When some students attend college they join clubs, but the Flying Gamecocks club is for students that live on the edge!
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – When students attend college they join several clubs, but this club is a bit different.
"The biggest thing with our club is that we truly want everyone in it," said USC Graduate Student Jared Ham.
This isn't your normal club, the Flying Gamecocks mission is simple: to have fun.
"You see people come down with two reactions, that was awesome, I am never going to do it again or that was awesome I have to do that again," said Ham.
Ham chose the latter. He says skydiving takes a lot of skill.
"It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of patience because you are not going to be good that first time. You are going to get out there and think you are going to rock it and then you realize that wasn't that great of a jump."
But it's not all fun and games. As the students fall nearly 1,000 feet every six seconds they have to know how to be safe.
"We have our cut away handle which is in our right hand so for any malfunction we will look at it and place both hands on the handle and cut away out and down," said Brooke Churchich.
Churchich has made more than 250 jumps and says every jump is a different experience.
"No matter if you have 25, 100, 1,000 jumps you are always learning something."
The Flying Gamecocks also compete on the collegiate level. They are judged on several things like making formations in pairs of twos and fours. The team even won a national title two years ago.
"We have good friends at UConn and UMass, Georgia Tech and all of those different schools," said Ham.
Jumping out of a plane is on a bucket list for many...Those in the Club say jumping is not as scary as it seems.
"For everyone that says they can't jump out of a plane and they are afraid of heights you are actually so high up in the air you don't realize how high you are, everything is flat and you are just stepping out and all of a sudden there is no ground below me."
The team practices jumps at Carolina Skydive in Chester. They are currently practicing for the national tournament in the fall.