Skydiving on another level


Juan Manuel Ochoa started his adventure about nine years ago when, for the first time, he made a skydive jump. At that moment he didn’t think twice about doing it again. After a few years and already economically established, Juanma, as everyone calls him, decided to jump again, but this time all by himself. He got certified by the AFF or Accelerated Free Fall. This certification has about 6 to 8 hours of theory that comprehend the use of the parachute and of the different body positions that are required to make 8 jumps. After these eight jumps, you’re officially certified to jump ALONE! On the other hand the Skydiving Association of the United States, known by the acronym USPA, gives certifications based upon the skills and experience acquired through practice and number of jumps. Recently, with Yeyo Pesquera and Luis Prinetto as mentors, Juanma achieved the 1000 jump count among which he achieved speeds of up to 237 miles per hour. Also, he has been capable of doing up to 12 jumps daily, which is a synonym of being an adrenaline junkie. He shares this passion with Yeyo, Nacho and Kelki, members of the “TEAM UVA” and you’ll ask yourself, just as I did, why “uva”? Well the answer is very simple, upon landing they always use the word “uva” to describe how the jump was. As we Puerto-Ricans are always known for something, in the sport of skydiving we are distinguished by the “tracking jumps”. In these jumps you fly in a position where the maximum horizontal shift is produced; in good English, the Puerto-Rican flies forward rather that downward, this with the objective of traveling a greater distance. In skydiving, Ochoa, who’s distinguished by his red and black clothing, specializes in the “head-down” position, which is described as the vertical descent, but with his head down; it’s literally a “head” jump.

Among his goals, Juanma will travel to Norway to do BASE jumping for the first time. This is a particular modality of free flying from a flat and static surface, which could be a building, an antenna, a bridge or a cliff. Juanma has had the opportunity of being sponsored by Skullcandy and Liquidsky in the past. This last one is one of the most successful companies of clothing-manufacturing for skydivers and his owner is Julio Ruiz, a Puerto-Rican. Lovers of this sport develop a different lifestyle; they learn to conserve the environment, they travel to different skydiving festivals and make jumps in other scenarios, they meet friends that share their vision and whom, eventually, turn into a sort of extended family. Currently Puerto Rico has a skydiving company, Xtreme Divers, located in Vega Baja. This means that the only thing that’s missing for us to dare and make the decision of experiencing this extreme adventure full of adrenaline! Who’s up for it?