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Skydiving St.Louis

What is the Best or Coolest place you skydived at?

Best places to skydive at least for us.

Skydiving is a unique sport and there is many skydiving centers across the world.
I started skydiving at Archway Skydiving Center in Vandalia,IL back in 2005.
I got my skydiving license in less than six weeks starting on July 4th weekend and back than static line was still popular way to start solo skydiving.

As soon as my parachute opened I knew…

The thrill and rush of skydiving is unmatched by any other sport or activity.
I was 24 years old at the time with office job where I spend 55 hrs per week minimum I needed an outlet.

My father started skydiving in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Former Yugoslavia) back in in 1969 with old U.S military hand me down round parachutes ….

My father’s experience with skydiving ignited my curiosity and love for the sport.
As a son of a serious skydiving competitor is just wanted to know what it’s like to jump since as a kid I grew up around aviation on the airport and while most kids played with toys I was playing with old parachutes and going for helicopter and airplane rides.
Little did I know that just one skydive would lead to a lifelong passion.

Plan was to do just ONE skydive…. I kid you not.. 

But I took the leap of faith (or rather, the leap out of the airplane) and never looked back.
I remember clear as day the moment airplane door opened I almost back out of my 1st skydive.
My heart was racing as I stood at the open airplane door before my first skydiving experience.
Door opens my hart was in my mouth all is remember thinking I have nothing to prove to the old man he did not want me skydiving anyway.

 I remember was the exhilaration and the rush of my chute opening during my first skydive.
All I remember from my first jump is I got out and parachute opened that is it.

The rest of the experience was a blur, but I was hooked on skydiving from that moment on

I told dad after my 1st skydive that I am going back following weekend and since I really don’t remember my first jump I need to go for my 2nd jump. Makes sense right?
I quickly signed up for more dives and was eager to learn everything I could about the sport that I did not know. Since dad was not a current skydiver at the time to come and watch me he simply declined it told me to go by my self and focus on learning how to be a safe skydiver…1st weekend back I did 3 jumps that day and on my 3rd jump I landed 2 miles from the airport.
But that’s a story for another day.

I landed in some bean field I was ok I didn’t care  it was still awesome just long walk back in July heat is what I was thinking. 
I landed in some beans grabbed my parachute and started walking toward the road.

When I got road I see an SUV  that looked like my fathers. 

l was happy laughing and dad with few hand jesters what are you doing landing out here.
But I was happy and laughing, still riding the adrenaline high of another skydive. I am walking  dad that is was I was thinking. 

My father knew in that moment that he couldn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for skydiving. He seen it before. 
He knew the moment that is got in that car that I was not going to stop skydiving.
But he voiced his concerns and warned me of the potential risks of the sport, like any loving parent would.
He said it would take over my life and I remember thinking what do you know old man. I am going to quit my job and chase sun across the world… 

From that moment on skydiving was the only thing on my mind.
My passion for skydiving has only grown over the years and it remains a driving force in my life.

Rest is history and they say and 2024 will mark an awesome 19 years of skydiving for me and 7,000 jumps…While I love other things in life my kids being the most important there is still  nothing like skydiving….
But today, I’m taking a break from skydiving to enjoy some spring bass fishing and to write this blog. 

Dad’s and my skydiving journey is a book on it’s own. 

Greenville Airport 1995. When we moved to U.S. What are the chances I would start skydiving center there. Greenville, IL Airport 1995 Same airport where I started Gateway Skydiving Center. Full Circle….Greenille Airport 2022
My Son Adi and Dad.... My son Adi and Dad….

Cancer got my dad Zuko in the winter of 2023. Skydiver for over 52 years and then stupid cancer get’s you …. Life well lived dad until will fly again…

Freedom to travel U.S and World with your parachute. 

Traveling to cool places is awesome on it’s own. But when you are a skydiver it is that much better. Check out some of the best skydiving places that I been to and there are many more….. 

Gateway Skydiving Center Paihia Bay of Islands in New Zealand my god. There are 180 island’s enough said. 

Most beautiful and most challenging place I skydived at was in New Zealand. I still have dreams that I am skydiving here. Unreal…..

We had Ocean on one side and Mountains on the other and small beach to land on with 1st time  Tandem Skydive students. When tide is in we had 20 feet when out maybe 50 feet to land plus crowds and winds wore always an issue.  Yeah you had to be good or you go home. 

