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Skydive Franz Welcomes Joe to the Team

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Although born and bred in Christchurch, Joe is a true Coaster at heart. Moving to the West Coast has been like coming home for Joe who loves the lifestyle of hunting, fishing, motorbiking and generally being outdoors.

“I don’t miss Christchurch at all, the only thing a city is good for is fast food,” says Joe. “I had envy for my high school mates who were getting into skydiving, I really admire what they do and I wanted to get a piece of it.”

Joe works at Skydive Franz as a driver and ground crew. Going skydiving and seeing others skydive makes the job really enjoyable.

“I love just being a part of a once in a lifetime experience, I get super excited for the customers,” says Joe. “I haven’t done heaps of skydiving so I can appreciate how awesome it is for a first time skydiver. And to be doing their jump in the best skydiving spot in the world, you couldn’t get much better than that.”

Bad Pun Friday

Friday, December 15, 2017
"Look there's the sea."
"Could you be more Pacific?"
"It's the Tasman Sea."

Did you sea what we did there? We're shore you must love puns as much as we do.
#badpun #awesomeskydive

Skydive Franz Welcomes Nathan to the Team

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nathan Graham has returned to his childhood hometown in 2017 to take up the role of full time aircraft pilot at Skydive Franz. Nathan spent much of his youth in the small town of Whataroa just north of Franz Josef Glacier and has worked most recently in the mining industry in Australia. Coming home has been a welcome change of pace.

“I’m happy to be back on the Coast,” says Nathan. “There aren't many people here, I like the isolation of the West Coast.”

Nathan trained as a pilot in the mid-90’s and has done about 2000 hours of flying. He also learnt how to skydive in 2007 and has done nearly 1000 jumps.

“I like skydiving but I prefer flying a plane,” says Nathan. “I like being in control of machinery.”

While Nathan's mining career has been successful, the love of flying and the skydiving scene has won him over.

“What I like about the aviation and skydiving industry is that it’s not regimented,” says Nathan. “It’s not like work, it’s like a hobby to fly a plane and enjoy what you’re doing.”

~ Welcome to the team Nathan, it’s awesome to have you on board.

Skydive Franz Cool Photo of the Week

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
On the one hand we have the mighty Lake Mapourika and the other hand we have tiny Lake Pratt. We love Lake Mapourika, it's only a few minutes' drive from town and is awesome for swimming, boating and fishing. Trips with Glacier Country Lake Tours and Glacier Country Kayaks are an excellent way to get out on the water.

Skydive Franz Welcomes Sarah to the Team

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sarah has joined the Skydive Franz team as a load co-ordinator and ground crew.

Originally from Greymouth, Sarah has spend the last six years working in Franz in the summer and at Ohau in the winter where she managed a café and went snowboarding as much as possible.

Although only recently starting in the role, Sarah has been enjoying the change of scene.

“The interaction with the skydiving customers is awesome, everyone’s super stoked,” says Sarah. “It’s a lot less stressful and different to my other jobs, it’s fun seeing everyone excited and happy, it’s really nice.” 

Sarah has now done six tandem skydives and she’s happy to offer advice especially to first time or nervous skydivers.

“It helps to talk to people, I know what they’re in for and if they’re nervous I tell them to try to relax as the staff know what they’re doing,” says Sarah “The nervous people are the most excited after their skydive, they seem to have more fun.”

Sarah’s also used the new job as a kind of personal case study.

“I’ve thought about getting my skydiving licence, just to go skydiving for fun,” says Sarah. “Working here was my way of deciding if I want to go and do it, and I do.”


~ Welcome to the team Sarah, we’re stoked to have you on board

Can I Wear Glasses While Skydiving?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Yes you can wear glasses while skydiving. They'll be protected by our goggles during freefall and you can take the goggles off once the parachute is open. Contact lenses are also fine to wear while skydiving.

80th Birthday Surprise

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Local man Hakaria Tinirau got the surprise of his life when his family arranged a surprise tandem skydive for his 80th birthday.
Hakatira had said he'd like to do a skydive 'one day' and suggests people are careful with what they wish for.

Hakatira was joined by two of his grandchildren in the airplane as they also did tandem skydives at the same time. 
Hakatira said it was fantastic and especially liked doing a few spins under the canopy.

~ Thanks for skydiving with us Hakatira and we're stoked your family made 'one day' happen today

Skydive Franz Welcomes Emily to the Team

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Emily from the UK learned to skydive about one year ago and can barely remember her life before skydiving. 

"I used to go to work, go shopping every weekend, buy clothes and go out with friends," says Emily. "Then I was forced into doing a charity tandem skydive by my work with another workmate. He was initially excited but ended up hating it, I was absolutely terrified but loved it."

It took Emily two weeks to decide she wanted to learn to skydive solo and she describes her first jump as terrifying. She's since gone on to do more than 200 skydives.

"I still am terrified, always scared," says Emily. "But it's super fun at the same time, I can't really describe the feeling of skydiving."

Emily met Justin (Skydive Franz tandem instructor) while learning to skydive and he advised her that she'd likely quit her job, lose her friends and boyfriend and end up with no money.

"It's true, that all happened. My friends think I'm a crazy idiot, my family think I'm stupid but I love skydiving," says Emily. "My major goal is to skydive all over the world and do 1000 skydives."

Emily is currently working as the Skydive Franz video and photo editor and manages to squeeze in a few fun jumps here and there. 

~ Welcome to the Skydive Franz team Emily, it's great to have you here

Skydive Franz Cool Photo of the Week

Friday, November 17, 2017

Here are all our favourite things in one photo, skydiving, glaciers, mountains, forest and blue sky. 

That little white parachute is called the drogue which is deployed shortly after leaving the plane in order to decrease the skydivers' terminal velocity. This helps parachute deployment, lengthens the duration of the skydive, and allows the skydivers to fall at the same speed as skydive photographers.

In the background you can see Franz Josef Glacier and New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook to the right of the drogue. The mountain range is the Southern Alps, the river is the Waiho and Fox Glacier is tucked away out of view down a valley to the right.

Skydive Franz Welcomes Justin To The Team

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Following in the tradition of staff whose name begins with a J, we welcome Justin to the Skydive Franz team. We now have James, Julie, Jordan V, Jordan T, Jack, Joe, Jo and Justin. 

Justin, originally from Lithuania, has been skydiving in the UK for 13 years and moved to Franz Josef in October and is working as a tandem instructor and skydive cameraman. The change of scene has been a welcome one.
"Here it's more fun and the surroundings are nicer," says Justin. " Where we jumped in the UK it was flat for miles and a lot of the customers didn't really want to skydive."

Justin says charity skydiving in the UK is very popular which means workplaces are making their staff do a skydive to help raise money for a charity, which leads to a lot of people doing a skydive reluctantly and not enjoying the experience.

"Here there are a lot of visitors from around the world who really want to skydive, so the job is much more fun," says Justin. "There's a lot more enthusiasm and I like tandem skydiving, doing camera jumps and staff fun jumps."

Justin has always been interested in adventure sports and started skydiving in Lithuania as a challenge to keep up and surpass a friend who'd recently started skydiving. His friend has done over 100 jumps but Justin has gone on to do more than 1500 skydives and has also done 300 base jumps. 

"I've base jumped in France, Italy, Spain, Lithuania and England," says Justin. "I've ticked all the boxes I wanted to tick."

~ Welcome to the team Justin, we're stoked to have you here.