Jeremy Dubansky is a fun-loving guy who has become a large presence in the Midwestern skydiving scene. He travels extensively to events, has a genuine love of his sky family and helps out jumpers in any way he can. He recently ran for USPA Regional Director, and when he did not win, he decided he would give back to the sport in another way: by becoming a regional judge for canopy piloting. More runs for the board of directors and more judge ratings are in his future. The passion is real.
Birthplace: West Des Moines, Iowa
Occupation: Security engineer at a finance company
Education: Software engineering degree from Iowa State University
Pet Peeves: Half-full beer cans after a party!
Life Philosophy: Life is a garden. Dig it!
Jump Philosophy: You get out of this sport what you put in.
Team Name: Beer Drinkers Society
Sponsors: Robert and Peggy Dubansky
Container: United Parachute Technologies Vector V3 319
Main Canopy: NZ Aerosports JFX 111
Reserve Canopy: Performance Designs Optimum 143
AAD: Airtec CYPRES
Disciplines: Mostly freeflying now, but I still enjoy messing around in a wingsuit.
Home Drop Zone: I started out at a small DZ in Iowa run by Hashem Hashemi-Toroghi, but now I jump around the Chicago area.
First Jump: A tandem on August 25, 2011, then AFF
USPA Licenses and Ratings: A-64129, B-38593, C-42062, D-33681, Coach, Regional Canopy Piloting Judge
Total Number of Jumps: 2,000-plus FS: 600 Freefly: 600 Tandems: 350 Balloon: 3 CF: 15 Accuracy: 10 Wingsuit: 500
Largest Completed Formation: 22-way belly
Total Number of Cutaways: Two from malfunctions, three intentional
Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet?
I wish I could do either!
Who has been your skydiving mentor?
Oh man, there are so many! The one that stands out the most, though, is Brad Cole. He has taught me so much, not only freefall and canopy but also on some weird rigging questions.
What are your future skydiving goals?
I just got my canopy piloting regional judge rating. I really want to expand on that into other disciplines and help out with more competitions.
What safety item is most often neglected?
I think currency is a huge factor for the sport. Coming off a break after not jumping for awhile can lead to a few issues.
How did you become interested in skydiving?
I took a summer college class and overheard these two crazy kids I didn’t know at the time—Jake Sparks and Lucas Viers—talking about jumping. A few months later, I did my first tandem then went on to AFF. I think they were pretty shocked when I showed up to their DZ with my A license.
Do you have any suggestions for students?
Bring beer to the bonfire, join in on the shenanigans, make the sport fun for you.
What’s the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air?
Surviving! I would say I’m a fairly mediocre jumper but being able to walk away from each jump is pretty bad-ass, in my opinion.
If you could do a fantasy 2-way with anybody, whom would it be with and where would it take place?
It would be incredible to be able to do a jump with my dad. I got to take my mom a few times and my sister shows some interest, but my dad might need some convincing.
What has been your most embarrassing moment at a drop zone?
There is not much that I get embarrassed over, but there was one jump at CarolinaFest where I accidently burbled Becky Johns pretty bad. She was helping organize the jump, and I kinda burbled her out of the entire skydive.
The toughest thing to do in the sport of skydiving is:
Remembering all the names of people I meet at boogies. There are so many awesome people I get to meet, but I’m terrible with names.
What was your strangest thought on a jump?
Under canopy, I heard tornado alarms and thought, “Well, that’s not a good sign.”
What kind of skydiving student were you, the typical flailer or a complete natural?
I still flail. I’m pretty sure I’m not even stable when I deploy.
Is there one jump you would like to do again?
I want to try skysurfing again. I made one jump on a sky board when I had around 200 jumps (dumb, I know), and it didn’t go so great. The board had a pilot chute, so it would float down after being cut away. Well, on my jump, the pilot chute came out early. Luckily, it ripped the board off, but for a while I was stuck spinning under a drogue.
What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
Finding a crew of like-minded individuals. I found a good crew of friends who can share just about anything, and there is no judgement.
Do you have any suggestions for USPA?
I think it would be really awesome to see more involvement in the boogie space. Like, if they were to provide prizes for boogie raffles or had a booth where people could walk by and talk with a representative of USPA.
What was your best skydiving moment?
Just after I made my 1,000th jump, a bunch of friends got together to take a group photo with me. It was all staged so that they could pour beer and flour all over me. It was a moment I will never forget.
What was your worst skydiving moment?
Hearing about the loss of a great friend. It is incredibly hard to learn that a friend has passed away and that you will never get to share more amazing experiences with them.
What was your best competition moment?
I haven’t been in many competitions, but my favorite by far is Collegiates. That is such a fun event for anyone still in college. I highly recommend it!
Can you tell us about your recent run for USPA Regional Director?
It was a bit of a bummer to hear that I didn’t win, but that is just fuel for the fire to try again. I learned a lot on this first attempt, and because of how close the results were, I will definitely try again for a position on the board.
What was your motivation for earning your regional canopy piloting judge rating?
I just want the power to tell people their swoops are bad … ha ha! I want to get more judge ratings, because I want to help out in competitions later, like Nationals. While I don’t compete often in the sport, I would like to be involved somehow to help out the competitions, and this was the first step.
Explain Jeremy Dubansky in five words or fewer: