DeLand Skydiving: A Legend’s Perspective
Inventor, businessman and skydiving expert Bill Booth has devoted much of his life to this thrill seekers’ sport—and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon! Booth, who has called DeLand “home” for both him and his company, Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC, has made a name for himself in the skydiving industry. Today, we’re sharing some of Booth’s insights and observations of the industry (and words of advice he has for those new to skydiving!).
As any resident or visitor of DeLand can tell you, skydiving and its related industries are big here. But why has the industry—Booth included—made DeLand such a popular spot?
According to Booth, one factor that makes DeLand a perfect spot for skydivers is that its “drop zone”—the area in which skydivers land—is one of the world’s largest. The sheer amount of manufacturers and skydiving opportunities here means that both adventurers and industry professionals frequent the area and contribute to the industry’s pivotal community role.
Changes in the industry
As Booth and other professionals know, the skydiving industry is changing—but that’s not a bad thing!
Booth—who celebrated 50 years since his first jump this year—noted that, when he was just starting out, there were only about 2500 jumpers. Now, there are more than 50,000 jumpers, and 15 percent are women. For the industry and adventurers everywhere, this is great news. Not only does it mean more people are getting into the sport—more interest can, over time, lead to even better safety features and opportunities for skydiving hopefuls.
A skydiving pioneer
Despite its reputation as a daredevil’s sport, Bill Booth has devoted his time to making skydiving safe and enjoyable for the masses. He has developed numerous innovations—such as the throw-out pilot chute and Sigma System—that have helped to accomplish this. His company, Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC (originally named The Relative Workshop) changed how parachute systems worked and he worked extensively to make tandem skydiving a feasible, legally recognized means of teaching skydiving.
After such an accomplished, exhilarating life, you may be wondering… what’s next for Bill Booth? Well, the skydiving enthusiasts has a few specific ideas. His impressive skydiving “resume” already includes jumping at the North Pole six times, Mount Everest for his 65th birthday, and the Tepuis Tabletop Mountains of Venezuela—but he hopes to soon jump at the South Pole as well! Currently, Booth said, the only thing holding him back is the presence of laws and political roadblocks.
For new skydivers, Booth offered a message of encouragement. He said that tandem jumping is a great way to get started, see how you feel about the open sky, and better understand the sport of skydiving itself. Are you interested in learning more about Bill Booth, his skydiving innovations or his current company? You’re in the right place! DeLand is home to Booth’s Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC, so you’re never far from the industry here in the city.
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