Featured Friday - Chazi Blacksher

April 20, 2016

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

Skydive Arizona is lucky to have amazing skydivers that call Skydive Arizona home. Like this girl whose earned 7 World Records, been named the Blue Skies Magazine Load Organizer of the year several years in a row, is one of the Working Girls that organizes the amazing, annual SIS event, all while maintaing a career off the DZ. Meet the lovely, Chazi Blacksher!


What/who inspired you to make your first jump? 
Movies.  Yancy Butler's character in Drop Zone; badass chick skydiver, sign me up.  I just happen to have super supportive and driven parents; they were all about me doing my first tandem on a family vacation, Christmas 1998, in Hawaii.  A few years later I expressed interest in learning to skydive and the very next weekend my dad was knocking on my door, "the sun is up, why aren't you on your way to the airport?"        
Where did you come from before Skydive Arizona and what made you choose to come here?  
I was born & raised in Minnesota.  I joined the Army National Guard after high school, went to college full-time, then part-time, then full, or something & worked full-time.  I never stopped thinking about how cool it felt to skydive.  In 2001, I started my student progression, static-line, at a Cessna DZ.  My job took me to Colorado; I made a few jumps and then my job moved me to Nebraska.  I chose where to live based on distance from work, school and the nearest drop zone.  Lincoln Sport Parachute Club stole my heart.  I gained a ton of jumps, a husband and the best in-laws.  In 2006 Nick and I got married and moved to AZ solely based on SDAZ's existence... and maybe the lack of winter.      


You travel to some awesome boogies to be a load organizer. How do you balance skydiving with your real job? 
That is the balance.  I truly feel that my skydiving life and all the people in it are so wonderful that it balances out being responsible during the week. 
You’ve earned the 2015 Blue Skies Magazine Load Organizer of the Year!! And a few times in a row!! Being a load organizer is hard work – you must be a skilled skydiver, assemble groups together, say no to some people, work long hours, etc. What did you do to gain the sky skills to become a badass load organizer?  
Whoa whoa, skills? Badass?  I'm just having fun with my friends.  Seriously, that's what happened, I love jumping, I got decent at it and a couple DZs gave me a shot.  I've been able to do some cool things in the sport including setting 7 World Records, but doesn't compare to the warm-fuzzy feeling of receiving a write-in vote!  You guys are the best!  So many heartfelt thanks!    


What kind of skydiving do you do when not load organizing?  
If it's not a big way, vertical sequential jumps are probably my favorite.  
Do you think the tunnel is important to progress as a freeflyer?  Definitely. 
Tell us about The Movement and your roll? 
The Movement is about body flight.  Friday Friedman, Wade Baird & myself share responsibilities to host camps for angle, vertical and flat (aka belly).  Check us out on FB:https://www.facebook.com/flythemovement/?fref=ts for upcoming events.  Our goal is to teach flight in a safe and fun environment.       
What are your upcoming goals? 
Something awesome, duh.  (This is also my go-to answer when someone asks what we are doing on the next jump)
Any advice to newbies? 
When it comes to skydiving, if it's not fun, don't do it.  Maybe 4-way FS is it, maybe swooping, maybe free-fly or strictly dynamic in the tunnel; do something that makes you happy.  If the risk outweighs the reward, or there isn't a challenge anymore, try something new.  Whatever it is, enjoy.  Oh and, it's all about the socks. 


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