  They turn lots of loads, so if you’re pack game is legit you can jump all day (especially on weekends).  Tons of instructors to help you through any stage of development (BONUS points for CRW+).  Bunk house is pretty cool too, on-site facilities are top-notch!! Definitely going back for Chicks Rock this October, see you there!

CONS  Planes that spit oil/gas mixture onto you while you’re loading (Twin Otters) are never fun.  But the vibe on the ride up makes up for any lack of pleasantries on our shuttle up to altitude.  It’s fairly dusty so be wary of that random cross-wind on your landing patterns. Landing out can be kind of sketchy (don’t get run over by the bros racing their trucks or get a drink in Lake Elsinore).


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Airport Name: Yolo County Airport (DWA)
24390 Aviation Ave.
Davis, CA 95616

Phone: 800-SKYDIVE (N CA only)
Phone2: 530-753-2651 (weekday)
Fax: 530-753-8572
www.skydanceskydiving.net

Nearest Lodging: 6 miles

Aircraft: 1 Cessna 172, 1 Cessna 208 Blackhawk, 1 PAC 750 XL
Training: AFF, Tandem
Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Food, RV Hookups, Camping, Showers, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Packing Services

Quality skydiving in Northern California. Home of the 30,000 ft. skydives and host to the 1988 Olympic Skydiving Team. Complete facilities and Pro Shop (Action Air Parachutes). Freeflying and formation coaching available. Open daily. Close to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.

Rules:
-NO Jumping with others until A license
-Currency status
-Re-pack within the last 180 days, with proof
-Current USPA membership with proof
Wingsuit: 
-200 jumps
-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!
Landing Pattern: 
-Left hand pattern with a soft riverbed for students
-Nice grassy landing area for everybody that can hit it
-Swooping lanes for them pro’s
-WATCH OUT!! There is a shooting range (yes, you heard me correctly a shooting range!) not a few hundred yards from the landing area. Also, be mindful of the birds nesting in the treeline around that shooting range, I had one attempt to attack my canopy and watched others get holes ripped in theirs. You’ve been warned!!
Night-Ops:
-AWESOME! They have big stadium-style event lights that light up the landing area
-If you get lucky enough to do it during a boogie you’ll be welcomed to the cheering of hundreds of drunken skydivers chanting your name like a Roman Warrior. Doesn’t get much better than that IMO.
-They sell strobes ($40, I believe) but you can’t rent or borrow any. If you can see if you can borrow one from a fellow jumper
-First jump solo, next able to do with a group. Probably don’t want to go much bigger than 3 total people in your night jump though, safety wise
Boogies & Fun:
-Attended their Great American Boogie this year, it was pretty awesome
-Brought in a Skyvan from Perris (++++ skyvans), boogie fee included a ridiculously awesome dinner and enough beer to fill up any thirsty belly
-Group tracks, streamers, and wingsuit rodeos really took the cake that weekend
-Special props for the DJ/ music while everyone watched videos of their jumps/ fails on Saturday night

The bottom line:

PROS  Grass Packing areas with shaded tops, very good about 5-10-15 minute calls to get on loads, and friendly staff.  The Blackhawk Caravan is fun, and pretty quick too.  Plently of good freeflyers, swoopers there to learn from.  If you want a rad place to camp out at and hang out for the weekend with some good folks definitely check out Skydance.  Free showers/ bathrooms with running water is always a + too.

CONS  It’s definitely toasty out there and if it’s packed it can be rather hard to find a shaded area to pack up your rig. It can get pretty clique-ish so if you’re an outsider or someone new it’s proabably best to bring a friend or you could be jumping alone.  But that can be true for most dropzones.  Not too many bad things to say about Skydance :)


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Location: Byron Airport (C83)
6900 Falcon Way
Byron, CA 94514
60 miles E of San Francisco

Contact Information
Phone: 925-634-7575
Fax: 925-634-5542
E-Mail: bayareaskydiving@yahoo.com
Distance to nearest hotel/motel: 8 miles

 

Aircraft: 1 King Air
Training: AFF, Tandem, IAD
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Camping, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Swoop Pond, Packing Services

At Bay Area Skydiving, we offer a fun and friendly, family-based DZ for all to enjoy. We are centrally located to the Bay Area, San Francisco, and the Central Valley. We vary in skydives from RW, freeflying, skysurfing and whatever else we can come up with. All are welcome! Open Wednesday through Sunday year round.

 

Rules:

-NO Jumping with others until A license

-NO camera jumps until 200

-Currency status

-Re-pack within the last 180 days, with proof

-Current USPA membership with proof

 

Wingsuit: 

-200 jumps

-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!

 

Landing Pattern: 

-Right handed Pattern

-Watch the winds, they change mid-afternoon so pay attention in your airport briefing

 

Night-Ops:

-not quite sure tbh

Boogies & Fun:

-Ladies Boogie & Live Bigs Boogie

 

The bottom line:

PROS  Pretty much everything. Cool, very down to earth people. Good music playing while you’re packing.  Plently of spots to stretch out and camp at. Fast airplane (King Air), a manifest that is on top of their shit, and pretty awesome views to boot!

