SDC’s May Newsletter

Skydive Chicago’s 2018 May Newsletter

Take a peek at the latest information and happenings at the world-famous Skydive Chicago!

Special Delivery From Rook Nelson

Summer is here and I think we can all agree that it is about time!   To think that four weeks ago it was snowing and now we are seeing 20 plus loads on a Monday; It’s simply amazing. May’s unlimited package holders have dug in and are making ‘hay’ while the sun shines.  We have a great group of people for this months unlimited. I always enjoy meeting the new faces and learning what they think of SDC.   A humbling comment I overhead was, “this place is the Four Seasons of skydiving”.    While it makes me stoked to hear that, I want to express that it is a team of people that make SDC what it is.  I’m fortunate to work with the best people in the business.  Some of them have been working at SDC for over 10 years.   So with that being said, I have a favor to ask next time your at SDC.  Find a department manager and thank them as they deserve the praise for making SDC Great!

Skydive Chicago’s Memorial Day Boogie – 20th Anniversary

Memorial Day Weekend marks 20 years of Skydive Chicago operating out of Ottawa, IL.  Come celebrate the boogie this year with us in style on May 26-May 28. This weekend marks the beginning of our peak season and kicks off the many events we have in store for the 2018 season.

Throughout the holiday weekend we are offering tandem skydives at only $189 per person. (*Advanced reservations are required to qualify for discounts.)  We are also offering $20 fun jump tickets to celebrate the occasion.  Be on the lookout for a performance by Cisco Dragon at the Tiki Hut on Saturday night as he welcomes all of us to the opening of the the Tiki Season.

Members of SDC Core and SDC Rhythm will also be back and organizing and well will also have the first MWSL Meet of the year.  It’s sure to be a blast as friends and family gather to celebrate in true SDC style all weekend long.

Manifest Messages

It’s finally warm and we’re seeing more and more jumpers coming out to SDC.  Don’t forget to take the time and stop by Manifest and renew your campground agreements and locker payments.  If you want a locker for the season, we still have them available for $60 for the entire year.  Stop in today and get yours!

May has brought 9 Unlimiters who are making those planes turn, turn, turn!  We are open 7 days a week now and the weather is beautiful.  Come on out during the week and jump with us as loads are sure to be turning for you.

Grounds Crew Beefed Up

Grounds Crew has officially been fully staffed!  This means a few things for you.  First, Dan now has a full team and can focus on not only his role as leader of all things Grounds Crew related, but he can finally have a free moment to pursue his dream of being a full time rockstar.  Yep, The Danimal is a ROCKSTAR!

When he isn’t working on his latest demo, he will be addressing the rest of the potholes in the campground roadways.  This has been needing to be finished and, with a full staff, he will be able to finish the roads and smooth them out for all of us.  He will also be filling in any holes in the landing area and smoothing the bumps out with a roller.  Landings just got even better in our large and amazing landing area!

The USPA & The Women’s Skydiving Leadership Network Team Up

It is Ratings Season at SDC!!  Have you thought about getting a Coach or Tandem Rating? This is the summer to do it! is offering both Coach and Tandem Courses to locals who are interested in pursuing ratings.  We are offering several courses though out the summer.  The next Tandem Course is just around the corner, May 11-14.  The next Coach Course is scheduled for June 5-8.  Sign up now!  Slots are still available.  SDC courses are offered to all jumpers that qualify!  Visit for tandem course dates and details or contact

In addition, Angie Aragon is the Course Director for the Women’s Skydiving Leadership Network and is based out of Skydive Chicago this season. WSLN Courses are women-only tandem and coach courses and offer FULL and PARTIAL scholarships to applicants that qualify.  If you are a woman who has always wanted to increase your ratings, then this opportunity is just for you!  Apply today at

Close Calls

There have been a few instances in the last couple weeks of close calls with different groups coming close in free fall and opening.  Two quick tips to avoid such close calls and collisions is to know jump run and exit separation. Click here to access real time info on both of them.

Know which way you are moving:  Whether you are tracking from your group or just beginning free flying, you are moving and should know what way you are moving.

Also, know which way you are flying your canopy.  Most of the time after you open, flying down jump run will get you back to the dropzone. Running into anyone else’s airspace is not a big issue. However, on some days the surface winds and jump run can be opposite.  When this happens heading straight back to the dropzone is right up jump run. This increases the possibility of a collision.  It is important to be aware of when these circumstances.  Flying 45-90 degrees off the line of flight should greatly reduce the chances of any collision.  With the increasing popularity of angle flying and wing suiting, our sport is becoming less vertical and more horizontal.  The big sky mentally can be dangerous.   Being situationally aware of your movement and where you are in the sky can greatly decrease the chances of mid-air collisions. 

 Rock Sky Market – A Letter from Steve and Jenny

It has been a pleasure for Jenny and I to meet many of you so far this season.  We are loving being back at SDC with both old friends and new!

I wanted to address the question that has been asked ever since I started skydiving by so many students about to graduate the program.  “Should I buy New or Used Gear?”.  A lot of times an instructor or a jumper who has been jumping for years, gives advice that is based on what they did when they graduated.  This advice may have worked good enough for them, but may not always be the best advice for you.  The best advice I can give is…. “It depends”.  Clear as mud, right?  It is really pretty clear.  If you are on an extreme budget, then I would say absolutely buy used everything and get yourself in the air.  But, if you can manage it, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND, at the very least, buy a new container, and then you can get away with buying used for the main, reserve, and AAD.  Buying a used container is a “luck of the draw” thing and there are just not too many containers out there that will fit you perfectly.  Having a container that fits you is paramount to feeling and being secure–your rig won’t float around on your back, catch air, or make it more difficult than it needs to be to fly around.  Also, your custom container will be more comfortable under canopy, so your feet don’t go to sleep on you before you land.  Wake those puppies up!  You don’t want them missing out on your awesome landing. =)  Also, the distance you need to reach for those toggles will be dialed in exactly the way its supposed to be.  Ultimately, if you have the money, buy new for everything.  Your resale value will be excellent and when buying new, you don’t have to worry about buying someone else’s problems, or hope the used gear you buy was well taken care of.  Talk about ease of mind and feeling as safe as possible!

Please come by Rock Sky Market down the long hallway, across from the AFP room at SDC and ask as many questions as you want.  We are happy to help.

Don’t Forget Your FREE T-Shirt For Early Rego!

Just like last year, if you register early, you will receive a FREE T-shirt from the boogie.  While we haven’t finalized a design yet, who wouldn’t want a FREE T-shirt??!!  Registration is only $80.00 this year for the full event.  Early registration ends June 28th, so don’t delay.

Why should you register early?  Well, besides being registered for an amazing week of fun times, great jumps, world-class load organizers, incredible food from Eat Up!, nightly acitivities, multiple bands and DJ’s, and friends that will last a lifetime, you will get a FREE T-shirt!

OH! YEAH!  YOU ALSO GET A FREE T-SHIRT!    Register today and claim your spot and FREE T-shirt for SF18 right here:

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