Skydiving for over 30 years Robbie has a passion for anything that flies. A pilot with over 5000 hours and a skydiver with over 20,000 jumps, including more than 7,000 Tandem Skydives, Robbie is still an active and happy skydiver today. Along with his wife, he plays an active roll in running the operations in their family business and skydiving with his customers.
His life in flight began as a young child when he flew around with his Dad in South Africa. His father was not only a pilot, he also built his own plane, a BEDE4. Hardly big enough to look over the dashboard of that plane, flying around with his Dad are some of Robbie’s earliest memories. At the age of 6 Robbie discovered the World of Skydiving; the World’s first skydiving club in Pietermaritzburg, due to his Dad’s involvement with the club as a pilot. Robbie spent several years building his jump fund by working at the club as a packer until he turned 16. On his 16 th birthday he made his first skydive, a static line round
jump. He loved it and was hooked, it was everything he dreamed it would be and more.
He was scared to jump but he loved to jump. Every time he did a jump in those early days, he would always promise himself that “this would be the last one” as he flew in the plane to the exit point. Once in the air, he was instantly reminded of why he loved it and would be ready to jump again, until the next ride up in the plane, when he would promise himself again, that “this would be the last one”.
Robbie went on to become part of the South African National 4-way competition team. He competed and won his Nationals and went on to represent South Africa in the World Meet. His first World Skydiving Competition was in Czechoslovakia in 1991. From there he went to England where he met Tanya, who much later became his wife. From England, Robbie went to America with his team where they continued to train and compete and take part in multiple national and international competitions. Using his skydiving skills, Robbie gained his Tandem Master rating, his AFF instructor rating, and worked as a coach for up and coming 4-way teams. His medal wins are too many to mention here, ask him when you see him, it’s a lot!
His passion to share this love of the sport with people inspired him to open a skydiving center of his own. His first operation was in Rhode Island, then in Cape Cod. He then went on to get his pilot’s license and started to fly skydiving planes, gaining most of his commercial pilot time flying multi engine turbine aircraft.
Moving to California to be with Tanya, Robbie decided that this was a great location to start a new drop-zone and so it was that Skydive West Coast came to life. It’s a growing business that he runs with his wife and loves to have his son help him with marketing ideas, learning to pack and other tasks that his son enjoys when he comes to visit.