Matt Smith.JPG

DONTé CAUL

1) What made you decide to start skydiving?
I always had this deep desire to fly! When I was young I wanted to be a pilot then that transitioned into the thought of being a skydiver. After I did my first tandem I knew instantly I was hooked. Then my mom’s boyfriend was diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma. I told him that once he got better we’d do a tandem together! He told me I should go ahead and get licensed, and turn it into a hobby. He passed away three months after his diagnosis without that tandem, but the next chance I had to get licensed I took it and caught on fire in the sport.

2) How long have you been a skydiver?

I started skydiving May 23rd 2018; it was cold, but I wanted to get done in one week. It took me nearly a month—the entire time the weather was abysmal.

3) How many jumps do you have?

Currently I have 120 jumps. After the first 100 I took a break. It was a very expensive 100 jumps I can say.

4) What container and parachute are you currently jumping? What was your progression?

Currently I’m jumping a Sabre 2 170 stuffed into a Vector 348. I downsized a lot in my first 100 jumps; what can I say?—I’m your typical “100 jump wonder.” I started on a Solo 250 > Solo 230 > Sabre 210 > Pulse 190 > Sabre 2 170—yeah, I know, leg breaking progression. I also take canopy courses whenever they’re open! Shout out to Kaz Sheekey!

 Donte Caul (back right) dirt dives a four way relative work jump with three other Team Blackstar jumpers.  Photo credit: Danielle Williams

Donte Caul (back right) dirt dives a four way relative work jump with three other Team Blackstar jumpers. Photo credit: Danielle Williams

5) Have you had any cutaways? How many?

No, the word cutaway isn’t in my vocabulary! Honestly I just play it safe and pack with care. Hopefully I don’t experience it anytime soon, but i’m slightly excited for the ride.

6) What type of skydiving do you enjoy?

I’ve spent so many of my jumps on canopy work that I haven’t really decided yet. I can see myself getting into free-flying (FF) then maybe swooping once my jump numbers increase. I’ll still buy a RW suit because fundamentals are important.

7) What’s your home drop zone?

Sky’s The Limit is my home dropzone, but I love to travel. Dropping into other drop-zones shows how much rules change based on ownership and on the majority of jumpers.

 Donte getting pied on his 100th jump in accordance with skydiving tradition ( Photo credit: Danielle Williams)

Donte getting pied on his 100th jump in accordance with skydiving tradition (Photo credit: Danielle Williams)

8) Do you come from an outdoor family? What does your family think of your decision to start skydiving?

My family is very outdoorsy—most of them are blue collar workers as well. We have always been involved with fishing, hunting, and just typical outdoor family events. Being half Native American (Tongva, Apache, Cherokee, Blackfoot) and from a long line of African American sharecroppers we are accustomed of living off the land.

9) Have you participated in any record jumps? If so what were they?

The Team Blackstar 2018 record jump event was a great time!

10) What do you like best about skydiving?

I love the canopy time I love free-fall, but there is just something about getting in the saddle and learning to control a wing—then landing it so gracefully it’s so satisfying!

  Photo credit: Danielle Williams

Photo credit: Danielle Williams

11) What does Team Blackstar mean to you?

I love the diversity of the group; I’ve posted about it many times and people get so angry because they don’t understand. Then I break it down that there is no publication on Blacks in extreme sports. Still it makes for a awkward conversation that leaves them lost for words. I hope those attitudes will start to shift.


CONTACT | INSTAGRAM


LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OTHER MEMBERS!