2017 iFly Virginia Beach competition

On April 22-23rd, iFLY Virginia Beach hosted the first meet of the 2017 IBA series. This competition acted as the US Team Qualifier for the World Championships in Montreal in October. AXIS Flight School‘s Brianne Thompson and Niklas Daniel took part in the event, competing in both the 4-way FS and 4-way VFS categories in the open class.

4-way FS: Competing under the name “X-Defy”, which is a combination of two team names: X-Force and Defiance, Nik and Brianne competed with local Arizona skydivers Cris and Joe Howard.

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With only 3 hours of tunnel training over the past few weeks, the team finishing the meet with a 18.3 average over 10 rounds, placing 3rd.

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iFLY VB 2017 4-way FS open podium

4-way FS open scores:

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17990906_1367386066664417_6862929016996842220_n.jpg4-way VFS: Arizona X-FORCE managed to increase its competition average considerably since the XP Championships, just two month earlier – jumping from 21.3 to 23.7.

Unfortunately the team took a severe blow in round 3, loosing its 2nd place standing and dropping to 4th, which it could not recover from. In the end, Arizona X-FORCE lost the podium by 1 point to team Arsenal.

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4-way VFS open scores:

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VFS Rounds 1 and 2

FS rounds 5 -10, VFS round 3 starts at 1:14:55

 

 

Awards

Congratulations to all the teams that took part in this awesome event, and thanks to all of our sponsors for their continued support! Our next two major competitions will be the Skydiving World Cup (7-13 Aug) in Saarlouis Germany, followed by the USPA Nationals (20-23 Sep) at Skydive Perris California.

 

 

2017 Paraclete XP Indoor Championships

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 9.46.53 AM.pngOn February 25-26, Arizona X-FORCE attended the 2017 Paraclete XP Indoor Championships in Raeford, North Carolina. This was the first competition in VFS history where the discipline was expanded to 10 rounds with the addition of new blocks and randoms (18-22 & O-Q).

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4-way VFS Open podium: 1st SDC Core, 2nd Arizona X-FORCE, 3rd Golden Knights VFS.

Check out Skydivemag.com and NSL for more information about the event, and or watch the event video on Facebook.

Battle of the Blades at iFly Seattle

dbXpXtpuQKuGuOF8Nbs1qg.jpgOn December 8-9, AXIS Flight School and Arizona X-Force attended the indoor skydiving competition “Battle of the Blades” at iFly Seattle, Washington.

 

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Nik and Brianne (AXIS) during the 2-way VFS competition.

This was the the 3rd and final stop of the 2016 IBA (international body flight association) competition tour. The event was streamed live online where anyone could watch the athletes compete in their respective events.

Disciplines included: 2way FS, 4way FS, 2way VFS ,4way VFS, D2W, D4W, Freestyle, and Freestyle Junior.

The following words are by the IBA.

2way FS

The meet kicked off Thursday afternoon with 2way FS, with 4 teams in the #battleoftheblades – from professional skydivers Axis to pick-up team 11-year-old Elijah and Sally. Axis ultimately scored the gold medal, whereupon they decided to kindly donate their winnings to second place winners, Team Squared, a pair of teenage twins out of iFLY Sacramento.

2way VFS

2way VFS, the 3-time most popular event at IBA meets, where 17 teams competed across all 4 classes. Team Blue Knees won Rookie with a 16.5 average, Intermediate gold was captured by Brad & Stryker with a 15-point lead, Advanced was won by Natalie & Leecoming in with exactly 100 points after 6 rounds, and Open was nabbed by the indisputable champs Josh & Mikey of CollectiveCollective also took gold at the Rosemont meet, however their total increased by an impressive 42 points in Seattle.

4way VFS

4way VFS also featured 4 teams, with Arizona XForcegrabbing the gold with a total of 166 points, 41 more points than 2nd place team Pantene Cartel and exactly 100 points over third place team Kill Bill.

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AXIS completed the 2-way VFS discipline with a 23.5 average, while Arizona X-Force finished the 4-way VFS category with a 20.75 average.

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For all competition scores, please visit the In time scoring website.

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Arizona X-FORCE takes 3rd at the 2016 USPA Nationals!

