I'm an adrenaline junkie by nature and a tandem free fall was one of the big items on my bucket list. I drove approx 4 hours from Cleveland down to the airport between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. I was greeted by cheerful and happy people from the start. I was introduced to my Instructor /Tandem jumper Gila who's enthusiasm and energy, and huge smile were evident from the first instant we met. My videographer, Kyle also had that same enthusiasm, smile, and great personality that complimented and enhanced that of Gila. Gila was patient, clear, and reassuring while getting me geared up and made the entire process easy to understand. He repeated the main steps several times until the actual jump from the plane in the same confident, fun cadence that could only me feel confident, reassured, and ready to have the best fun of my life. The actual jump was awesome... Gila's comment to me approx 10 seconds after leaving the plane was: "So how do you like my office?" .. My only reply was: "Where Can I sign up for one of these?!" Kyle was there every step of the way taking stills and video.. adding his infectious smiles to that of Gila's. I have started and operated my own businesses and been involved in World Class Quality organizations throughout my 36 year career. All I have to say is that these folks have got nailed down... My first tandem free fall this past March 10, 2012 was everything and more than I expected. They not only met but exceeded my expectations, which are very high to begin with. Their friendliness and kindness did not end with the landing. They went out of their way to chat and make the entire morning and the entire trip (4 hour drive down and back to Cleveland) seem like a few minutes. If you ever had any reservations about doing your first tandem free-fall... then don't! You will NEVER forget it and you, like me, will be asking "Where Can I sign up for a view like this!" - Go ahead...go for it... the memories and the videos & pics are well worth it... You've got to see the view!
This place is amazing! The facilities are spotless and the staff communicate with all of the customers. After spending a full day here, I have to believe that they put safety first all of the time. We were placed on wind holds throughout the day and when this occurred instructors would let us know what was going on. Emergency procedures were drilled into my head during the course and throughout the day by my instructor Milt while I waited. The classroom portion was long and Adam Ralston was redundant and seemed to go on forever. I am now thankful for that as the skydive was overwhelming and all of the repetition paid off when it came to the canopy flight. I was a little concerned when I met my instructors. One of them John was pulling weeds, mopping floors, filling water jugs, loading planes, picking up cigarette butts and anything else you could think of during the day. I thought he was the maintenance guy and then he became one of my two instructors. I jumped with John and Milt and I froze at pull time. I think John pulled for me because I was below the safe limits. They both were so professional and made me feel like I just accomplished something incredible even though I screwed up the exit and was probably not one they would want to jump with again. I later found out that John was the owner while I was telling another instructor about how safe he made me feel. That explained why he was so into the care of his business. I can't say enough about this place and am thankful for the experience of a lifetime that happened at Start Skydiving. I am an executive in customer service for Meijer and hope to return soon to jump and learn more about how Start Skydiving takes care of their customers. Thanks again for the amazing service.
Just wanted to say thanks for the experience. I came up Sunday and made my jump with you and Dave (fromt the canceled OSU class). You guys (everyone included) were pretty awesome while in class and at the DZ , it made it really enjoyable while still keeping a strict seriousness about everything. Seems like an awesome atmosphere and environment to be around. I'm going to see what I can do to get the funds up to make the next 9 jumps to get the AFF out of the way this summer then see where it goes from there, but one jump at a time. Hopefully get to see you guys around again sooner than later for that matter. After watching the videos I wanted to say thanks again, you guys really take on an professional approach about the whole thing, and it was kick ass. By the way, I didn't mean to be fighting your hand on the chin thing, my mind was busy trying to fight the forces of downfall and that sort of just took over. Ha, I learned a lot though, and am looking forward to the next jump. Till then man, keep up all the good work and enjoying life, where ever it may take you. Pacis exsisto vobis (Peace be with you).
They say that in life, there is always that one moment that can change everything. For me, the one moment that changed my life was Skydiving. The first thing I would like to say is thank you. Thank you, for the incredible experience you gave me. My skydiving experience truly impacted my life in such positive way, it touched my heart in a way I cannot explain. The staff is very friendly, patient, caring and encouraging. When I got home it was one of the first things I shared with my family. One of my most memorable moments was when I changed mind and decided not to go through with my jump. I was sitting in the video room feeling defeated. Travis Donley came in and said if you want to do this, you know what to do, so do it. I talked to him about my fears and he helped me to overcome my doubt. His confidence in me gave me the courage to try again. I can tell you right now that I will never forget his words. Niklas Hemlin, made me feel accepted. He said there′s a lot of people here who care about you and want to see you overcome your fear, we are confident that you have the knowledge and capability to do this. I will never forget that feeling. Start Skydiving does more than open doors to a new adventure for an individual...it rebuilds the person. It rebuilds the person into someone who is strong and believes in him or herself. Start Skydiving teaches all of its students that taking risks in life is necessary to grow. It teaches each and every student that anything is possible and most importantly have faith in yourself. There is no better place to learn this unteachable lesson. This experience taught me that I should never give up and of course; BE CONFIDENT IN ME. I am thirty three years old and for the first time in my life I know that I can overcome any obstacle. The Start Skydiving Team are more than instructors, divers and Riggers. They are amazing people that literally encourage others to reach for the sky and never give up. Thank you David Strobel, Mathew Strobel, and Jonathan for giving me the skills to accomplish a successful cat-A skydive. Thank you Scott Stilwell for encouraging me and for the four leaf clover. Thank you, all of you at Start Skydiving. Start Skydiving opened my eyes to an entirely different world and gave me the strength and courage to live out my dreams. I learned so many new things and met some awesome people! I had a great time at Start Skydiving and am planning to go again!
