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ken

 1) What made you decide to start skydiving?
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Even after a 30 year break, I still regretted not being selected for Military Free-Fall while I was in the service. So I made it my 50th birthday present to myself.

2) How long have you been a skydiver?
2.5 years

3) How many jumps do you have?
169

Photo courtesy of Don Carrington

Photo courtesy of Don Carrington

4) What container and parachute are you currently jumping?
I jump a Mirage M4.1 rig with a Spectre 190 canopy. I started on a Navigator 260 and downsized to a Navigator 230, a Sabre 210 before I bought my Spectre 190. I’m currently shopping for a 170 sq/ft canopy.

5) Have you had any cutaways?
No, not yet!

6) What type of skydiving do you enjoy?
I enjoy relative work (RW) and am just beginning to fall in love with angles and free-flying ( FF).

7) What’s your home drop-zone?
Triangle Skydive Center

Ken poses for a photo with his Spectre 190 canopy after landing at his home drop-zone in North Carolina.  This photo and the banner photo are both courtesy of Jim Wisely.

Ken poses for a photo with his Spectre 190 canopy after landing at his home drop-zone in North Carolina. This photo and the banner photo are both courtesy of Jim Wisely.

8) What types of outdoor activities did you enjoy growing up? What does your family think of your decision to start skydiving?
Of course I played football, baseball and basketball but as I’ve gotten older I find that I enjoy SCUBA, golf, hunting, shooting sports and just kicking back at a campfire.  My family thinks that I’m crazy, but they have know this about me since I was a kid. 

9) What do you like best about skydiving?
The freedom of self flight—I think this is something that only skydivers understand—and the amazing people you meet. In no other sport will you have a World Champion, YouTube celebrity or just a truly badass athlete approach you and offer coaching and tips. Most even offer to jump with you or include you into their group jumps.  Skydivers seem to remember where they started and don’t mind helping you achieve your goals. So I guess I like the sharing aspect the most.

Ken Horton (far left) went on a skydive to celebrate his 50th birthday—he’s been skydiving ever since!  Photo courtesy of Don Carrington

Ken Horton (far left) went on a skydive to celebrate his 50th birthday—he’s been skydiving ever since! Photo courtesy of Don Carrington

10) What does Team Blackstar mean to you?
That I’m not alone; the only person of color attempting to be a passive ambassador in some shape or form. I love to share this sport with everyone and I have been well welcomed after the usual, “are you here for a tandem”, “do you have your own equipment” questions. I’m so tired of being the only “one”, always, everywhere. Team Blackstar makes me feel at home and I love being a part of something inclusive, positive and expansive. My second jump with the Blackstar jersey prompted a gray haired gentleman skydiver to approach me at Skydive Deland and say, “you people are doing something good.”

11) What is the most challenging thing you’ve ever done as a skydiver? What was the scariest?
What was the most challenging? Learning to pack a NEW canopy. What was the scariest? Almost landing off the DZ in the Canadian wilderness after falling through 9,000ft of solid clouds. They said, “eh, don’t worry, we use GPS spotting.” SMH.

According to Ken, Team Blackstar means “feeling at home, and being a part of something inclusive, positive and expansive.”  Photo courtesy of Anthony Sierra.

According to Ken, Team Blackstar means “feeling at home, and being a part of something inclusive, positive and expansive.” Photo courtesy of Anthony Sierra.


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