Friday Freakout: Sketchy Skydiver Turns Into Meat Missile — Don’t Be That Guy!

Posted by Zej Moczydlowski

What happened

An inexperienced skydiver with 100-ish jumps turns into a meat missile on a 4-way jump. After plowing through the group, he turns around and docks on the fourth jumper while completely losing track of the first group (effectively, he created two separate two-ways), then geeks* the camera and won’t let go of the other jumper at break-off so he can get a few extra seconds on video. Don’t be that guy.

Why did it happen

Inexperienced jumpers

This video has a lot of basic mistakes and the level of belly flying suggests these folks weren’t ready for a four-way together. They were potato-chipping all over the place, didn’t understand the basic concept of “level-slot-dock,” and the lack of situational awareness was just dangerous.

He was “that guy”

What it ultimately comes down to is how the jumper in blue was “that guy.” With only around 100 jumps under his belt, he appears to have cared more about geeking* the camera than he did about basic belly flying and safety considerations. As a result, he meat-missiled the two-way, docked with the fourth jumper while completely losing track of the others, and held on to his partner at break-off.

How could it be prevented

Limit jump size

Doing jumps with other folks at the same level as you can be a completely safe way to develop your skills when you’re new, but you should limit the number of jumpers in the group until everyone is capable of safe, reliable and controlled belly flight in every direction.

Don’t be “that guy”

Simply put, on every jump your focus needs to be on having a safe, responsible, controlled skydive. If you’re not mature enough to be able to do that while someone else has a camera, you shouldn’t be jumping around cameras. And you certainly shouldn’t be wearing a camera yourself — especially if you only have 100 jumps.

Additional Notes

*Geeking the camera

For you newer jumpers, “geeking” is a phrase you’ll hear a lot in skydiving. It’s the act of staring at the camera like a geek with a huge smile on your face. It’s not a bad thing! Some amazing videos and pics have been captured because jumpers love to geek the @#$% out of the camera and show the world how much fun they’re having on a jump. But when you’re a newer jumper, your focus should never be on the camera and it should always be on having a safe jump.

USPA’s camera recommendation

The meat-missile only had around 100 jumps, so this jump pretty much illustrates why USPA recommends a 200-jump minimum before jumpers can strap on a camera.

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