Take a leap of faith -- and see your confidence soar -- at this skydiving school

ByEmily Hartmann, Sixto Reynoso and Rolando Pujol Localish logo
Friday, May 24, 2024
Take a leap of faith -- and get a confidence jolt -- at skydive school
"If you can jump out of an airplane, there's pretty much nothing you can't do," said Brian Erler.

LONG ISLAND -- Skydiving can be a leap of faith for the beginner, and the Long Island Skydiving Center knows that all too well.

You're in good hands - literally - as the center specializes in tandem skydiving, so you won't have to take the plunge alone.

The center, located in Shirley, New York, has been around for more than 20 years, the creation of Brian Erler, its owner.

It all began for Erler when he saw the 1987 film "The Living Daylights," the James Bond flick that features a dramatic skydiving scene.

"It was beautiful, the cinematography was great," Erler said. "And I think that inspired me at that time to go to the Yellow Pages, which is how you found businesses before the internet. I found a company near me that did it (skydiving) and I've been skydiving ever since."

The skydiving season here begins in mid-April and continues through Oct. 6.

He encourages people to book a session in the mornings or later in the day, when it can be cooler and the light can be better for photography. But photography and the quality of light is usually the last thing on the mind of skydivers.

"Anytime of the day, you're not going to be thinking about the lighting or any of that stuff. You're just going to be enjoying yourself," he said.

Erler said skydiving is empowering, and can make all of life's challenges - a big presentation at work, say - suddenly feel far more manageable.

"If you can jump out of an airplane, there's pretty much nothing you can't do," Erler said.