It’s called the Mother Of All Boogies.
For those who don’t skydive – a boogie is when skydivers come together to jump all day and party all night.
Skydive Moab, which opened its doors ten years ago, organized the first Mother of All Boogies – or the M.O.A.B. – soon after. The 2013 M.O.A.B will be held Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 25 to 29, for four days of jumps with a main base at Canyonlands Field Airport.
“We wanted all our friends and fellow skydivers to come out and experience the beauty that Moab has to offer so we decided to do a skydiving festival,” said Clint Macbeth, owner of Skydive Moab.
With one added off-site jump, for a total of four, this year’s tenth annual boogie is set to be the best yet with an expected 175 participants, Macbeth said.
“Most people, if they have jumped with us, come out for this event again and they never miss it. They come out every year,” Macbeth said.
Newbies are welcome, too. Tandem jumps are available for first-time skydivers for $235. Local residents can get a 20-percent discount during the boogie. Those too afraid to take the plunge are welcome to watch from a tent at Canyonlands Field near the landing site for free. Jumps are from 7 a.m. to sunset each day.
“This is the ideal spot to watch the event, because the other landings are hard to access,” Macbeth said.
Licensed skydivers are the only ones who can register for the event, and all skydiving are licenses welcome. However, some of the off-site jumps require more experience.
Most jumpers have License A, which requires 25 jumps. From there it goes up to License D, which is more than 500 jumps, Macbeth said.
“Most of the people with less jumps, they want to come because they like to travel around. They are new into the sport so they want to see different skydiving centers,” Macbeth said.
A bigger plane will be used for this year’s event and jumps, holding as many as eight people as opposed to the two-person planes used previously. The jumps will be also be at 13,000 feet instead of 10,000 feet giving divers about 30 seconds more of freefall.
This year the boogie will feature four off-site jumps: Moab Airpark, Mineral Bottom Canyon, a private property in Castle Valley and Caveman Ranch.
Caveman Ranch is accessed by State Route 279, known locally as Potash Road. It has a small 2000-foot runway called Tangri-la airstrip, right on the river, near Canyonlands National Park.
The event is hosting a barbecue at the airport on Friday, Sept. 27, catered by Red Cliffs Lodge for all Boogie participants.
Skydive industry vendors will be on-site to show new products off as well as a canteen with food and beverages. The registration fee is $45, and jumpers pay roughly $26 per jump.
Macbeth is looking to continue to grow the annual event.
“We would like to have five or six off-site jumps but it’s hard to get the permits on different people’s property. In the future, we would like more people, we would like to have 200 to 250 again, but the economy is still down and it takes a lot of money to skydive.”
“Skydivers are different breed than most people, but they are here to have fun, they spend their money on skydiving and they sleep for 6-8 hours and head out to the airport,” Macbeth said. “Its like jumping into Mars is what most people say it is.”