Contact: Stephen Boyd, 281-369-3337, Stephen@SkydiveSpaceland.com
Thirty-four skydivers set a new state record for the largest head-down skydiving formation on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Skydive Spaceland just south of Houston. Their smooth skydive eclipsed the previous state record of 31 head-down skydivers linked in a single formation, and brought the record home to Houston. Not only did they build the record… they also held it for a very respectable 8+ seconds.
“Breaking the Texas State Head-Down Record was the first record for many, and I think we all learned some life lessons and created bonds that will never be broken,” said co-organizer Donagene Jones.
This head-down formation record is special because of its difficulty. All of the skydivers must fly literally on their heads, reaching vertical speeds of around 160 mph together as they maneuver in formation to take grips. And at these speeds, the skydive is relatively short, so this group had less than 55 seconds to leave two aircraft flying in formation at 15,000 feet and dive together to complete the skydiving formation before separating to deploy their parachutes.
This record is also unusual in that it was almost completely unplanned and unannounced. The jumpers were part of a three-day weekend event at Skydive Spaceland called Live BigZ Sequentials, which is an invitational-only annual event where highly experienced skydivers work to develop their skills together and push the boundaries of freeflying (flying in many axes—on their heads, feet, backs, and bellies) in large, coordinated groups.
Event organizers quickly realized that the level of talent at this year’s event was generating some amazing skydives, and chose to go for the state record on Sunday. The rest, as they say, is Texas history made up of male and female skydivers from several U.S. states, Argentina, and Canada.
“The 2013 LIVE BIGZ Sequentials was about opportunities, creating friendships, and a new generation,” summarized Jones.
About Skydive Spaceland
Skydive Spaceland is a three-generation family-owned and -operated skydiving business located in Rosharon, Texas, just south of downtown Houston, Texas. First opened for business in February 2000 by Steve Boyd, Sr., Skydive Spaceland has grown into a truly world-class skydiving facility open 7 days a week and capable of handling hundreds of skydivers jumping daily. More than 100,000 skydiving students have been instructed at Spaceland and the center facilitates about 100,000 skydives per year.
Skydive Spaceland has also played host to the world’s largest skydiving competition, the United Parachuting Association National Skydiving Championships (2009) , as well as several other large competitions including the U.S. National Collegiate Parachuting Championships and multiple U.S. National Canopy Piloting Championships. Several state, national, and world skydiving records have also been set at Spaceland including the Texas State Record 150-person skydive in 2007, 168-person skydive in 2011, 4-person formation skydiving (longest sequence) in 2009, canopy piloting speed and distance in 2009, and multiple Women’s Texas State Record skydives held jointly as fundraisers for Jump for the Rose, a Houston-area breast cancer clinic.