As a teenager, I had the incredible luck to experience skydiving through a tandem jump and I have dreamed to jump on my own ever since. It took some time to convince myself I could do it (as well as to find enough time and money) but last year I was finally ready!
One year later, after convincing three friends to do it with me, some planning and a lot of video watching, we took the train to Pau, in the south of France, to do our PAC (the French kind-of AFF).
The PAC (Accompanied progression while freefalling) is a training program which starts with a full day of theorical formation followed by 6 accompanied jumps from 4000m.
The formation was simpler than I expected for such an extreme activity which makes it kind of reassuring. The equipment is not very complicated and you get a good understanding of everything pretty quickly. My instructor joked that few sports only gave you 6 minutes (6 jumps of 50 sec.) of training before letting you on your own!
The first jump is obviously very impressive. My mind went blank for the first 2 seconds but I was ecstatic and smiling for the remaining time. It was incredible! Two instructors grab me and guide me during this jump. For the part under canopy, I was guided from the ground via radio.
The next 5 jumps are accompanied by only one instructor. Each jump, we practice a different exit and new exercises. The most important thing is to learn to be stable while freefalling and while opening the chute as well as being conscious of your altitude.
The sensation while falling is hard to describe. It’s a pure adrenaline rush and a real sensation of liberty. Seeing how experienced skydivers move in the sky is magical and I hope to quickly be able to master the air around me!
Our two instructors, the two Cédric’s, were awesome and very talented skydivers. They’ve created their own school: In The Wind. Also, the dropzone at Pau is great and everyone was very nice. Jumping in front of the Pyrénées is a fantastic experience.
After obtaining our PAC, we did 4 more jumps on our own but it’s only the beginning. I’m already searching for a dropzone near Paris and looking for basic equipment! As the summer is only beginning, I have 4 more sunny months (I hope) to do as much jumps as possible. It’s going to be wild!
PS: The title is a quote from Point Break and is a reference to a picture in the plane at Pau :)