Then he lets go.
Last Saturday was Louden’s first skydive, a static line jump. It was his 21st birthday present to himself.
“I had so much to remember that I had to do right, I didn’t have time to be scared,” Louden said.
On a static line, the skydiver does not have to pull his chute. He falls for a few seconds before a piece of webbing attached to the plane and the rip cord opens the parachute.
Louden said the free fall felt longer than a few seconds – more like 10 seconds, wondering if the chute really would open while watching the plane grow smaller. But of course it did.
“All the excitement hit me when I got on the ground,” he said.
Louden plans to become a certified skydiver. Through the Tennessee-Kentucky School of Skydiving located at the Russellville airport, the initial jump and instruction cost $200, and each successive jump is $60.
Nathan Weber is a sophomore photojournalism major from Horse Shoe, N.C. He can be reached at [email protected]