NOTE: View photos and video at the bottom of this page
Today I was lumped with the job of looking after six media delegates from around the world on a trip out to the Rotorua Airport for a complementary Skydive with N-Zone while they were in town for TRENZ ’08. A bit out of the usual job description for a humble Web Development Co-ordinator at Destination Rotorua Tourism Marketing, but I was up for the challenge, and I thought it would be a good chance to spend a nice autumn day outside.
There was also one representative from Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) making seven all together. Now since only two could go up with each plane load, because of the camera operators, I thought I might be able to slip in on the last plane for a jump with the TNZ rep. However I had overheard that a paying client was on the way out to the airport and would go on the last load. Bummer I thought, that would of been cool!, nevermind.
Anyway to cut a long story slightly shorter, the client never showed up by the time the TNZ rep was gearing up, so Keith (the owner) asked if anyone else wanted a jump, and I eagerly said – H E L L Y E A H!
So I was rushed into the hanger to gear up and get ready within 10mins before boarding the plane.
What a rush, I didn’t even have time to get nervous. The tandem jump master, Lynette gave me a quick briefing and before I knew it we were in the plane ascending to 12,000 ft above beautiful Rotorua.
There was only a few small clouds in the sky so conditions were perfect. The ride up to 12,000ft took around 20mins I guess, I honestly can’t remember as I was just buzzing so much from being given the opportunity to experience this rush worth over $600 (with the media pack of photos and video I’m yet to receive).
It was an anxious wait checking the altimeter on Lynette’s hand every few minutes until we finally reached our jump altitude. The red light comes on signaling one minute to go, so it was final checks and putting the goggles on.
G R E E N L I G H T – TIME TO JUMP!
The TNZ rep was up first, they shuffle to the door, she hangs out and I just watch as they vanish from sight within split seconds. MY TURN!!
We shuffle up to the door, I only have the edge of my butt in the plane, legs stretched out down and under the plane, head tilted back, the rush of the -15° wind past my face.
As we tumble out of the plane, I see the plane in almost slow motion moving away from us, ground, sky, ground, sky, ground. I try to remember to keep my head back, pelvis forward, arch my back, legs curled back, almost like a yoga pose.
As we stabilise the camera man comes in for a close up and grabs the hand of Lynette, WOW.
Within ten seconds we are traveling at just over 200km/h. The 45 second freefall seams to last longer than you expect. I scream with absolute amazement and excitement and almost loose my breath “..close your mouth and breathe thorough your nose..” I remember being told. Ah that’s better!
Taking in all the views of the lakes and surrounding areas of Rotorua, wow, it looks so cool!
Your ears start hurting as you hurtle to the ground.
Lynette pulls the rip cord and the canopy deploys and we gracefully descend back to the landing spot.
She loosened a couple of straps so I could sit more comfortably. That was nice.
We floated down within a few minutes, and Lynette made a few tight turns where you can really feel the g forces on your body. Not so nice.
We ended up sliding in on our butts, SAFE!
I would highly recommend an N-Zone Skydive to all those adrenalin junkies out there or to anyone wanting to experience something really quite unique. Definitely a buzz and would do it again in a heart beat, you can honestly see how people get hooked on it.