Published: September 22, 2018
If you go on Amazon looking for skydiving books, you'll find a litany of results: from romance novels with skydiving titles to autobiographies and instructional manuals. Where do you begin?
This article is designed to help you hone in on the best skydiving books ever written.
Above All Else by Dan Brodsky Chenfeld
Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld (known universally as Dan BC) is a legend in the world of skydiving as both a multi-time US National Champion and World Champion. As the founder of the most successful skydiving team in history (Arizona Airspeed), Dan BC is also known for an event that happened in 1992. While training with his team, the aircraft he was on crashed, killing 16 of his friends and teammates.
Dan's physical and mental recovery is documented in his book, Above All Else. Dan has shared his story on the TED stage and there is a documentary being made about his life.
Today, Dan BC is the General Manager for Skydive Perris in Perris, California, and travels the world speaking to corporate groups about building winning teams.
Sugar Alpha by Roger Nelson and Melissa Nelson
Roger Nelson was a larger-than-life legend in the sport of skydiving whose legacy shines brightly today. Nelson established one of the largest skydiving centers in the US (Skydive Chicago) and had two kids (Rook and Melissa) who routinely break world skydiving records today.
While Roger Nelson was a legendary skydiver, he was well known by the DEA for how he used his skydiving airplanes... moving marijuana in the early 80s from Central America to US shores. Later imprisoned for these indiscretions, Nelson wrote a memoir from prison.
Nelson was killed in a skydiving accident in 2003 and his memoir sat in a box for more than ten years - until his daughter Melissa gathered all of his writings to produce the book, Sugar Alpha.
Charlie Bravo by Roger Nelson and Melissa Nelson
If you read Sugar Alpha, you'll have to pick up Charlie Bravo - an incredible page turner that takes the reader deeper below the surface with Roger and his nefarious activities. The takeaways from this book go well beyond skydiving and show a dark world of government deal-making that never makes the news. It's an exciting and disturbing read for which Melissa Nelson should be credited for putting it all together.
Confessions of an Idiot by Chris "Douggs" McDouggal
The fact that Chris "Douggs" McDouggal is even alive to tell his story is incredible in itself. Douggs is known throughout the skydiving and BASE jumping communities as one of the most fun and adventurous people the industry has ever seen. There's a dark side though - Chris has lost a lot of friends and it's interesting to learn how Chris still gets enjoyment from a sport that has taken so much from him.
Douggs maintains perspective and tells some incredibly funny stories in the only way a true-blue Aussie can - unfiltered and honest.
Even if you're not a skydiver, this is a great read for anyone who wants to see what it's like to be living a lifestyle fueled by adventure.
Chris is one of the great people of the sport and today runs the LTBJ (Learn To Base Jump) School.
Transcending Fear by Brian Germain
If there's a guru in skydiving, it's Brian Germain. Brian Germain thinks about skydiving on a different level - from how to better fly your parachute, to overcoming the fear associated with leaving an airplane. Transcending Fear has helped countless people who have felt challenged to reach their goals. A must-read for anyone wishing to accomplish big things.
One thing you can be sure of - all of these authors have lived extraordinary lives, making these books some pretty incredible reads. Enjoy!