Skydiving around Montreal – To a lot of people, skydiving is more like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To mark a personal milestone, or check off an item on their bucket list, there are people of all ages who want to get that rare thrill of flying up in the air in an airplane, jump out of it in midair, and then do a little free fall, and finally, pull the ripcord to parachute down to solid ground to complete that sense of pure exhilaration.
For Montreal native Rebecca Perez, the thrill of skydiving is much more than that one jump; she has turned it into a personal passion.
“I first tried skydiving in 2016 as one of my bucket list goals,” she said during a recent phone interview. “When I did that tandem jump attached to an instructor, and did a 90-second free fall at 9000 feet, I just loved it. Then I went to the next level, equipped with an oxygen tank, and did a three-minute free fall at 18,000 feet, and I found that exhilarating.”
Ms. Perez, who now lives in Ottawa, decided to continue skydiving, only this time as a hobby, when she took a PAC skydiving course. The course gives the student the opportunity to do jumps without an instructor for a total of 10 times. “You start doing solo jumps by the time you go up for your fourth jump,” she says. “At that point, you can do certain tricks, like front flips. When I got to my ABCD levels, I was allowed to do a lot more things in the air. When I finished the PAC course, I became a certified skydiver, which gave me permission to do between five and 10 jumps a day. Instructors usually do between 2000 and 4000 jumps a year. These are people who are in their 40s and look like they’re 25. I believe it’s because the air pulls their skin back, which gives them that youthful look.”
She admits that it’s more freeing and enjoyable when skydiving solo without an instructor attached to her; however, there are a number of responsibilities that go with skydiving solo, such as the half-hour theory classes, where jumpers are briefed about vital hand movements and emergency procedures, as well as ‘memory ticks’ regarding the operation of the parachute. “When you’re at the 4000-foot level, you have to look at your parachute and go over in your mind 10 images to see if your parachute will work,” said Ms. Perez. “Also, you have to know how to direct yourself towards the wind in order to make it to your drop zone. You always have to be on alert.”
But all that attention to safety, equipment, procedures and other details has not stopped Ms. Perez from taking in the joys of skydiving. “I enjoy skydiving because I am an adrenaline junkie, and it gives me a feeling of lightness, free will and a chance to unwind,” she said. “It also gives me a chance to meet other skydivers from around the world and listen to their skydiving stories, especially one person who jumped at an altitude of 20,000 feet!”
When she is not indulging in her passion of skydiving, Ms. Perez works as the Editor-in-Chief of Goss magazine (www.gossclub.com), a publication that was established in 2018 and recently was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records organization as the first ever women-oriented business magazine. “Goss is like Forbes meets Vogue,” she said. “It focuses on women entrepreneurs. The fifth issue is currently in production, but we are doing a lot of online campaigns and features, in which the magazine will conduct a number of live events, such as panel discussions and networking events.”