Flying free for five minutes

by Erich Bogner, Reporter

“People always ask me why I go skydiving and it’s because when you’re at 13,000 feet, nothing on the ground matters. For that five minutes you’re literally free,” junior bio-chemistry major Estefan Herrera said.

Herrera is a skydiving enthusiast to say the least. He completed his first jump after his senior year of high school. The opportunity was given to him as a graduation present in order to check skydiving off of his bucket list. It was love at first jump.

“As soon as I got down, I was like ‘I need this again and again,’” Herrera said.

Herrera bought his own parachute and container (typically called a rig) and skydives at least twice a month now. At first, he was just into free falling, but his interest in other aspects of the sport grew quickly.

Herrera and three others recently took part in a competition near Chicago. Their event was called turning points which is similar to “a game of tag in the air.”

 “You all start out close together and everyone is going to touch each other, and as soon as you let go you have to move in a certain way and then you have to grab someone else,” Herrera said, “The way that you move and grab someone is specific. You basically draw out of a hat for what you have to do, and you have 35 seconds to do it.”

Next on Herrera’s skydiving to-do list is becoming a swooper. Swooping is a form of skydiving where you get going as fast as possible, then reduce your speed to 70-80 miles per hour a few feet off the ground and “slide for days.”

In a few months, Herrera is hoping to get his base jumping license. A goal of his is to base jump off the 30th floor of a hotel into a spring break party.

Herrera also stated that if he was contacted by a sponsor, he would love to go pro. That would be a great Simpson Success Story.