Colorado Skydiving League (CoSL)
So far, it’s a one-woman effort to get more people into belly in CO and give the people currently into belly events. At this point, that entails monthly 2way and 3way tunnel events, 1 WSLN skills event and belly load organizing. Eventually, we will hopefully participate in the NSL Cloud and Outdoor leagues, but we’re still working towards that.
What is it again?
How’s It Going, Overall?
The community is building, slowly and surely! We originally started out with 2way events at the tunnel, to make sure the skills were there to start doing 3way. We have had a couple successful 3way events at the tunnel now as well. The first WSLN skills camp had enthusiastic attendees, and while the weather didn’t let us jump a ton, everyone learned a lot! The load organizing brings out a lot of regulars, but it also ropes in people who may choose to freefly otherwise, or track, or simply do belly but without much guidance. The progress seen this season by the people who regularly come to my load organizing days is just stupendous. I’m very proud of the growth I’ve seen this season.
How are the Tunnel Events Going?
- Each event averages about 10 people
- Each event usually has 1 or 2 new faces, but the last one had 4 new faces! (People who have never come to another tunnel event before)
- Average regular belly flyers (those that would say they are a belly flyer above all else): 3-6 per event
- The jump numbers vary wildly, from ~30 to > 1000
- They tend to average around 300
- The majority of people showing up have between 100-400 jumps
- Nearly every event brings family! Two parent-child pairs regularly attend. A few couples show up regularly too. We’ve had a couple other people bring their parents or express interest in doing so
- So far, we’ve had a couple people that have been out of skydiving for years and are using the events to get back into the sport! I love that!
- We have a World class flyer that doesn’t regularly jump in CO, but she comes to the tunnel events! (Big shout out to Phoenix team member, Amanda Lampton!)
- We probably average 1 regular freeflyer or tunnel rat (people who generally prefer freefly or only fly in the tunnel) about every other event (with the exception of Laurie and Alexa who just love comps!)
- The “Something Came Up And I Can’t Make It” happens with about 10% of people, approximately 1 per event
- We have awesome judge support from our judge Andy Honigbaum who treks up to the tunnel for nearly every event and nearly never gets to fly, and from the iFly staff who tolerate the craziness and give us time flexibility on moving in and out of the tunnel between rounds, and starting and stopping the clock in between each team
- There’s a lot more interest from people who don’t strike me as aspiring belly flyers. I love that! I’m glad that this event can attract any type of flyer. I initially thought of this as a stepping stone of “train to get super serious and good” events, but I’m so happy that it’s just a fun, social event for a lot of people. The 2way event especially seems to draw a crowd that has a good time; 3way is a little more serious.
- Fewer regular belly flyers show up than I expected. While there are a few I count on, many, many of the people who do lots of belly (ex: comps, records, previous competitors, etc) don’t come. It makes sense; it can be a long drive through Friday traffic for not that many minutes (partially why I added 3way). I also tend to pair more experienced skydivers with less experienced skydivers so sometimes, instead of busting out tons of points, experienced jumpers end up filling more of a coaching role. (If you don’t like it, bring your own teammate! 😛 )
- People keep showing up! Seriously. Some Fridays after long weeks, long months, I drag myself to the tunnel wondering if anyone will actually show up and worrying if they’ll have a good time. And they do! They show, bring enthusiasm, and then some! (Pretty regularly, we go out for drinks and snacks afterwards.)
- Have the event on a regular interval, at a normal time. Keep the payment system, the format, and the release of information the same each event, as much as possible.
- Have a sign up sheet so you know what you’re getting in to, and make sure the questions on it are relevant.
- When you use a google spreadsheet/form, make a new one every event. I had some issues at the beginning when I was reusing my spreadsheet where peoples’ names wouldn’t get cleared and I’d expect people to show up that had only signed up for the previous month. Plus, better records.
- Colored versions of the draw are best.
- Sending out teams and the draws ahead of time for 3way works well; maybe I should try that for 2way?
- Running the event as less of a comp, more of a scrambles (where we draw names out of a hat for the prizes at the end) has helped us focus on good flying and form, instead of getting lots of sloppy points.
Questions I have for you
- If you’ve been to a tunnel event but didn’t come to another, what kept you from returning?
- Would you come to events if they were more often than once a month?
- What do you like about scrambles?
- What do you dislike?
- What changes would you like to see to the tunnel events?
- Is there interest in a competition-focused event AND a scrambles/skills based event?
- Would you be interested in flying in a scrambles or a competition event in the sky next summer?
You can email me by clicking the email link below, facebook me, message me on instagram, or find me at the tunnel or the DZ.
Finally and Most Importantly!!
To everyone involved. Thank you for showing up! Thanks for being flexible about your flying partners. Thanks to the experienced people who end up doing more coaching. Thanks to the newer people who show up even though it can be intimidating. Thanks to the iFly staff for everything! Thanks to Andy for judging and helping everyone figure out the dive flows. Thanks to Dan who never flies but doesn’t mind when I ditch him Friday nights, after often being out of town during the week, and for calming me down when I get frustrated or worried the events won’t go well.