The Stoke!

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So, we’re about to let you in on the biggest secret we skydivers have managed to keep hush-hush all these years, and trust us, it’s a big one…

Skydiving isn’t our favorite part of skydiving!

Sure, jumping out of an aircraft in flight is just as amazing as you think it is. None of the videos you’ve ever seen with beaming faces and incredible energy are even slightly overstated, and it’s that almost indescribably fun activity that drew us (and if you’re reading this, you) toward and into this wonderful sport of ours; but here’s the thing… all of that isn’t the hook, it’s the bait! The hook, the true rabbit hole we have all collectively decided never to climb back out of is the community; the community and its unbelievable stoke.

Stoke you say? I’ve heard surfers and old teen movies use that term, but this is jumping out of airplanes. Explain yourself…

Words just like people grow and evolve. Stoke in Old English use to mean “A Place”, which eventually gave birth to a similar but deeper meaning “A place of worship”. It’s meaning then got a bit funkier and started to include the meaning “add fuel or encourage”, then the world of adrenalin sports got their hands on it, and now you’ve got the idea! We’ve all heard the phrase “Add fuel to the fire”, and that is exactly what the community of skydiving does, come rain or shine.

If you’re a friend or family member of a jumper and you’re reading up to learn a bit more about why even in the rain they’ll drive sometimes hours to get to the DZ for even the smallest chance to make a jump, it’s because they know that once they’ve arrived, they’ll find the place filled with their “Sky Family” always welcoming and “Stoked” as they talk about past jumps and jumps to come. It’s that community that will have them driving home, even if the skies never cleared, smiling, content, and yes, stoked.

Never jumped and not sure you ever will?

Got a cousin or sister or brother that jumps and always finds a way to bring it up in conversation? Always wanted to jump but just haven’t managed to build up enough “steam”?

Come out to the Drop Zone and just hang out with us. Sit around after the last jump of the day has landed, listen to the stories, feel the vibe, the “stoke”, join our community even for an afternoon and you’ll quickly understand why our favorite part of skydiving is, well, skydivers!



Douglas Smith is CEO/President, and Guest Relations Associate at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. He has owned and operated the business since 2000. He has been skydiving since 1994, and in addition to leading the CSC Team, is currently an instructor, videographer and pilot for CSC.