My sport: skydiving enthusiast and coach Stefanie Morgner

Talking to Stefanie Morgner about her love for skydiving and how the physical and mental challenges of the sport have her hooked.

Stefanie Morgner says jumping over the Skydive Dubai Palm drop zone offers spectacular views of the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai coastline. Courtesy Mas Di Siena
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Stefanie Morgner tells Amanda Tomlinson about her love for skydiving and how the physical and mental challenges of the sport have her hooked

How did you get into skydiving?

Back in 2009, a friend signed me up for a tandem jump – that was my very first encounter with skydiving. After another tandem jump in 2010, I heard that Skydive Dubai had opened a skydiving school. I’d been looking for a new challenge for a while and felt skydiving might be exactly what I needed. I signed up for the Accelerated Free Fall course, a beginner’s training programme combining ground school and training jumps, and I have been hooked on this incredible sport ever since.

What do you love about it?

There are a zillion things I love about skydiving. Every single jump challenges me physically and mentally and fills me with joy, happiness and excitement. There is nothing better than zooming through the skies with a bunch of good friends. Skydiving offers an incredible feeling of freedom and a strong sense of being in the moment. Nothing else matters when you skydive – all concerns and worries are literally left on the ground; landscapes and skylines are presented to you in an entirely new way – the view from above is absolutely breathtaking. Besides the skydiving experience itself, it is the people who make this sport unique. The skydiving community is a very close-knit family who loves to support, share knowledge and experience and have a ridiculous amount of fun together.

How often do you jump?

I go skydiving most weekends and sometimes I even squeeze in a sunrise jump or two before work on weekdays. My skydiving journey started at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus, hence this drop zone will always have a very special meaning to me. I love flying my canopy over the desert and spotting camels and other wildlife from above. I also jump at the Skydive Dubai Palm drop zone – the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai coastline look spectacular from the skies. It is an incredibly beautiful place to skydive.

So far, I have done two trips to Spain, where I combined holidays and skydiving. Travelling is another passion of mine, hence the list of places to visit and skydive at is very long. Next up are Norway, Switzerland and Hawaii.

What have been some of your greatest achievements in skydiving?

I have accumulated about 900 jumps and every jump offers new challenges, so there are a lot of little achievements to be had along the way. One experience that sticks out was skydiving from a helicopter at night. A beautiful full moon and a couple of funky glow sticks were the only lights. Levels of excitement and anticipation were invariably higher than on any other jump. It certainly was an experience of a lifetime and probably the most radical thing I have ever done.

I also hold a coach rating, which allows me to help new jumpers learn and improve their basic flying skills. It is very exciting and rewarding to be part of the journey of a student jumper.

Is skydiving for everyone?

There are certain weight restrictions, but other than that anyone who is 18 years and above can skydive. A tandem skydive is a great introduction to the sport. You’ll get to enjoy the thrills and beauty of skydiving while being securely strapped to an experienced instructor who does all the work for you.

If you long for more, you can sign up for the Accelerated Free Fall course and work your way towards your own skydiving licence.

To get an idea of the free-fall sensation without jumping from a plane, I highly recommend indoor skydiving at one of the local wind tunnels. It’s a lot of fun flying in a windy tube.

How has skydiving changed your outlook on life?

Skydiving has provided me with many valuable life lessons. It has put a lot of things and thoughts into perspective and shifted a number of priorities. Flying under canopy, looking down at the Earth, I feel humbled and grateful to be part of this amazing adventure we call life. We only ever have the current moment to experience, it really is the now that counts. Jumping out of planes definitely makes me worry less about what may or may not happen in the future.

Moreover, skydiving has made me step out of my comfort zone and I’ve discovered experiences and feelings I had only ever dreamt of. I have also learnt that continuous baby steps will eventually lead to great results. Looking back to where I started in the sport and seeing how far I have come is incredible.

Skydiving has also given me a whole lot of new confidence and sharpened my sense of responsibility towards myself and others.

Last but not least, I found a life passion in skydiving. It is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I look forward to many more jumps to come.