Bucket-list best: Skydive over the mountains
Want to know what it’s like to tumble through the sky? Smoother than you think.
“Most people think it will feel like a roller coaster, but it does not,” said Bobby Dolin, owner of WV Skydivers. “There is no sudden drop to the ground, no lurch. Freefall feels more like swimming in air.”
Dolin would know— he has completed around 1,200 jumps himself, and his business has been helping people leap out of a plane 11,500 feet above the Appalachian Mountains for 6 years now. They set out over the skies from their hangar at Robert Newlon Airpark in Huntington.
“When the chute is deployed and you are flying around, you will see the beauty of the Ohio River as it cuts between the 2 states,” he said.
If you are interested in skydiving, but nervous, he suggests you stop by and meet the staff. They have thousands of jumps and various certifications (including safety certifications), and will give you an idea of what to expect. Your first jump will be tandem, strapped to a pro.
Folks that jump are anywhere from the minimum age of 18 to well into their 90s. WV Skydivers has taken everything from proposals to birthdays and bachelor parties to the skies.
“I had one young man who had never been in an airplane prior to his skydive,” Bobby said. “He has the honor of telling his friends that he has taken off in a plane, just never landed in one.”
If you are hooked after your first jump, the WV Skydivers coaches can even teach you to take your own solo leaps.
Groups can get a lot out of a jump, too.
“Tandems can be used as a team building experience for people to understand the implicit nature of trust in an extreme scenario,” Bobby said.
If you want to stay and watch the show as chutes fall from the sky, the airpark also has a full-service campground, with electric and water RV hookups, laundry facilities and a bathhouse. Pilots can even fly their own planes in for a getaway.
If you get hungry, check out the Fly In Café, where you can get fresh seafood and enjoy live music on the weekends.
This post was last updated on March 16, 2022