Building Community with Skydiving Events

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

This is going to sound like we’re tooting our own horn, but bear with us: We’re not just known for our top-notch tandem skydiving at Skydive Orange, nor are we solely recognized for running a great solo skydiving certification program on the East Coast (though that’s a point of pride ‘round here, for sure.) We’re known for our community. And, honestly, the skydiving community we’ve built here is the reason we’re so eager to leap out of bed and go to work in the mornings. It. Is. Amazing.

Let’s start here, though: We’re not the only dropzone that sports a legendary, tight-knit and inclusive tribe. The skydiving community around the world looks a lot like the skydiving community here at Orange. There are plenty of ways to explain that huggable phenomenon, but we think the skydiving community has been built on traditions – events, from small and local to large and in-charge – that reinforce our connection, weekend in and weekend out, season in and season out. Those shared events build a community that’s uniquely dynamic and strong.

community of experienced skydivers at dropzone

Milestone jumps

In sport skydiving, we do a lot of counting. Our logbooks count the number of times we’ve jumped, the number of people on each jump, the amount of time spent in freefall, the amount of time spent flying our parachutes and the number of times we’ve landed exactly where we wanted to. (They also log where we were jumping, what we were jumping out of and what parachute we jumped.) Out of all those metrics, there are some that we go out of our way to celebrate: the milestone jumps in a skydiving career.

When a new skydiver graduates from AFF, they get their USPA A-license stamp applied directly to the middle of their forehead. Usually, a photo of the event goes up on a wall somewhere at the DZ to be celebrated by the entire community.

The first time you do something – anything! – new, and you tell someone about it, they’ll yell “beer!” They’re calling in what we refer to as a “beer fine,” and it means that the new-thing-doer owes the rest of the dropzone a beer after the planes have stopped running at the end of the day. New skydivers end up owing quite a bit of beer, which, by necessity, turns into a lot of long nights spent storytelling and getting to know the rest of the jumpers. (Traditionally, it’s done around a fire of some kind: barbecue, bonfire or campfire.)

When you finally make it to your hundredth jump, hilarity ensues. You’ll be greeted with a pie to the face. You may know it’s coming or you may be tricked into a surprise, but changes are you won’t get to jump 101 (and definitely not jump 110) without having to get lemon meringue out of your ear canal. Make no mistake: that’s a sacred, treasured and much-anticipated honor, and the whole dropzone will conspire to make it so. Some kind soul usually brings q-tips.


If milestone jumps are celebrated for an individual, boogies are celebrated for the whole skydiving world. “Boogie” is the name given in the early days of the sport (can you tell?) for a skydiving get-together. They pull the community together from far and wide to enjoy cool, novel jumps and legendary parties. More importantly, a boogie is about the time spent together around the bonfire.

photo by: D-SQUARED

At Skydive Orange, we take enormous pride and pleasure in crafting some world-famous boogies for our “skyfamily.” The Cinco de Mayo Boogie – and the upcoming Big ‘O’ Boogie – have well-earned their soaring renown, and they show no signs of slowing. Many a new skydiver has woken up the morning after a fantastic boogie and realized they’ve discovered the thing that inspires them most in this life: jumping out of planes with awesome people.

Between our superb shindigs, our skills camps and the world records that find their way onto our events calendar, we work hard at Skydive Orange to keep the connection happening. It’s evident the moment you step onto the dropzone. Don’t hesitate! We want you to be part of it. Book your jump today!

Jack Harding Skydive Orange AFF Student

Jack Harding – Fredericksburg, VA

Fredericksburg, VA

I can't imagine learning how to skydive at any other drop zone.

The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

Tandem Skydiving Student Skydive Orange

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