Skydive Surfcity is owned by a German-and you know they want to get things right the first time:-)
All of our contracted pilots and instructors are certified by the FAA and our instructors additionally hold USPA’s highest ratings and are rigorously trained and tested regularly. Most of our staff have several thousand skydives and submit to regular, random drug screening… All of the equipment used is serviced and maintained by FAA certified riggers and the parachutes are packed by professionals under their supervision. The reserves are inspected repacked every 180 days, even if unused (it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law). Our aircraft is required to be maintained to the highest FAA standards, and we have asked the FAA to inspect our entire operation at least every six months to be sure we are maintaining everything to the highest standards and to give us any additional input… At Skydive Surfcity, Santa Cruz, your safety is the most integral part of your amazing experience.
An interesting fact about our instructors: The FAA requires to have at least 500 jumps experience before you can become an instructor. We believe that this is not nearly enough experience. Skydive Surfcity’s “youngest” instructor has close to 6,000 jumps experience. That is more than 10 times the required experience. We have guys with 16,000plus skydives experience jumping here. We are proud to say that we work with some of the most talented and most experienced skydiving instructors in the entire USA
Volker Haag-the Voltron Owner/Operator,
Tandem Instructor, Static Line Instructor, USPA Coach, Videographer, 9,000+ jumps. Originally from Germany, did 6,000 Jumps in New Zealand before investing in Skydive Surfcity. Has taken passengers age 3-89 years old. (In the USA you have to be 18 years of age to skydive!) He holds a Masters Degree in Economics
Volker was born and raised in Germany. He first traveled to the USA for a 12 month high school exchange program held in Texas. It wasn’t till he returned to the USA for a college internship a few years later that he discovered the world of skydiving doing his first jump in the year 2000! Although he only agreed to go in order to impress a girl, it sparked a life long pursuit of the sport.
Having jumped all over the world he made his way to Santa Cruz, CA opening up Skydive Surfcity at the end of 2009! His goal of owning a drop zone stemmed from his desire to share his love for skydiving with his need to have it done in a safe, professional, friendly and fun manner. Talk about success of a life goal! He is known for his inappropriate yet charming humor that makes it impossible not to have a few laughs when he is around.
His hobbies include working (!), competitive formation skydiving (having won gold medals at US national events), breaking big way formation skydiving records, flexing his biceps (that photo in the hall way of that big bicep – yeah thats Volker! ), talking “innocent” people into going skydiving, wind tunnel flying, and long walks on the beach.
His favorite skydiving memory was right here at Skydive Surfcity in the first year of business: after a long busy day some staff did a tandem skydive onto the beach followed by a bonfire and Champagne! Good times!
Matt Rosado-Tandem Instructor
Matt was born in Kentucky where he spent his childhood with his pet Alligator named “Boots.” When he became an adult he moved to Las Vegas for a while but has really enjoyed living in Santa Cruz the past 8 years. Matt soon became an avid wind tunnel flier, exhibiting great talent flying his body. Before long this lead him to the world of skydiving being a natural from day 1.
He has been jumping with Skydive Surfcity since 2010. This makes him Skydives Surfcity’s senior Tandem Instructor. Being with the company nearly from the start, Matt has became an irreplaceable part of what makes Skydive Surfcity- Skydive Surfcity. So much so we may be forced to change the name if he found a new adventure. It just wouldn’t be Surfcity with out him.
His hobbies include BASE jumping, wingsuiting in the Swiss Alps (that awesome photo in the hall way of the wingsuiter next to the mountains- yeah thats Matt! ) surfing and wind tunnel flying.
His favorite skydive was that one time when him and some friends were able to go to Oregon to organize a wingsuit jump timed right during the eclipse.
Matt is sponsored by Create38 for his wingsuit BASE jumping.
Eric Miller-Tandem Instructor
Though Eric’s hometown is in North Carolina, he is very well traveled and has lived many places and seen the world a few times over. He has settled in the Santa Cruz area and loving life on the West Coast!
He started working for Skydive Surfcity during the summer of 2011 and has been part of the family ever since. Along with being a top notch instructor he also is an FAA Rigger, Pilot, and S&TA (Safety and Training Advisor). There isn’t much this guy can’t do when it comes to the world of aviation and most anything else. If we had a brains and beauty award it would go to him! Having been with the company for the past 7 years he is an integral part of the team and Skydive Surfcity’s history.
