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Sophomore Stuns the World in Indoor Skydiving

Sophomore Stuns the World in Indoor Skydiving

With the rise of facilities like iFly in nearby White Marsh, indoor skydiving has gone mainstream. Still, not everyone realizes that it’s not a mere diversion but a competitive sport that draws athletes from all corners of the globe. This year, sophomore Landon Karaberis ‘26 has single-handedly introduced the BL community to indoor skydiving. He participates in competitions all over the world, and in April, he and his partner won the Fifth Annual World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, held in Macau, China. 

When he first started skydiving several years ago, Landon never knew where his journey would take him. “I started flying just like anyone else. I really liked it so we kept going back,” he recalls, “Eventually, I got so good at it, I decided to compete.”

A typical dive consists of three parts: the snake, the layout, and the mixer. Participants are judged on their ability to complete their routines cleanly and quickly. Landon compares the required skills to those of racing. “You have to take the tightest lines without any mess-ups,” he explains, “Whoever takes the tightest lines and carries the momentum is going to be the fastest.”

Teams earn points based on speed and ability to hit specific benchmarks, but they are also scored by judges for aesthetics and style. So indoor skydiving is unique in the sense that total scores are determined by both objective and subjective criteria. 

Landon and his partner, nineteen-year-old James Rogers from Florida, compete under the team name “Fanatics.” The two of them met five years ago at a camp in Virginia Beach, found instant chemistry, and have flown together ever since.

The two are still riding high from their recent World Cup victory and exhilarated by their trip to China. “It was amazing there,” says Landon, “The tunnel was beautiful and China was just really different. There were hundreds of people there. The facility was almost as big as this school.”

According to his advisor Veronica Berkstresser, Landon is a valued member of his advisory and of the BL community as a whole. “He’s not just in the BL bubble because he competes all over the world,” she says, “He’s shown our guys it’s ok to be passionate about something outside of the typical activities.”

Landon and his partner will train in Poland this summer in preparation for the National tournament in Colorado later this year. Tournaments in Spain and in Belgium are also on the horizon. Landon isn’t sure whether or not he’ll continue skydiving beyond high school. For now though, he’s excited for whatever is next, and flying high off his recent world championship.