GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — It’s the most fun you can have without getting in trouble for it, and very few people say they’ll never do it again.
“It was absolutely amazing,” said Roxanna Ramirez right after she finished a tandem jump. “I definitely would recommend it to anybody. Would I do it again, Absolutely!”
Now these are amateur tandem jumps — an experienced skydiver and a thrill seeker hooked together and having a great time. But to get to this point, it takes a long safety lecture and a lot of careful preparation. So just think what it would take to get, say, 48 people to not only all jump at once but to link up in mid air?
“I’m freefalling at about 120 miles an hour and with a skydive like this initially you’re in a dive down as fast as you can to the small base of skydivers that initially exit.”
Yeah, that sounds easy, especially if you’re Marci Ann Smith the owner of Cleveland skydiving in Garrettsville, who, with a crew of jumpers from around the country but mostly from Ohio, pulled off a 48-way formation, setting a new record for Ohio skydiving.
She says it took years to get it all together with three planes and enough experienced skydivers to make it happen. She got the idea after seeing similar formations pulled off by other groups.
“The more people you add to it and the more complex it gets, the harder it gets, and to me that’s where it starts getting fun, when you’re testing your limits and learning and pushing yourself on every single skydive,” Smith said.
But this isn’t easy. It’s 48 jumpers, and two camera operators, all falling at over 100 miles an hour from 17,000 feet gliding into place, not only getting together, but holding on for about 10 seconds, just to make sure that the formation stays together long enough to set the record. Of course doing all this while dealing with gravity.
Smith says it took three tries to get.
“You’re looking across the formation and you can see everyone’s faces and everyone’s just smiling, and everything got calm in that second when it’s all calm and you’re looking across the formation and see all the smiles and don’t feel all the motion behind, you know you got it,” Smith said.
Cleveland skydiving broke the record set by a group from Cincinnati, and some of those same members came up to help out here.
Smith says the community of skydivers always likes a challenge and she says she’s sure someone will try to go bigger, and it might be her.
“People are telling me whatever the next big thing is they’re ready to go … yeah, they’re ready to go,” she said.
To see the entire video and find out more information about skydiving you can go to the Cleveland Skydiving Facebook page.