We have found Start to be the perfect place for student skydivers. It′s the most state-of-the-art, professional, and at the same time friendly and welcoming drop zone in the area. You have the latest equipment, awesome facilities, and a great staff. In comparison to the half dozen bigger drop zones we have seen in the last few months, we found Start to be equal or better than the ″top″ DZ′s in terms of its facilities and equipment, training programs and prices, range and depth of experience levels and by far the best in its atmosphere and the Prime; family Prime; experience. When Katie and I first came to Start, we were looking for an alternative to the Central Indiana DZ where we did our first tandem and AFF. We found Start, and even though the winds didn′t permit jumping the first day we got there, the staff went out of their way to make our time there a learning experience. Kip Lohmiller showed us around the DZ, unpacked a canopy and made us climb into the cells, showed us the aircraft and answered all the questions we had - a remarkable contrast to our experience at the other DZ! At all times, the people at Start were excited about skydiving as a sport, and not simply trying to sell a one-time experience. They made it clear that the first few jumps are just the entry door into an exciting sport, and that every additional jump will be even more exciting. We were welcomed into the family right away and received an incredibly professional and friendly introduction to the sport. Since the beginning of October, we have completed our student progression, obtained our A-licenses, and went on two trips with other experienced jumpers from Start. We have jumped at half a dozen drop zones all across the country since then and everywhere other jumpers and instructors have been impressed with the level of training we have received at Start. We are incredibly thankful for everything Start and the people there have done for us, and we′re excited that this is just the beginning of a great love relationship with the sport. We did indeed ″Start Skydiving″!
I just wanted to drop a quick line to you folks to let you know how much I enjoyed my tandem jump yesterday. As I told Robin, I chose your company for my (and my friend Dianna′s) first tandem jump based upon your web site even though there are other companies closer to where we live. It′s a really great site and reflects the professionalism of your company. But more importantly, from the office staff to the videographer to Robin, everyone was so down-to-earth (no pun intended) and friendly that it made it such a great day. And Robin must be a mind reader because her advice during the plane ride up made the experience, which I′d looked forward to but was still scared of, helped me relax and enjoy the experience all the more. Bravo everyone!
Thank you very much for the experience of a lifetime on Friday. We had a blast. We have been showing the video and pictures to everyone we know and have quite a few people interested. It also has been very interesting to me to find out how many people I know who have also jumped and loved it, but don′t talk about it. You guys have opened a first class facility and have the people in place to make you feel very welcome while you are there. I am sure you will see us out there jumping again in the future. Thank you very much.
Our altitude adjustment today was the best, and now that I have my Sport Parachutist Log Book, I want to fill it up and get my own piece of sky. I wish I could use my words better, but it was plain fanstinkingtastic. I tried to keep my big mouth shut, I just couldn't stop smiling. I know you′ll all want to go with us next time. Geronimo! (No one actually says that, by the way...)
Sue Putnam and I just rehashed the entire day, we have been fortunate over the years to have some great Father and Daughter experiences, today on Friday the 13th was another...They live forever. Congratulations. You give people courage, as you did Sue and me today to accomplish something, which to you is no longer a big deal...but still is to us. We had a ball. When you kneel in that door, hooked on to him, you know you are going to skydive. Also at 13,500 feet, nearly 3 miles, it does look like a long way down. Really exhilarating however. A terrific ″high.″
Thanks for taking such good care of me. I love the DVD and photos. I′ve watched the DVD 8 times already! You guys are the best. Everyone was warm and genuine, really made me feel at home. You′ve provided me with an experience that I will relive many times. I forward a couple of pictures to John as well. Until the next time!
WOW! What an awesome experience! Thank you very much from each of us! You are definitely correct as you told us when we arrived---everyone will be asking how it was & we won′t be able to fully describe or explain. No doubt this is something a person must just experience. When we arrived back in the office the next morning, word had spread throughout the company. People in the plant were stopping us, asking about the experience. So, once again, we want to say ″THANKS!!″ for an awesome experience, (Team Fastrax was fantastic!) The organization really appreciated your initial presentation; you′ve created some excitement!
So now that we′re all hooked on skydiving, I′m making plans for the next jump! Ben has about 15 people who now plan on coming out for a jump. I truly thank you for the opportunity to have that experience. It was awesome!