Something Different!

I thought I might change the theme for a mo!! A large part of my life has been involved in Skydiving and the picture below was taken by Andy Oakley on my 20th Anniversary in the sport. I started jumping in 1986 and during the next 20 years spent many a weekend and much of my focus at Dropzones and jumping my butt off.

The people in the photo were all a big part of my time in the sport and it was great to have them there. We have done some amazing stuff like, jumping into Rottnest Island pub for March long weekends, jumping into the Abrolhos Islands for the inter island footy matches, going to the Quincy Freefall convention in 1994, various Boogies in Bali

Thanks to all my skydiving buddies out there for all the great times and thanks to Andy for the pic. This photo made it onto the front page of the Australian Skydiving magazine which was pretty cool!

…..I even jumped into my wedding!!…photo below.

20th Anniversary Jump

Wedding Jump

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~ by True North Mark on August 13, 2009.

13 Responses to “Something Different!”

  1. I think James Bond jumped into a wedding at the start of one movie, so we should call you 007 I think Markie. In fact I think even James Bond wouldn’t do half the shit you have done! I like seeing this stuff. Cheers

    • Looks like you are the only one mate!

      No other comments on this different stuff….but I thought I would add it as it is a bit of history of a little bit of what I have done! I have a few other cool pics of jumpin type stuff if there was interest…..but alas!!

      I think I like Merv’s ‘International man of mystery’!!

      Cheers,

      Mark

  2. Great!! This is something I have always wanted to try, am definitely going to do this one day when opportunity arises!

    • When you get to Perth will be the time Bo!

      I was the founding Director of Skydive Express and we should take you out there for a jump hen you next get to Perth. See http://www.skydive.com.au

      Blue Skies mate!

      Cheers,

      Mark

      • Sounds brilliant!!! Having watched ‘Point Break’ a few times I always wanted to try this, will be amazing!

        Also I have an ex-colleague who is really into skydiving and photography, he had a Canon 350D strapped to his helmet and then a release trigger cable thingy in his mouth so he could shoot photos by biting down on this thing!

      • Yes the 350D is very popular with Skydiving camera people. It is light and very good for that kind of work.

        I have a custom built camera helmet that was taken off a mold of my head over a wetsuit hood and then made out of balsa glued with epoxy glue!!!

        Very light and very secure. I never did still photos but did about 300 or so video jumps!!

        I used to do a lot of underwater video work as well, but am definitely more enjoying the ‘other side’ these days!

      • Yeah I can imagine Point Break made a few people grab a surf board or jump out of a plane!

        A camera helmet made out of balsa sounds pretty wicked, some day I reckon you should do a post with “All my gear” and have your camera gear, boat, helicopter, scuba gear and balsa helmet – even James Bond can’t beat that!

      • You bet Bo!! A Swedish guy by the name of Carl (nick named Crash Dummy) and I did the first ever Board jump here in WA…cool but scary! I much prefer the wing suits. You really feel like you are flying….done a about 200 wing suit jumps.

        Yes I have some pretty cool stuff due to the fact from a very young age I have been abiding by a few simple phylosphies:

        1) you are here for a good time not a long time!
        2) he who dies with the most toys wins.
        3) it ain’t a rehearsal, so no sense talking about it…get on with it and do it!!
        4) never sell your toys…you never know when you might want to pull it out again!!

        I reckon the bucket list movie has made people think about getting out there and doing stuff a lot more than usual which is cool. The main difference between me and others is that I have done my bucket list ages ago and now I just keep doing the stuff that I enjoy most!!

  3. Point break is also one of my favorite movies…very cool!!

    That movie was one of the turning points for the sport of Skydiving!

    Tandem Skydiving really took off on the back of that movie. Leading up to that it was seen to be a good thing to do for those looking for extreme fun, but after that movie it became more of the ‘norm’ if you know what I mean for milestone birthdays and anniversary presents etc.

    I know drop zones that went from doing a few hundred tandems a year to literally 20 + thousand tandems a year!

  4. Hey mark,
    Great stuff mate.. I have about 88 up my sleeve.. although I havn’t jumped in over a year (quit the money job, worked like a dog for the dream of 15/hr!)
    But now I’m back so theres still a little itch in me to get back into it.. this just helped it along! Thanks mate!
    Great to see a MAMMOTH effort put in to! 20 YEARS!!!!!!!!!! How many times have you actually landed in a plane in that time? 😉

    • Hi Bryce,

      Thanks for visiting. I have probably only had to land a handfull of times in 3500 jumps, when I have had a rig on. A couple of those times I had a student on board and we had to land because the winds had exceeded limits etc.

      Apart from that I have done a lot of travel with my business, so I have therefore done heaps of jet landings as well. I did jump out of a 727 at the Freefall convention in Quincy in 1994!! Way cool!

      Where are you jumping Bryce?

      Cheers,

      Mark

      • Hey mark,
        Well I started at elderslie, on the recommendation of someone and that was a cool place! But then a found picton with it’s turbines and 14k heights, but didn’t really like the scene there.. The closest spot was at warnervale but for politics being politics, the owner of the business and owner/manager of the airport didn’t see eye to eye so they were driven out. So I don’t really have a home drop zone at the moment.. I’ll probly try elderslie again or theres another one up there near glouscter.. jumped at any of those mate?
        Dude it sounds like you’ve been around! Whats your best advice to stick with it?
        I always had this never satisfied feeling, like when I was there i felt like i was wasting my wkends away.. esp on wind holds.. BUT then when I wasn’t jumping i was all annoyed and frustrated that I WASN’T there jumping?!?! it was the weirdest thing…

      • Hi Bryce,

        Interesting comments mate that I can wholehearteedly related to!!

        Politics are by far the worst part of Skydiving and one of the main reasons why I have slowed right down with the sport now. The whole sport suffers from it and there is no real getting away from it. There is no substitute for a gas turbine aircraft in my opinion so sometimes it is just as easy to go where the turbine is and put up with a bit of crap. The best way to do that is to get involved in a team or with crew that are interested in the same discipline as yourself. How I approached the sport is that I always had a team. We jumped every second Saturday and always went to the DZ with a mindset of improving our skills to stay on top.

        I would suggest that you form a 4 way team and get some coaching. Fiona jumps at Picton and is a great coach. It would be worth while for all of you to get her as a coach and pay her some bucks every weekend….and guess what…in about 6 months you will be much more advanced than you are now.

        4 way skills will teach you the fine flying skills you need to have on the bigger formations, so get those skils and start to go to a few boogies. I would thoroughly recommend Sky Adventures that happens somewhere around the pacific every year. Just google them and you will find them. Go there with your team and then you will often be used as a base when you are getting known and you can evolve from there.

        Practise swooping on Tandems and make sure that you aim to the side of the tandem in case you miss judge the dive. Practise floating up on other teams training out the door if you are not there with your team. Floating and diving skills are very important to have nailed when you go to the bigger ways.

        So, in summary see if Fiona will take you under her wing…mention my name, try and find a group of 3 other guys and a camera man if possible. If not see if Fiona knows of any keen people at your level.

        How many jumps do you have?

        These are a few thoughts on how to get the most out of the sport and an inidcation of how I approached it.

        Good luck and keep me posted as to how you are going!

        I expect to hear that you won gold in the Internediate 4 way comp within a year!!!

        Cheers,

        Mark

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