My first jump was a static line in Barnwell South Carolina March 7 1970. Several notable circumstances of that day are; I was 13 years old (day before my 14th birthday), I made this jump during a solar eclipse using my Mothers high-performance Para Commander (very much frowned upon in that day) and my Dad was my jumpmaster.
How many jumps do you have total and how many jumps do you have in each discipline?
Just passed through 13,000 skydives…. 2000 Style and Accuracy, 2500 FS, 4000 Tandem, 2000 AFF, 1000 Camera, 1000 Research development, and 500 Wing Suit jumps, 180 Base jumps…
You are part of the famous Jones clan, tell us a little about your family of skydivers?
We, as a family, have been involved in the skydiving industry since 1960. Last count over 50,000 skydives, 6 Master Parachute Riggers, 2 Senior riggers, 10 World Records, 8 National Titles, 4 Silver Titles in World Competition. Played a major role in introducing Ram-Air parachutes into the first jump course for students in the early 1980’s. Pioneered tandem skydiving at the same time.
You and your wife Selena own and operate Your Loft, the rigging loft located at Skydive Perris, how did you get into rigging?
Parachute rigging was and is a daily part of my life. Growing up, there was always a parachute in our family living room having some sort of modification or repair done to it. Literally had a 7-33 Singer Sewing machine in my bedroom and could build a complete harness at the age of 14. I packed my first parachute start to finish when I was 10.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about becoming a rigger?
Be passionate, keep an open mind, understand why parachutes and their components work.
What is it about Skydive Perris that makes you want to work and play here?
Perris is an amazing place to be. You can do it all here…
You hold several skydiving records and have won many medals during your skydiving career so far, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
Last December we competed in an old school 10-way speed star event in Eloy AZ. Three generations of Jones’ and finished second. That was the most intense fun I have had in a while.
This year’s nationals are the last year for Style. Placed third in the event and second overall, not bad for an old guy.
You have a wealth of experience under your belt in all aspects of skydiving. What one bit of advice would you like to share with your fellow skydivers?
We step off of airplanes on purpose… think about that for a moment…. We step off of airplanes on purpose…. Our equipment has evolved into very sophisticated flying machines. I am amazed, on a daily basis, at the lack of knowledge individual users have as to the basic function of their equipment and how willing some users are on taking maintenance shortcuts that could create disastrous results. If your collapsible pilot chute lets go just after you pitch it I guarantee that is a moment you will never forget.
SEEK the information, BE deliberate, DO NOT be complacent, LEARN from all disciplines…
What jump(s) stand out as being most memorable?
My favorite skydives are tandems, always have been. Especially with people who have some sort of limitation. I like being there when they accomplish something they thought would not be possible.
You are participating in the upcoming Skydivers Over Forty (POP) world record attempt being held at Skydive Perris in October. How large is the record attempt going to be and what will your role be during the event?
The plan at the moment is 140ish. My slot is where ever the organizers need me to be and do that job with 110% of my ability…
What canopies do you jump and why?
My everyday canopy is a Firebolt 164. It is a great performing canopy, the openings are soft and I can still crank a swoop if need be.
My Competition canopy is a PD Zero 295. This is a precision accuracy canopy and I use it to stomp beer cans on landing…
When you’re not on the DZ, how do you like to spend your spare time?
I love to fly fish
Tell us something that is little known about yourself?
I used to be an actor
Sum up Marty Jones in 5 words or less.
Hopelessly in love with my wife… that’s six words sorry…