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  • Laura (Lola) Handzel

Iconic photo from "Point Break" by Tom Sanders of skydivers over Lake Powell.
Iconic "Point Break" Lake Powell Scene. Event banner designed by

On my list of Things I Know for Sure is the following: The 1991 film, "Point Break," is the most epic skydiving movie of all time. I'm totally serious. Have I seen every major skydiving movie ever made? No. But I've seen most. It doesn't matter though because the original "Point Break" has had an undeniable, historic impact on the sport of skydiving, and its skydiving scenes will forever be iconic in popular culture.

Like so many others, "Point Break" is the reason I became a skydiver. Recently, Alis Volat Consulting organized a Point Break Global Watch Party. Since then, countless skydivers have told me they can directly date their skydiving career by Point Break's debut on the big screen. These days "Point Break" is a classic, and, having done the research, I know it continues to inspire many first jumps from perfectly good airplanes.

That's part of the reason Alis Volat Consulting is proud to present our first free online community event, Point Break Q&A with Legends Ray Cottingham & Tom Sanders. If you're already a skydiver, you likely already know Ray and Tom. They're skygods in the best sense of the term - kind, generous, and totally badass. They were inducted into the Skydiving Hall of Fame in 2018 and 2019 respectively. If you're a "whuffo," aka a non-skydiver, you've likely seen and enjoyed their work somewhere but just don't know it, like those epic skydiving scenes in "Point Break." Do yourself a favor, visit their Facebook pages linked just above and enjoy their art. Also visit Aerial Focus to see more of Tom's amazing work.

Of course, there are many reasons to fall in love with skydiving, beauty and freedom being the foremost among them. For many though, it's our sky community that keeps them coming back. It's truly special, dysfunction and all, just like a real family. But seriously, everyone is welcome, and it takes a lot to get disowned. (Repeatedly being dangerous and/or disrespectful will usually do it though.) Our sky community is indeed generous. This event proves it. Both Ray and Tom are busy, yet they were immediately willing to share their time and expertise for the greater good of all. Amazing. And while I'm doing a lot of the heavy lifting to make this event happen, I'm receiving enormous support from my sky family.

I'm thrilled to have Skydive Elsinore join us as co-host. If you haven't already visited, Skydive Elsinore is a wonderful and historic dropzone located in Southern California near Lake Elsinore. (Providing great views from altitude!) The good folks at Skydive Elsinore will make you feel right at home in our sky family. Don't worry. You'll be in good hands. They've been jumping since 1958! Tom and Ray have both done plenty of jumps there over the years too. So you simply must visit.

If possible, I recommend scheduling a trip to Skydive Elsinore during its 20th Anniversary Chicks Rock boogie scheduled for the first weekend in October. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States, so Chicks Rock is sure to be extra amazing. Alis Volat Consulting is proud to be offering event assistance. We hope to see you there! Whuffos, that would be an excellent occasion to do your first skydive, tandem of course, so all you need to do is enjoy the ride.

And please also check out Project 19, a 100-way women's vertical skydiving record taking place immediately after Chicks Rock to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Talk about epic.... These women inspire me on the daily.

It would be a waste of time for me to try to explain why I love skydiving. I could try to describe how there's no better way to feel alive, exist in the present, and enjoy the now, but it still wouldn't do skydiving justice. Cliché? Yes, but clichés exist for a reason. Because they're often true. Never mind. Just join us! Discover for yourself.

Find a United States Parachute Association member dropzone near you and schedule your first jump out of a perfectly good airplane already! For some of you, it will be a singular experience, one you'll likely cherish forever. For others - don't say we didn't warn you - it will be like a needle in your vein that you will seek again. You'll likely become much poorer, but much happier as you spend all your disposable income on training. Skydiving will change your life for the better though. If you fall in the latter category, your sky family is waiting.

Special thanks to the United States Parachute Association (USPA) for creating the gorgeous event banner featured above and helping us spread the word about this community event. We appreciate you so much! Thank you for always working hard to help keep us safe in the sky.

Skydivers, I hope to see you this Saturday, May 23rd, at 1 pm Pacific on Zoom to talk with Ray and Tom. Whuffos, we invite you to catch the livestream on our Facebook page.

Blue skies to all. Alis volat propriis!!!!

Alis Volat Consulting believes you can fly, & we're here to help you build your wings.

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