Each skydive was super challenging as we had not other place to land but but small beach  and if you wanted to safely complete a skydiving jump here, you had to have the perfect landing – every time. Let’s  just say that is when I got really good flying tandem parachutes.  Each jump was a like a demo.. demonstration skydive with crowds like they would have into a event but with tandem students… not brag but.. 
Let’s just say it makes skydiving in Missouri and Illinois or Mid West in general walk in park as we have nothing but fields for miles and we love it for safety aspect.

Skydive Sabastian, Florida

1st winter as a new skydiver was painful.
You are so eager to learn and to jump that winter weather was just to depressing.

Skydive Sabastian Florida

When I started skydiving I told my self I am going somewhere warm and that was my motivation to save all my money.I had maybe 200 skydives when I went to Skydive Sebastian for New Years skydiving event. Cross Keys boogie. 
It was there that I completed my first beach jump and at that time I never done a beach jump.  I  over heard some guys organizing a van to pick them up from the beach after landing. I was thinking I need to find a way to be on that load. 
I went to manifest they said you don’t have your C License that you need answer is no. I came back to packing tent sad and German guy they called Range took my log book explained that I done my water training and after talking to me confirmed I was ok to go on a beach jump.  I got on a ten skydiver formation jump. Rule was shorts and T-shirt bare foot landing in  front of a beach bar with a cold beer waiting for us crowds watching. I was so happy, a priceless memory that I still cherish.

Mind you this was in  January and pilot took us to 17,000 feet. Sunset short t-shirts still cold that high up. I did not care. That is also when I found out what happens when your put your parachute on top of bunch of fire ant’s…  One of the jumps you just had to be there to understand…
Forever I will remember my 1st amazing beach jump.

I’ve learned to always seize those moments when they come around.
Like most things in life right place in the right time.


Empuriabrava Spain ..

Emporiabrava Spain

This place was awesome….

This is place had the best European skydiving team at the time.
The European skydiving team, Team Babylon had all the best talented skydivers with imagination like I never seen in U.S at that time..This was time before wind tunnels (indoor skydiving) you had to be good. They showed imagination and talents unlike anything I’d seen before in the US, especially since this was before wind tunnels. I was visiting friends and family in Bosnia and got call from some of my Irish skydiving friends saying they are taking a trip to Spain.

When my Irish skydiving friends invited me on a trip to Spain, I couldn’t resist,

At that time there was 3 feet of snow in Bosnia did not take to much convincing.
I quickly packed my bags wife girlfriend at the time said let’s goooo its 75F there. I figured I’d spend a week skiing in Slovenia and another week skydiving in Spain. Why not?

Life is good….

Skydive the beach Wollongong, Australia

Skydiving St.Louis Wollongong Australia 

Skydivers from Australia are bread of their own.

To call them wild would be the understatement.
During our three-month trip to Australia, I worked as a video editor for skydivers and it was an eye-opening experience. Three month trip down under was one I will never forget… My first non paid skydiving job was a video editor and ground grew. But I got free jumps when there was room on the airplane. Better then spending money I did not have.. 
It’s remarkable how skilled and talented skydiving instructors they had at that time.  I watched and  learned. Instructors there wore doing ten for twelve jumps per day five days a week and they wore rock starts. I mean smile for each student and great time. Jump one or Jump 12 that is hard. Maybe day one or two but day 5. They did it man. 

 I also paid close attention how they did things. Specially how they flew their canopies. Landing in small park was no cake walk. Later on that came in handy. Full circle. 

Looking back, the exposure to such talented instructors gave me a foundation for the kind of instructor I aspired to become.


Skydiving over great barrier reef in Cairns, Australia

Cairns Australia

I only did one jump here so I can say I done when we wore backpacking through Australia we did some white water rafting snorkeling at the reef… It was amazing I highly recommend you go see great barrier reef in Australia even if you don’t skydive. 

Most people will say why are you in Mid West? Why  St.Louis, MO.  Being from Bosnia we wore raised family 1st everything else 2nd,  and you are where you family is. Go explore have fun but come home. 

While living in the Midwest may seem limiting for a skydiver its still awesome, family is my top priority and I’m grateful to be close to my loved ones. 

Again most important things in life we have is family, we done our share of world  traveling and when kids are bigger we will back track with them to all the best places.

At the end of the day, life is about enjoying every moment and having fun with the people you love. That is it. 

I started Gateway Skydiving Center in 2012 and rest is history.

Best skydiving views in near St.Louis,MO


For anyone looking for adventure and excitement, I highly recommend giving skydiving a chance – you never know where it might take you!


Skydiving Metro EastGateway Skydiving Center