2016-sdaz-nationals-logo-small.pngThe 2015 USPA Nationals were held at Skydive Arizona(SDAZ) in Eloy, AZ. In the 4-way VFS category there were 6 teams in open, and 4 in advanced –the same turnout as the previous year.

Last year, Arizona X-Force took 3rd place at the 2015 USPA Nationals in Eloy with a 13.13 average. After completing close to 200 training jumps at Skydive Arizona, and spending about 20 hours in the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel, the team was only able to maintain their competition average at a 13.88 this year. Unfortunately Seth Studer (tail flyer) needed shoulder surgery 2 months prior to the competition, forcing him to stay on the ground. Luckely Jason Peters was able to fill in last minute for Seth; and with very minimal training, the team entered the competition.

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Left to right:Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel, Kevin Mitchell (video), Jason Peters, Johnny Gunn. Photo by David Cherry.

Here is a look at the draw for the open devision:

  1. H-14-4
  2. 16-G-6
  3. B-L-A-E-15
  4. 12-13-J
  5. 9-D-2
  6. 11-F-5
  7. i-7-M-K
  8. 3-1-10
  9. N-17-8 (tie breaker round) not jumped

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SDC Core and Arizona Arsenal ended up taking the first two spots on the podium. There was an exciting fight to the finish between Arizona X-Force, the ARMY Golden Knights, and Skydive California Super Serious as they battled for the bronze until the last round. In the end, X-Force managed to put two more points on the board than the Knights, securing their 3rd place finish. For more in-depth information, please visit omniskore, and for more media coverage check out SkydiveTV.

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Arizona X-Force would like to thank Skydive ArizonaSkyventure Arizona, and all of our equipment sponsors who made this training season possible. Special thanks to Jason Peters for filling in last minute.

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VFS Open team Arizona X-FORCE. Photo by Jochen Althoff.

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VFS Open podium photo by Jochen Althoff.

Teams from left to right: Arizona Arsenal (2nd), SDC Core (1st), Arizona X-FORCE (3rd)

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SDAZ FEATURED FRIDAY – BRIANNE THOMPSON

View original post on Skydive Arizona website here. Interview by Melissa Lowe.

Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone with many extraordinary people from local to visiting jumpers, staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event organizers and load organizers!!! The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock!

Today, we meet a woman with a stacked resume including earning the USPA 2015 Regional Achievement Award. This woman has blazed (no pun intended) the trail continuing to inspire skydivers of all disciplines. Meet co-founder of Axis Flight School, Brianne Thompson!

Brianne Blue Eyes
What/who inspired you to make your first jump and why?

Ever since I learned that you could jump out of an airplane, anytime you wanted, I knew it was something I had to do. My parents were scuba divers, so as a young person, I knew that there were places on this planet that would educate you to do “dangerous” things. All I had to do was locate one of those places for skydiving.
Where & when did you learn and what kind of student were you? 
I actually learned here at SDAZ in the summer of 2000. I tormented my parents for years, begging for them to let me go skydiving. I even asked if I could get a fake ID to get around the minimum age of 18. They were less than enthused. So, for my 18th birthday in December of 1999, my dad and I did a tandem together for my 18th birthday. Needless to say, I was hooked. The school gave me flyers about how to go about becoming a student. I was on the website everyday, trying to figure out how to pay for it, when I was going to do it, etc. I was still in high school at the time of my jump. So, once I graduated and got all of my graduation money, I took all that, in addition to working two jobs, and scheduled myself for my A-license in August of 2000. I think I got my A-license in about 10 days. Fun fact, Matt Greis was one of my AFF instructors. Pretty cool.

