There is truly nothing like the skydiving experience. The nearest comparison is possibly a roller coaster ride, but the comparison only works if you consider that the highest roller coaster drop in the world is a little over 50 meters, and the average skydive is over 3000 meters! If you estimate the thrill differentiation between the two as roughly proportional to the difference in the drop, you come to a fairly satisfactory comparison.
Ground Rush has been a friend of Leisure Times since our inception in July of 2008. As Leisure Times Editor, they have now escorted me from an airplane three times, once dressed as Santa Claus so that I could deliver presents to underprivileged children.
It is not only a thrill, though, it is also one of the most beautiful experiences you can imagine. I’ll never forget my first jump. It was misty day in Swakopmund, one of those days where you don’t really want to get out of bed, much less participate in adrenaline sports. But skydiving means going up 10000 feet, or 3000 metres, far above the mist.
Mist is nothing more than a cloud that rests on the ground, and that is what you see from 100000 feet. Half of the town was shrouded by haze, cut off from the sun, while I enjoyed the bright sunshine glistening off the top of the fog bank, without even a window to obscure my view.
To commit to a skydive is to entrust your life to your tandem master, and with Ground Rush, you are in good hands. Ground Rush is run by Matthias Röttcher and Craig Milne. These two have been travelling to and from the sky for twenty years . Matthias is a Tandem Master, Static Line Instructor, Static Line Examiner, Commercial Pilot and has over 8000 jumps to his credit. Craig is a Tandem Master, Tandem Master Evaluator, AFF Instructor, Static line Instructor, Senior Rigger and has over 10000 skydives.
Their specialty is in tandem skydiving, which offers even the first time skydiver a chance at free falling. You only fall for about ten to fifteen seconds, but it feels like much longer. The rest of the time is basically hanging from the cables of your parachute and enjoying the slow descent to earth. For the more experienced jumper, they also offer courses in accelerated freefall and static line jumps. They are open seven days a week all year round, and they jump every day the weather permits.
There is no particular athletic skill involved with skydiving. In fact, all you really have to do in a tandem jump is fall. You don’t even really have to jump! Nonetheless, you will have an extensive training session before you go up just to make sure you are fully prepared for your jump. The preparation course does much to ease your mind about the jump ahead, and also serves to tease your anticipation and prep you emotionally as well as mentally for an amazing experience.
Skydivers and friends of skydivers are collected with the Ground Rush Adventures’ courtesy vehicles and brought to the office for paper work, after which they are taken to the Drop Zone in the beautiful Namib Desert adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Upon returning to earth after your adrenaline churning, free falling, thrill of a lifetime experience, and, optionally, some post adrenaline celebratory drinks, the Ground Rush crew will happily drive you back to wherever you are staying. It’s the thrill of a lifetime in the hands of some of the world’s most experienced and well organized skydiving masters.
All skydiving at Ground Rush Adventures / Skydive Swakopmund is operated under the control of the Parachute Association of Namibia (PANAM) which is the governing body for all forms of skydiving in Namibia.
by John R Wheeling | Leisure Times Namibia