Featured Friday - Amanda Santiago

November 01, 2016

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone with many extraordinary people! The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock!

Today we meet someone who always knew she wanted to fly and is incredibly ambitious with awesome goals to progress in the sport. She earned her A-license here just last year - meet, Amanda Santiago!

Amanda Santiago

What/who inspired you to make your first jump?
Does Superman count? If I could have one superpower it would be to fly. I always wanted to feel what it was like to fly, and even though we’re falling through the sky it’s the closest thing I can think of to flying. It wasn’t any particular person because I had always wanted to jump more that anyone I knew, but I didn’t want to do my first jump on my own, although I wish I hadn’t waited so long. A coworker decided she really wanted to do it too, so finally I scheduled our first tandem on September 18th, 2015. I always knew I’d be getting my license even before the first jump but doing it guaranteed it!
When and where did you get your A-license?
I got my A-license at Adventure In Skydiving here in Skydive Arizona, Eloy. Started ground school in November 12th, 2015 and earned the A-license on November 26th, 2015 on Thanksgiving. (My favourite thanksgiving so far!)

What was the hardest part for you earning your A-license?
For me it was trying to find a good balance between being relaxed and focused. At first I was just running the dive flow through my head and feeling like I had so much to memorize already had me anxious to get it done. Having that occupy my thoughts prevented me from absorbing what I could learn in the moment. After I got over that and was more relaxed, I was too relaxed in certain areas. I had to remember to relax and still concentrate on what I was supposed to. Since I was just learning there was just so much information I was trying to process all the same time, but as I did it more repetitively it became more natural which allowed me to move on and focus on something else.
Other than that it was waking up super early to be there at 7:30am, now I’m a morning person but only for skydiving!

Amanda Santiago

What inspired you to keep jumping past earning your A-license?
So. Many. Things.  It’s so much fun, how could I not?! I was so excited to finally be licensed to jump on my own! Knowing that there’s so much you can do with skydiving and not just fall straight down on your belly and knowing that I wasn’t even close to good inspired me to want to learn it all! Other than that there are so many opportunities to learn, so many fun boogies to attend, so many cool drop zones to visit and all the interesting people you get to meet! I wish I had started jumping earlier in my life. It’s one of the few things that make me so happy, so free and keeps me sane!

What do you do for work outside of skydiving?
I’m a legal drug dealer, also known as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. 
What are your future skydiving goals?
I want it all! As of right now I’d want to hit 200 jumps by my 1st anniversary date, which I’m pretty sure I’ll be surpassing. For future goals I’d like to earn every kind of license and rating there is, learn every discipline in skydiving, do some competition, become decent in the tunnel, get coached by everyone, travel everywhere to jump and fly, be part of a world record, one day become a coach and instructor and most importantly have fun doing it all!

What’s the best resource you’ve found as a newbie?
Everyone that works and jumps at the drop zone. Vague, I know, but it’s true. But the safest answer I could give to be more specific would be the instructors and coaches; you’ll have the most reliable answers from them especially with all their professional experience. We have pretty much every kind of instructor available on the drop zone. Everyone is going to say something a little different, ultimately it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to follow and listen to but make sure to make the right one. Be nice to everyone, be humble, be patient and be a cautious jumper especially as a newbie and people will look out for you and give you great tips, advice and information!  Don't be afraid to ask when you have any doubts, at the same time don't be afraid to say something when when you hear or see something wrong. Rather be safe than sorry!


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