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Many may not know your history in competing in 4-way. What piqued your interest in competing, why 4-way FS & how long did you compete?  
When I was a student during August, there were days that it was literally me and Airspeed on the plane. At the time, they had two 4-way teams. I got to watch them train, practice, prep, all that. I thought they totally looked cool because of their matching equipment, I had no idea that they were the best team in the world. Let alone, that same day I learned you could actually compete in this crazy thing called skydiving. Mind blown! So, because I enjoyed skydiving so much, I knew I wanted to compete in it. But, with my limited experience, I figured you needed about 10,000 jumps before I could even consider doing something like that. Those guys have matching jumpsuits and stuff, that is kind of a big deal. When I had about 75jumps, a jumper approached me in the loading area and asked “Would you like to do 4-way?” I told her I wasn’t very good, I only had 75 jumps. “That’s ok, we will teach you”. And that was it. She became one of my first teammates, and I competed in Nationals that year. My first Nationals was 2003 in Lake Wales, FL. After that, it was competitive after competitive team. I was on the US Team from 2006-2010 for women’s 4-way. I went to my first world meet when I had 900 jumps in Gera, Germany in 2006, Maubeuge, France in 2008, and Russia in 2010. Fun ride.

Blue Let Exit

Blue Podium
What/who inspired you to learn to freefly? 
There was never one person. When I was a little, baby skydiver, I always wanted to learn to freefly. I even got 2 freefly coach jumps when I had about 60 jumps. For me, I just had to focus on one thing at a time, and that was competitive belly 4-way. I dabbled a lot with freely in the tunnel and would do a goof off jump every once in a while, never really learning or advancing. But, my biggest influence is Niklas Daniel, my totally awesome husband. He was a tunnel instructor and so was always a freeflier, so to speak. He has been my biggest influence and coach for freefly and VFS. He has taught me the most.

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You are now a member of the 4-way VFS team Arizona X-Force. What inspired you to learn VFS? 
See previous answer. In addition, because of my competitive 4-way background, it was only natural that I wanted to do VFS. In fact, I pretty much learned to freefly just to do VFS in a way. Because of the VFS discipline, I was more motivated than ever to learn to freefly.

Team sky

Was it a hard transition going from FS to VFS? What skills translate from each discipline? 
No and yes. Meaning, the principles of 4-way are the same, regardless of orientation. You have to cross reference, you have to be level, and you have to stop, all before you take a grip. That is universal. However, the flight skills needed to even begin VFS are significantly more advanced, for sure. You have to be proficient in head-up and head-down orientations. So the individual skills needed for VFS are definitely more advanced. In addition to finding 3-4 other teammates with similar proficiencies.

Team by David CherryYou have many achievements! So many we’re just going to link your BIO HERE! Is there any achievement that stands out that you feel most proud of? 
I have 2:

1) Starting AXIS Flight School with Nik. I am most proud of that. We began AXIS because we were sick and tired of the rifts in skydiving. Belly vs Freefly, freefall vs. canopy, tunnel fliers vs. skydivers. So stupid! We believe you need a respect for ALL aspects of skydiving. It is fun to be able to competitively do many of the disciplines of this sport, then be able to teach them as well.

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2) Working with the Operation Enduring Warrior Projects. It has been so cool to teach these individuals, with varying injuries, to skydive and fly their bodies with complete control. So awesome. Todd Love was our first OEW student, and we have had a handful of completely awesome students from this project after him. We have seen this project go from theoretical to happening all over the country. Many of these students working towards their B licenses and beyond. Wicked.
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You are one of the coaches here at Skydive Arizona and co-founder of Axis Flight School. In a nutshell, what does Axis Flight School do and how can one get in touch with you?
AXIS Flight School is a coaching entity that teaches ALL aspects of this sport. From individual skills to learning to compete. We coach in the sky, the tunnel, and canopy skills- hence the name AXIS: For all AXIS of flight. We believe that everyone should respect all disciplines in the sport. You may not do all of them, or they all may not appeal to you, but you do need a healthy respect for all of them. We teach that. Our entire goal is to bridge that gap from the young jumper just off of A license, to becoming the next world champion. That is our goal. In addition, we believe it is the responsibility of the more experienced people in this sport to be nice/ approachable/ cool to the younger jumpers.
Any advice for newbies? 
Get coaching. Stay patient. Get coaching. Get on a team.
Anything else you’d like to add? 
This sport has so much to offer. If you find you feel “stuck” or are not sure what comes next, don’t sweat it. Give us a call. This sport is so diverse that it might be a bit overwhelming. There is something here for everyone. You just may need a little help with finding that thing that appeals to you. After your A license, it gets better. The A license is only the first step, not the entire goal. You may be the next world champion. We look forward to finding out.