Nicole Baldwin

Nicole Baldwin

1. Age:

29

2. Birthplace:

Beaumont, Texas

3. Occupation:

Full-time Manifest (...and also a fill-in Packer! And I have my Senior Rigger ticket, which means I can pack reserve parachutes, too)

4. Total Number of Jumps:

225 and moving up fast!

5. Total number of pack jobs, sport and tandem (approx):

~Uhhhhhh… I have been a full-time packer for the better part of 6 years. In that time, I’ve probably packed about 8,000 tandems and similar numbers for fun jumpers. I’m a busy girl.

6. Skydiving Philosophy:

I don't know if I have a philosophy, necessarily. I just aim for safe, calculated risk, while having as much fun as possible!

7. How (and where) did you start skydiving?

I did my first tandem the day before my 23rd birthday at Skydive San Marcos in Fentress, Texas. It was something I had always wanted to do and it was given to me as a gift. I did my second tandem the next day and signed up for their AFF (solo skydiving license) program. I had completed my A-license by October, and the rest is history.

8. How (and where) did you start doing manifest stuff?

I started manifesting in Rockmart, GA at Spaceland Atlanta so that the full-time office ladies could have days off. After my husband and I made our way to North Carolina, I started working at Piedmont Skydiving in an “as-needed” capacity.

My husband got a job as a full time Tandem Instructor, so I hung out and did whatever was needed. I would pack when needed and I was taught to do manifest so that the manifest girl could have a day off every week. I became a full-time packer here (for 2 years) while doing the office 1-2 days a week. In May 2019, our manifest lady left and we had an opening for a full time manifest person. My boss asked if i wanted it. And I definitely did! So here I am. :)

9. Of all of your skydives, is there one that stands out most?

My most favorite jump was on Veterans Day 2016. 11 of us Veterans jumped at 11:11. I got my SCR award and a bunch of firsts, all while honoring Veterans alongside other skydiving Veterans. It was really awesome to be a part of.

10. What's the most amazing thing you can do in the air?

I would say the most amazing thing I can do in the air is keeping up with people of all sizes and weights. I have jumped with people who are lighter than me, as well as people that are double my weight. I feel like I can adapt to most situations and I have never fallen out of a skydive.

11. What kind of skydiving student were you?

I was an extremely hard worker and a fast learner. I asked a lot of questions and spent a lot of weather days and evenings with the instructors trying to learn and absorb as much as possible.

12. Do you have any suggestions for students?

NEVER stop learning. There is always more to learn! Relax and believe in yourself, as well as your instructors. Ask questions and make sure you have understood everything being told to you and go over it after you get home.

13. What makes a great packer?

Evolving! At every drop zone I have worked at, there have been different people that use different methods of packing. I watched other people and have tweaked my pack jobs over the years to make sure that I consistently have soft, on heading, openings.

14. Pet Peeves:

My biggest pet peeves are actually pretty silly. I have never lived in a state where the weather affects the phone service and internet as much as North Carolina. Any time the weather gets cloudy, or rainy, or windy, I really have a hard time getting our phone and internet to work, which means no printing, choppy phone calls, and slow computers.

15. Hobbies:

Hiking, sewing,reading, yoga, rock climbing, video games, wind tunnel flying… Really, anything I can do with my family that gets us away from just watching TV! We work long hours during the summer so we try to spend as much time together as possible.

I took my boyfriend here for his birthday. Both of us had a great experience! Thomas especially made our first jump fun and enjoyable. All the staff were professional and competent, and I would definitely recommend this place to anyone for their first skydiving experience!

» Ashley Ly