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Free falling for fun: SDSU Skydiving Club seeks thrills

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Free falling for fun: SDSU Skydiving Club seeks thrills

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Natalie Hilden

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Imagine the rush of the wind in your face as the beautiful Minnesota landscape races closer. Fear disappears, replaced with the thrill of a jump.

This is how sophomore aviation major and president of the South Dakota State University Skydiving Club, Ethan Murtha, described his first time skydiving, an experience he said sparked a passion.

“I am in the aviation program and one of my professors brought up the want to get it [skydiving club] back up and running,” he said.
Murtha had previously been skydiving on a trip to Dallas, Texas, with the Air Force, so he jumped at the chance.

Murtha and club secretary Emily Quaal, sophomore medical laboratory sciences major, are focused on building interest for the club, since not many students may know it exists.

“Ethan and Emily have been rock stars this year and are doing some really cool and innovative ideas to promote the group,” said club adviser Cody Christensen.

They hung posters around campus to spread the word and dives are being raffled off. Tickets can be bought in The Student Union for $5.

Quaal has yet to experience the true thrill of making a jump, but heard about the club during orientation week and it piqued her interest.

She said she is excited to have the chance to try something new and hopes to jump when the weather gets warmer.

Trips to dive are planned by groups of four to five club members at a time. They are currently partnered with Luverne, Minnesota, based skydiving company, Skydive Adventures.

“Luverne is great. They have been so helpful, they provide ground school and discount, so we can keep going,” Murtha said.

To jump in Luverne it costs $200 the first time, and $30 to $60 for every jump after. Murtha and Quaal are adamant the price is worth the experience.

According to Murtha, the SDSU Skydiving Club currently has 20 active members. Students wishing to join can attend the Thursday meetings in Wagner Hall. Meeting times fluctuate, but their Facebook group is regularly updated by club officers.

Murtha and Quaal have high hopes for the future of Skydiving Club. They want to continue to promote, create public interest and get more people involved. One hope is to add a competitive flair by breaking state skydiving records.

“We have more than enough people to do the largest group dive in South Dakota,” Murtha said.

Whether it’s facing a fear, wanting to learn more or craving a connection with other adrenaline junkies, the SDSU Skydiving Club is sure to deliver.

“It is all about the experience,” Murtha said.

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Free falling for fun: SDSU Skydiving Club seeks thrills