Augusto Bartelle: Finding Passion for Life Through Skydiving

In Adventure, Skydiving by This Adventure Life2 Comments

Augusto has this infectious passion for life that can be seen on social media and in person. When I first met him as I was getting my skydiving license back in California, I knew he was someone special. His passion for skydiving and love for all of the people he meets was apparent right away. I’ve been following his journey for the past few years, watching him document his travels and progress in the sport. I am honored to share with you his story.

Augusto, 34, did his first jump in 2012 in Brazil, his home country. It wasn’t until 2015 that he decided to become a licensed skydiver. When he moved to California he acquired all of the skydiving licenses (A-D) and coach rating. He did around 500 jumps in his first year and today has around 1,500 jumps. He has over 50 hours in the wind tunnel. He has also been actively competing in speed skydiving, with a personal record of 445 km/h average speed.

What inspired you to begin a new journey in your life and take up the sport of skydiving?

I want to tell you a beautiful story about this; I was a freaking mess 8 years ago. I was drinking and partying way too much, and I lost a friend in a car accident because he was driving drunk. During the funeral, I saw his family and I was sure the next one would be me. I remember thinking to myself, “man you don’t want that … You love to be alive.” After that, I decided to quit drinking and began looking for a new way to enjoy living life at the fullest. I found support with my family, friends and lots of people around me. However, I was missing something. The fire that makes people wake up and go and never stop. Skydiving was the thing that gave me what was missing. When I found my passion and decided to bet everything on this dream I started to understand how amazing this community can be. When I moved to California, I met amazing people. The skydiving community held my hand between terrible moments of my life (hard breakup, feeling alone, new country, etc.) and they helped me to overcome those obstacles. They were there for me, and that is priceless. The thing that most inspires me in skydiving is not the adrenaline, it’s the people I have the honor to be around.

What about skydiving made you want to progress in the sport? 

My friends and I are always pushing each other. The first year we wanted to dive faster to the belly formations, the second year we wanted to free fly, the third year we wanted to do head down, and so on. This was the first thing that made me want to progress in the sport. The passion for skydiving, the opportunity to teach other people and spread why I believe skydiving is so amazing is something that also helps my desire to evolve. Also, when someone that has much more jumps and experience than me invites me for a jump, it makes me crazy. I get nervous, I get anxious, I get butterflies in my stomach, and I love this feeling. I want to learn to enjoy more and more.

How has skydiving changed your life for the better?

I have family everywhere I go. I’ve been to lots of drop zones, and always I find someone to share a moment with and jump. The social media thing is fantastic as well. In case I need it, there is always someone there to help me. This is the skydiving community I always talk about. Besides that, skydiving taught me about planning, determination, overcome failure, motivation, persistence, teamwork, work under pressure and so on.

Who do you look up to in the sport as an inspiration or mentor? 

I learned a lot from many different people. In the beginning, I have Greg Foster as my mentor. Adriano Rodrigues helped me a lot. Abrahao Duquia Neto also was a great inspiration (he had 1500+ jumps and jumped with me when I was just a student, and it was for free). I also have Lelo from Skydive Taft, Dusty Hanks and the iFly Utah crew, Mauro Jasmin who helps me a lot in Empuria, Spain and the last person I’m learning a lot from is David Nimmo from Fly Warriors.

What made you want to be a coach? What is the most rewarding part of coaching?

I wanted to be able to jump with people that were just getting out of the AFF Course and help them to achieve their A license. I also wanted the rating and the knowledge that I could learn doing the coach course. However, the best part of being a coach is to see people amazed by a jump. Their feelings get back to you, and it looks like you are back in time having all those feelings. It keeps the fire burning.

How do you want to inspire other people to take up skydiving, and ultimately live the life of their dreams?

I work on many different projects inside skydiving to spread the love about I feel about it. I started with my Instagram account, mixing my photos and my skydiving story with other people photos and videos. I have time during the day that I answer all the messages I receive from people on Instagram and, I’m delighted to say that I was able to put many people in the sky (Tandem Skydiving and AFF Course all over the world). Also, there is the blog that I share a few things I know and my experience with other people. It’s excellent the feeling to give a little back to the community that gave me so much.

There are also the projects I do with other people, now I’m working with Burning Spring (event in Empuriabrava, Spain based on Burning Man, I’m going to do an art project. And, there is also the Colorful Jerseys based on my Jumpsuit. This is a fantastic project, and I believe that colors can help to make other people feel happier; at least that is the effect it has on me.

What is your most memorable jump to date, and why?

The ash dive with Tall Paul and his friends and family. I love Paul, and we all suffered a lot when he passed away in a car accident. I’ll never forget the last jump I did with him.

What are some of your goals with the sport? 

I want to have my name somehow in skydiving history. I want to make ordinary people know about skydiving, and I want to help the real skydiving athletes to be treated like real athletes (such as basketball, soccer, etc). I want to people respect and recognize skydiving. I want people seeing and understanding why we love skydiving so much.

Besides that, I also want to participate in world records, win a medal in a competition, be part of a great team, travel around the world doing coaching and taking pictures during events.

Make sure to follow Augusto on social media:

Instagram: @augustobartelle



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