Taking It To the Extreme: Skydiving Side Hustle


In the days of high inflation, the need to find extra income is essential to nearly any household to cover the costs of everyday needs 

Regular side hustles such as rideshare or delivery driving, or re-selling are an option for some. Others have turned to more unique ways to make money — literally taking it to the skies and pushing themselves to the limit.

Alex Coker of Memphis, Tennessee, has taken a jack-of-all-trades approach over the years for his income, which will pay off in the form of an early retirement next year. One of those side hustles has him jumping out of planes as a skydiving videographer and instructor.

“It’s great for me that I get paid to do my hobby. My advice is to find your hobby and learn to make money doing your hobby,” he says. In addition to his retirement pay and savings, this hobby will allow Coker to be financially set for life in his 50s.

Coker says that growing up, he knew he wanted to be a paratrooper and jump out of planes. He accomplished this at age 19 when he jumped out of his first plane. 

“You have one shot to get it right because you have to leap at the exact same time as the person doing a tandem jump,” he says.  

One, he notes, is the weather, and they can’t control it, and he doesn’t get paid if there is bad weather and they can’t take the jump.

The second factor he points to is its toll on the body. Coker compares a busy weekend of jumping to being hit at football practice. He pays a physical toll not only to the strenuous act of jumping but also the exertion it takes to pack and re-pack his parachute in between each flight.

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