His hobbies include surfing, wingsuiting, flying airplanes, motorcycles, and auto racing. He makes regular trips to Europe to jump his wingsuits next to the huge cliffs in the Alps. Being an expert BASE jumper he also teaches BASE jumping courses in Idaho and Europe throughout the year.
His favorite skydiving memory is of his very first skydive in N.C. where his passion was first ignited.
Jordan Kilgore-Tandem Instructor
Jordan was born in Arizona but spent most of his childhood being raised in Africa.
His first skydive was in September of 2004 at Skydive Coolidge in Phoenix. The rest is history…
Joining the gang here in 2018, he is Skydive Surfcity’s newest addition. However it took no time for the team to feel like they had never been without him. He brings great energy and experience, making it easy to adore him while feeling safe! We couldn’t be more excited to have him on board and hope we get to enjoy him for years to come!
In his spare time he does a ton of awesome stuff. Between BASE. jumping, wingsuiting, speedflying, kayaking, floating down rivers (recently the Grand Canyon), surfing and sailing – you’d think he would have no time for anything else. But he manages to squeeze in time for anything fun!
His favorite jumps have been taking his Mom and his younger brothers on their first skydives!
Dan Pushie-Tandem Instructor
Dan was born and raised in Michigan. He became interested in skydiving back in 1993, obtaining many skydiving and pilot’s licenses. After serving in the United States Marine Corps he turned to skydiving full time, sharing the love of free fall with thousands of passengers.
In 2016 he came out all the way from Michigan, just to work for Skydive Surfcity. He has since moved to the area so he can continue jumping out here with us in the California sun. Dan is a great asset to the team bringing with him experience he has gathered from the 18,000 skydives he has completed! This makes him one of Skydive Surfcity’s most experienced Tandem Instructor! All around a one of a kind guy and instructor we are lucky to have on the team!
Some of his many hobbies include biking, running, skydiving, BASE jumping, skydiving, getting a divorce, more skydiving, being a bachelor, kicking ass in life, and making dreams come true! Did we mention skydiving!?
His favorite skydive memory is a free-fly jump over Michigan with some of the best guys that have ever been.
Will Mitchell – Tandem Instructor
Will was born in Atlanta Ga, where he attended college for Mechanical Engineering. While there he made his first tandem skydive ( 2009 ) and immediately fell (literally) in love. After finishing school, he pursued his skydiving and tunnel flying career full time. He immediately became an FAA Rigger getting an apprenticeship with Chutingstar (translation he is one damn good Rigger ).
Pursuing his passion he has lived in many places from NC to Kauai, becoming one of the best skydivers in the world. Mastering BASE jumping , wing Suit BASE jumping , and tunnel flying, he truly has talent thats hard to match.
Along with his beautiful wife Emilie ( who worth noting is also a badass BASE jumper/skydiver and an incredible RN ) moved to Santa Cruz in March and he has been a welcome addition to the Surfcity team.
His hobbies include surfing, ground-launching, climbing, yoga, motorcycles, reading, travel, and cooking! He currently is working to add his fixed wing pilots license to his impressive list of never ending accomplishments.
His favorite jump was in Kauai, being the first to wing suit over Na Pali flying next to the beauty and landing on an incredible beach. ( 3rd favorite has been at Skydive Surfcity!)
Steffan Embry-Tandem Instructor
Steffan grew up in Mesa AZ where he lived before moving to Santa Cruz, CA. He went on his first jump on his 18th birthday and was instantly hooked. He worked hard to earnthe money to pay for his AFF course which he finished in record time and has continued to show huge talent in the sport.
Steffan joined the Skydive Surfcity team in 2014. He is not only a brilliant Tandem Instructor, he is an FAA certified parachute rigger helping to keep all the gear we jump in tip top shape! He brings great enthusiasm , dedication, and raw talent to everything he does. He is a go-getter constantly learning new things and expanding his resume. We would hate to try and fill the void that would be left should he ever decide to leave the West Coast!
In his free time, he loves to sail the seas, fly his plane ( that’s right HIS plane ), and of course do more skydiving!!!
His favorite skydiving memory was doing a Tandem skydive with Matt Kenney out of the Big Dawg – helicopter.