Featured Friday - Joe Howard

July 15, 2015

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone. No - a GINORMOUS drop zone with a lot of people from visiting to local jumpers, to staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event organizers and load organizers!!!

The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock! In this week's series, Skydive Arizona is featuring local jumper and member of Arizona DefianceJoe Howard!

What inspired you to make your first jump?

My wife.  We had a waiter friend, at a restaurant that we frequent, who was going to do a tandem jump with his nephew that was coming to visit.  Cris immediately said yes, but I was cautious and had to check out the history on Skydive AZ before I would sign-up to go.  I guess I was the chicken.  Kim was my tandem instructor, and I remember after we landed my videographer, Brad, asked Cris and I if we had kids.  We said no, and he said welcome to the sport.  Here we are.

What keeps you in the air?

My team, AZ Defiance.  It’s a great group of people that I love jumping with and hanging out with.  Plus having a common goal drives us forward in our quest to get better.  When I have the money and spare time, I’m also trying to learn how to freefly.  I really enjoy human flight and want to learn how to fly my body on all axes.    

What’s the silliest thing you’ve done in the sky?

I’m kind of boring that way.  I’ve just done some of the traditional crazy exits like horny guerilla and gainers out of the Skyvan, but nothing really silly.  I did enjoy a game of rock-paper-scissors with Jon “Tex” Walker in freefall once.  AZ Defiance also did a bunny ear jump that got a lot of laughs.


Arizona Defiance - Joe Howard 2nd from the left

Speed Round (quickly choose without thought):

First load or sunset load?
First load

Slow-n-steady or speedy fast?
Uhhh… What are we talking about again?

Pie in the face or a hug for a celebratory jump?
Hug, just not from Swindle

Beer or wine?
Can’t I have both?  No… seriously… can’t I?

Full face or open face?
Full face

Open, Advanced or Intermediate?
Intermediate for now. 

Joe Howard - 1st on left

What’s the best resource you’ve found as a newbie?

Axis Flight School.  Cris and I wouldn’t still be jumping if it wasn’t for them.  My advice to newbies is to seek out and acquire good, solid coaching to advance your skills and understanding of the sport.  We are spoiled at Skydive AZ with a host of world class coaches, so seek them out.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Check your spot on a hop-n-pop pass.  Too many times I see nervous jumpers sitting by the door staring at the lights without ever looking out the door and then just jumping the second they see the green light and end up with a long spot at times.  If you are the only hop-n-pop, that pass is just for you.  Clear your air space (make sure there is no aviation traffic below), and then make sure you get out where you want after the pilot gives you a green light.

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