CONS  NO RUNNING WATER. C’MON MANN


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Contact Information
Phone: 951-657-3904
Fax: 951-657-6178
E-Mail: manifest@skydiveperris.com
Distance to nearest hotel/motel: 1 mile

Aircraft: 2 Skyvan, 3 Super Twin Otter, 1 DC-9, 1 Pilatus Porter
Training: AFF, Tandem
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Food, Bunkhouse, RV Hookups, Camping, Showers, Pool, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Swoop Pond, Packing Services

Club Med of Skydiving! Wind tunnel on-site. Open 365 days a year. Free load organizing for all disciplines on weekends. Facilities include: fully equipped house, bar, and video rooms. Square One with full rigging services on DZ. 1.5 hour drive to LAX airport; beaches, mountains, amusement parks and Hollywood. A true family vacation combination!

Rules:

-NO Jumping with others until A license

-Currency status checked diligently

-Re-pack within the last 180 days, with proof

-Current USPA membership with proof

-Must have B-license to land in the grass & not be an idiot

 

Wingsuit: 

-200 jumps

-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!

 

Landing Pattern: 

-Left hand pattern with a soft riverbed for students

-Tandems share the area so be mindful of them when you’re landing and after you’re down try and get out of the way.

 

Night-Ops:

-Night Jumps if you can get load fill try and get a Skyvan :)

 

Boogies & Fun:

-Haven’t personally attended any of their boogies but from what I’ve heard it’s good (trying to check one out next summer)

-They do have a tunnel on site Perris Venture Indoor Skydiving

 

-Hot Air Balloon close-by. Contact Dan Horst @  Balloon Skydiving     1-951-265-0552 

 

The bottom line:

PROS  SKYVANS, SKYVANS, AND SKYVANS. Love Skyvans <3. My personal favorite is to have a buddy mounted on the bar & hook their legs up on it and face the door while you do a gainer out of it.  Lots of Talent/ Sponsored/ Professional Skydivers call this DZ home.  If you progress quickly it can be easy to get noticed, and if you do they have special packing areas and prep rooms for you to use.  Pretty wholesome facilities including a bunk-house on site that can fill up quickly but has decent enough accommodations.

CONS  Lots of military loads keep this dropzone going.  That means you usually have to switch off with the military loads, but it also means that the DZ stays in business & is turning loads.  The vibe can get a bit stuff sometimes as the more experienced jumpers (Canadian Skyhawks, Pro Freefly, Competition Teams) tend to exclusively use this DZ on the west-coast.  The surrounding area is the ghetto, some pretty high meth usage, but us skydivers can usually hold our own  ;)

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View Larger MapLocation: Taft-Kern County Airport (L17)

500 Airport Rd
Taft, CA 93268-3017
90 miles N of Los Angeles

Phone: 661-765-5867
Fax: 661-763-1555
E-Mail: info@skydivetaft.com
Distance to nearest hotel/motel: 1/8 mile

ircraft: 1 Cessna 206 turbo
Training: AFF, Tandem
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Camping, Showers, Pool, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Packing Services

Open everyday except Wednesdays. One hour and 45 minutes north of L.A. Freefly and RW coaching available!

Aircraft: 1 Cessna 206 turbo
Training: AFF, Tandem
On-Site Services: Videographers, Wireless Internet/Internet Access, Camping, Showers, Pool, Gear Sales/Rental, Rigging Services, Organizers, Packing Services

Open everyday except Wednesdays. One hour and 45 minutes north of L.A. Freefly and RW coaching available!

Rules:
-Watch out for yourself
-No Swooping
-
Wingsuit: 
-200 jumps
-First Wings Course (FWC) proof required!
Landing Pattern: 
-Left hand pattern with a soft riverbed for students
-Small gravel peas pit, everywhere else is hardpack dirt so watch your landings
-Watch for tandems like usual
-After a few jumps you can land close to the DZ and save yourself the van ride/ walk back
Night-Ops:
-Not sure
Boogies & Fun:
-Old Farts Boogie in early June/ late May
-2013 they brought up an Otter from Perris for both days.
-About 100 people or so, partied hard so best bring your game face
-Big way RW to finish off the weekend

 

The bottom line:

PROS  If you’re a beginner student and want to advance your skills with other people early on head over to Taft. To makeup for the long/ cramped plane ride up in the 206 you’re able to rock a camera from day 1 almost.  So if that’s important to you (it can help if you know what you’re doing) head here for some fun jumps.  This is where VooDoo did his infamous jump if you haven’t seen it i suggest you watch.  Not sure if the girl still works there, but she should..

CONS  Not a lot of local up-jumpers means you’re going to be riding up with a lot of tandems.  The smaller plane can suck as well, but some people like it more intimate.  It can get quite hot here as well, so make sure you bring your water.  Town is pretty small but it’s right there so there’s gas stations and decent food nearby.