Augusto Bartelle is the fearless skydiving enthusiast behind the Augusto Bartelle blog and Colorful Jerseys. He has won an award as the Best Sports Photographer of the Year (2021) from the International Photography Awards (IPA) for a picture taken in the Maldives. Through the years, he has been sponsored by numerous companies such as GoPro, SkullCandy, VonZipper, Rider Brasil, LB Altimeters, UPT, Vertigen Jumpsuits, and Cypres AAD. Before embarking on the greater and transformative life of skydiving, he used to be a person who indulged in unhealthy vices- doing drugs, smoking, drinking, and partying. Entering the sport gave him goals, motivation, determination, and a global family he never knew existed.
Augusto Bartelle started his blog with the purpose of inspiring, motivating, and educating people about skydiving.
“ Falling through the sky makes me live the present, nothing else, just the most precious gift we have.”
1. Where and how was your first skydiving experience?
My first jump was in Brazil. I found out a problem with addiction, and I went to rehab. There I was able to quit alcohol and drugs, and once I left, I was looking for a change in my lifestyle. One day, I was running in a park in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a friend approached me talking about skydiving. That day I said I’d love to join the sport and the following weekend I was doing the course to skydive by myself.
My first jump was the next day after ground school. At that time, the airplane was a Cessna 182. This kind of airplane takes about 30 to 40 min to take off to full altitude (12.000 feet).
When the time arrived, I was confident and without fear. Well, until I put my hand out of the airplane and I realized how strong the wind was. I went back inside the aircraft and said to my instructor: - no man, I can’t go. Wow, that's way too much. At that time, I had one instructor outside waiting for me and the second one pointing out the airplane and saying: - Go, go, go!
After one minute, I started getting out of the airplane, and I did my first jump.
2. What made you so passionate about skydiving?
The adrenaline is something incredible, and I remember thinking I needed that in my life. However, when time passes by, the astonishing adrenaline gives space to a fantastic feeling of being 100% present in the present (I hope you can understand what I mean, just let me know if there are any questions). Besides that feeling, while we are in free fall, skydiving has a unique community. In 2015 I moved to California. There was the place I understand as my home drop zone. In Davis, a city nearby San Francisco, was where I started jumping off perfect airplanes almost every day. There I was in a particular moment. It was the first time I was by myself, and the amount of knowledge I was gathering about who I like and dislike, the person I’m, and the meaning of life was super intense. At this period, the skydiving community and a few friends from a group of addicts were the main things in my life! The skydiving community gave me lots of support.
3. You have garnered so much knowledge about skydiving through the years. Can you give us three of the most important pointers for those who are just getting started in the sport?
- Find a place you feel safe and at home. Good drop zones have good reviews; that’s how I found my home drop zone.
- Find a mentor to help you in your path. Skydivers don’t mind talking about skydiving! Ask everything you want!
- Have fun! Someone told me that skydiving would be the most stupid thing in the world if it weren’t so much fun.
3. You've already skydived all over the world. Which city do you think is the most picturesque from above?
I’ve been in so many places that it is hard just to pick one place. However, if I had to choose the one, I’d say Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
Of course, I haven’t been everywhere. For example, I’m going to Seychelles Islands for the first time end of March, and it will be epic!
- Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- The Maldives
- Punta Del Este, Uruguay
4. What would you say to people who are too scared to skydive?
I understand you. Skydiving is not for everyone, and you need to respect your fears. However, if you feel you can face it, please do not wait as long as I did to go skydiving. The feeling of free fall is pure magic. Once you throw yourself in this world, you will have the biggest smile ever. Go for it; it’s fun!
Besides being an extreme sports enthusiast, Augusto Bartelle owns the Colorful Jersey. His company creates jerseys with the mission of building a community of colorful skydivers around the world.