Club takes to the skies

Noah Brown

A wise man once asked, “Who would ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” The answer on this campus, at least, is the SDSU skydiving club.

Matthew Ault, the current president of the skydiving club, took his first dive in September of 2009.

“Like most people, it had always been on my bucket list,” Ault said. “When I decided to come to SDSU I stumbled upon the skydiving club when looking through the list of student groups.”

His first jump went off without a hitch and he said the view is worth the effort.

“It’s definitely something that you don’t get to see every day,” he said.

The skydiving club is not a new group; in fact they have had an intermittent presence on campus since the 1980s. It was only recently, however, the club has gained more notoriety. In January they sponsored the first-ever skydiving club dance and have set their sights on some other goals.

This fall the club plans to do a jump at an SDSU football game; it would be a first for the program.

“An exhibition jump is something I have wanted to do ever since I got involved,” Ault said.

While the exact date of the jump is not set yet, the club did receive the necessary funds from the Students’ Association last month.

The club sponsors skydiving classes that take place in both the spring and fall and cost $180. They include six hours of classes and a static line jump. In a static line jump the parachute is deployed automatically for the jumper. Five static line jumps are required before a true free-fall jump can be executed.

Ault said while there are certainly nervous feelings before the first jump, the training goes a long way.

“I think that the training really gets rid of a lot of the misconceptions that people have about skydiving. It’s actually pretty safe,” he said.

“You pay the fee up-front for the five hours of training, but after that the expense significantly drops,” said Andrew Leonard, the advisor for the club. Jumps two through five cost $50 and every time after that is $40 per jump.

The classes for skydiving club are taught by the former advisor, which makes the cost lower than it would be normally some place else.

“The money isn’t going to the organization, the majority of the money goes to the plane and fuel costs,” Leonard said.

The desire to make costs as low as possible for students has resulted in the club having a hard time making enough money to advertise. In order to raise more money the club has sold T-shirts and organized a dance. They also use some of the money raised to fund giveaways and this year they are giving away a free tandem jump to a student.

To learn more about getting involved in the skydiving club, check out their Facebook page or email the club at [email protected]