Adapted Skydiving Part Deux: The No Fear Club


One of the sweetest releases of life in a wheelchair is without question skydiving. When you’re barreling through the sky at 200 miles an hour, it’s hard to think about your limited mobility. In fact, it’s pretty much an afterthought.

And we here at SPINALpedia believe this freeing thing is something all people with disabilities need to experience. For many people with disabilities, skydiving takes them out of their “spot” and into a more tactile world. It’s hard to not feel alive when you’re skydiving.

For videos that touch on the braveness required for skydiving, here are three that do just that, including a few tough paraplegics and quadriplegics who are determined to do what they want t no matter what.

Video #1: Coca Cola Profiles Avid Disabled Skydiver – Matt Dooley

Matt Dooley, a 19 year old young man with cerebral palsy, has never been able to walk, but that doesn’t mean he can’t go skydiving. A life full of excitement and hope is what every person with a disability wants, and because of skydiving Matt Dooley can now partake.

He has jumped a number of times in fact. His “no fear” bada#! attitude it so fiery he even has a giant mural/Fat Head on his bedroom wall dedicated to skydiving, showing him jumping tandem with an able-bodied instructor (now that’s a site to wake up to every morning). Listen to Matt talk about why he loves skydiving

Video #2: Extreme Quad Skydiver, and Sportscar Racer

For a peek into the life of an extreme quad, our next video will certainly satisfy. It shows a buff C7 quad boarding a tiny plane, reaching 10,500 ft., then jumping out like it was nothing. It’s done tandem, so technically he gets pulled out by the guy attached to him, but it’s a very cool thing to see.

The video stays on the entire fall too so you can see our beautiful green Earth inch closer and closer as he readies to land on his butt (careful for tailbone injuries). This video also shows him behind the wheel of a Nissan GT-R; the first quad to drive this high-end sportscar. Watch the “extreme quad” go skydiving

Video #3: Adapted Skydiving Down Under (with Elmo)

For a look at how adapted skydiving is done in Australia, our next video from Skydive Airlie Beach will make you wish you had gone skydiving yesterday; that’s how fun it looks, and the outgoing instructors are a HUGE part of it.

It shows him receiving lessons from them (“You got it, mate?!” heh), getting on his gear and the fearful flight up. Once they reach altitude, out he goes, giving some mighty funny faces to the camera and chatting up in the air with his instructor. His Elmo doll goes along for the ride too. Watch and be inspired by Mark Hansen

Love it or hate it, skydiving is one polarizing recreational activity, but no matter where you stand on the issue, it’s hard to deny how healing it can be for people with disabilities. It allows us to get out of our wheelchairs and no longer be weighed down by our bodies. It may cost a pretty penny and an airplane ride to do so, but boy is it worth it.

Have you tried skydiving? What tips would you give to interested people with disabilities?

Watch the videos!

Coca-Cola commercial of a wheelchair-user going skydiving

Quadriplegic going skydiving, and racing his sportscar on a racetrack

T10 paraplegic goes skydiving in Australia

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