Canyon Lake skydiver heads to Dubai worlds

By Sharon Rice, Editor, The Friday Flyer


In the ground shot, left to right, are Travis Feinhage, Matt Lewis and Andy Malchiodi. In freeflying, three-person teams, including two performers and a camera flyer, perform an aerial acrobatic routine, freefalling together in every imaginable orientation, carefully choreographed for speed and excitement.

Credit: Niklas Daniel

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Canyon Lake resident Travis Feinhage, Lake Elsinore resident Andy Malchiodi and San Diego resident Matt Lewis, reigning world “freefly” champions, will be part of the elite U.S. Parachute Team heading to the World Parachuting Championships in Dubai next week.

The three Southern Californians make up the freeflying team known as SoCal Converge. It is the first team to win four national championships for Freeflying at the U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships, the world’s largest annual skydiving competition, with more than 500 skydivers from around the nation competing in multiple skydiving disciplines.

In freeflying, three-person teams, which include two performers and a camera flyer, perform an aerial acrobatic routine, free falling together in every imaginable orientation, carefully choreographed for speed and excitement. Combined, the trio has over 24,000 jumps.

As part of the U.S. Parachute Team, the country’s most elite aerial athletes, SoCal Converge will join the delegation of more than 60 skydivers representing the U.S. in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 29 to December 10, to compete against 500 of the best skydivers from around the world. 

Travis Feinhage, 36, has lived in Canyon Lake the past two years and is a good friend of Nick Fener, another Canyon Lake sky diver critically injured more than a year ago in a sky diving accident.

Travis says he became interested in the sport of skydiving when he stayed with some friends an extended period of time and, as a "thank you," bought tandem skydives for them and for himself.  

"I was immediately hooked and started jumping on my own the next day," Travis says. "Within two weeks I was working for a skydiving drop zone." As a professional skydiver, he has had more than 10,000 jumps. Travis, Matt and Andy train at Skydive Elsinore and Skydive Perris. They say in their spare time they enjoy surfing, skateboarding and motocross.

Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 200 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States.

Each year, USPA’s 34,000-plus members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make approximately three million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records. For more information, visit www.uspa.org or call 800-371-USPA.