Recently I heard a rumor. Apparently some folks from a dropzone where I used to be regular have taken up talking about others as a favorite past time. Whatever, we all do it. In that, it was stated that a close friend of mine padded their log book.
I’m not sure where the conversation went from there, as I didn’t inquire further because frankly, I don’t really care what people have to say (behind my or my friends backs) unless they’re saying it to my face. Not only that, but the concept is laughable, given that this friend had zero reason to do so (what, with not wanting to get ratings and having started flying camera before 200 jumps anyway…), but it did get me to thinking about the concept of inflating jump numbers.
Skydivers do this for a number of reasons – to speed up the process of getting their ratings (for some you need 100, others 500) or so they can fly a wingsuit or strap a camera to their helmet to catch all the action, both of which the USPA BSRs call for 200 jumps, and is now widely enforced at most dropzones.
That said, what’s it to you if someone does pad their logbook? I mean, say the guy in the plane next to you has 450 skydives, but says he has 500 so he can work toward his Pro rating. Is it that you feel he’s unsafe? Well, if he’s unsafe at 450 jumps then you probably shouldn’t be jumping with him anyway, right? So it’s totally your choice if you want to share the sky with this guy.
And the truth is, you’d be surprised how many people do this. Whether it’s 10 jumps or 100, it happens quite frequently. And so what, they’re only cheating themselves.
It never ceases to amaze me how people – not just in the skydiving world, but in general – can so quickly make someone else’s problem their own. If some dumb newbie wants to “go out of town” and suddenly comes back with 100 jumps to get his coach rating, he’s the one who will have to pay the price, literally, when he doesn’t pass his coach course because he’s not experienced enough.
I’m sure it’s not why you came here this Friday morning, but here’s a little advice for you: focus on yourself, your own skills and your own safety, rather than the numbers in the log books of your fellow jumpers. Worry about yourself and those closest to you, and let everyone else make their own mistakes. Trust me, you’ll be happier in the end.