Jesse Weyher (pronounced “Wire”) is among skydiving’s most extraordinary professionals. He’s logged more than 8000 jumps and 500 tunnel hours; served on Radial XP (MFS), USPT for CP, CP Freestyle and Speed Skydiving; earned medals in CP (gold in nationals for all events in advanced CP in 2018) and MFS; has set a California Head Up record and a Head Up World Record; placed 10th at his first World Cup of Canopy Piloting and 6th in CP freestyle; participates in the elusive Swoop Freestyle and – as you’ll see – that’s the tip of the iceberg. At age 29 and just 9 years into the sport, he holds instructor ratings in Tandem, AFF, Tunnel, Static Line and IAD, is a recent addition to Flight-1, and also has his Coach and PRO ratings.
We’re thrilled to count Jesse among SSK’s sponsored athletes, and the feeling is mutual. Jesse shared, “I was ecstatic to be invited. I love contributing to something and being part of a team. Plus, I wouldn’t jump with anything besides a CYPRES, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.” We dig it – and that he jumps with an LB altimeter. We’re in good company with Jesse’s other sponsors too, including Sun Path Products, Performance Designs, Cookie Composites and My Wicked Dude.
Jesse’s done more living in his three decades than most people do in 10. Check it out –
Jesse doesn’t shy from a challenge. If he’s in, he’s all in.
In his formative years, Jesse spent enough time down South and up North to become competent and competitive in several formidable sports. He surfed and sailed dinghies, and was a known fixture in local races and regattas. In Vermont, he competed at the state and regional level in alpine skiing. He was also a force in downhill skateboarding (aka speedboarding due to participants hitting speeds of up to 80mph). It’s also worth noting that before, after and in between, Jesse was an accomplished gymnast and drummer, even touring with indie band WeatherStar.
“As it turns out,” he said, “I’m one of those people who’ll pay a lot of money to have things fly by in a peripheral blur.” The medals and trophies were cool to bring home, but winning was never Jesse’s ultimate MO – he just wanted to hit a level where he could legit hang. And that most often meant going real hard, real fast, nonstop.
Certifiable Black Sheep
Jesse hails from a long line of hella smart, creative and tenacious people, but the adventurous side he can’t trace.
His mom spent much of her career as Ralph Lauren’s right-hand in womenswear before moving from bustling New York to quaint New England where she settled into family life and the boutique fashion industry. His dad and brother are both in the financial sector – private investing and commodities trading, respectively.
Jesse attended the College of Charleston where he studied communications and business with a focus in entrepreneurship and market research. Freshman year, he discovered skydiving and, in his words, the “world completely changed.” If Jesse’s family thought a “big boy job” would follow graduation, they underestimated the overwhelming power of his new-found passion.
The Call of the Sky
Jesse vividly recalls the moment the skydiving seed was sown. He was 11, and the Weyhers were watching Warren Miller’s 2003 film, Journey. In one scene, wingsuit pioneer Loïc Jean-Albert jumps from a helicopter in a homemade “squirrel suit” and rockets at a rate of 100 mph just 15 feet above the mountainside. Jesse and his dad sat slack-jawed, equally awe-struck and astonished. Jesse remembers thinking:
“You mean people can actually fly?”
Eight years later, in 2011, Jesse and his best pal drove an hour inland to (now defunct) Skydive Walterboro. It took just one tandem for it all to suddenly make sense: “I was meant to do this. Everything in my life had served a role, was some kind of a building block, for skydiving. It was the logical next step.”
Campus life was of no interest. Every spare moment – and dollar – was spent at the DZ.
Skydiving had captured Jesse’s attention on a level different from every other sport he’d dabbled in or mastered. The many disciplines were fascinating, and he wanted to try every last one.
In 2012 he started his progression alongside kindred spirit Mike Brewer under instructor Chuck Carter. After his first few static line jumps, Jesse remembers feeling unnerved and asking Chuckie “Should I keep going with this?” Stone-faced with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, his instructor replied, “I don’t care what you do. Sure, go for it.”
Jesse decided to take it as encouragement and persisted.
Once licensed to fly, Jesse swiftly discovered that his diversity of skills were uniquely advantageous. The aerial training from his days as a gymnast … the role of aerodynamics from alpine skiing … the ability to use your body to airbrake, get big or small, take turns and anticipate what’s ahead from downhill skateboarding. All of it was relevant, felt requisite, for his new obsession.
First to draw him in deeper was freeflying. It blew the doors off everything he’d ever experienced. He understood that achieving the feeling of true flight – like that of Jean-Albert in the Swiss Alps – was attainable without a wingsuit. He pressed on.
Angle flying was rad, tunnel flying – which was new on the scene – was game changing, canopy piloting was dope, swooping was incredible. Skydiving was scratching every itch, and the progression possibilities were limitless.
Drawn by the windtunnel, Jesse moved to Raeford, NC to call Skydive Paraclete home. His hobby had officially shifted to his profession.
Paraclete proved to be a fertile training ground for Jesse. Both the opportunities afforded him and the people he crossed paths with were career-altering.
As a tandem and AFF instructor, he was in Paraclete’s exemplary Instructor Development Program – which included a full hour in the tunnel weekly. Once a tunnel coach, he scored an additional 30-45 minutes in the wind almost daily. All that time made him a dive-pool elite and upped his freefly game bigtime.
Just when he thought he’d been exposed to the sickest jumps imaginable with events like “Mi Casa es Su Casa” and “Up in Smoke”, he and Keith Creedy hit up Don’t Broke the Goat 2016 in San Diego …
On to the Next
Six months later, Jesse made a dream-come-true move to Cali where he had easy access to the pristine Pacific, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains, and a super diverse skydiving community.
Funded by his tandem gig at GoJump Oceanside and military contract work including most recently Flight-1 Military, Jesse immediately tucked into everything the West Coast promised. From European-style, low-speed tunnel flying and BASE jumping, to his newest loves, paragliding and speed flying. He added a wing to his arsenal and started flying under everyday blue skies.
In short order, speed riding hit Jesse’s radar. Combining two of his very favorite things – snow skiing and speed flying – Jesse has spent the last two winters in France honing his skills and exploring the back country under coach Mike Wittenburg.
And now – because Jesse can’t stop, won’t stop – Jesse’s added wingsuiting to the mix. For the first time in a while he feels like a student, and it feels awesome. Now, we would say Jesse’s journey has come gloriously full circle from Warren Miller’s film, but that would imply he’s reached his peak … and we all know that ain’t true.
To Those Who Paved the Way
Jesse is grateful to everyone who has, and continues to, support his progression.
Above all is his mom, who has always encouraged Jesse to follow his passions. She loves skydiving subculture and is his biggest cheerleader at many of his comps.
Along the way he’s been gifted with care and coaching from numerous mentors, including Chuck Carter, FS king and hall of famer Kirk Verner, the “best AFF IE ever known” Joey Freeman, swoop master Greg Windmiller, the “best windtunnel instructor in the world” Selwyn Facey, and all-around badasses Keith Creedy and Will Mitchell.
When asked for advice for newcomers to the sport, Jesse recalls sage words he himself received from Ian Bobo: keep it fresh.
“If skydiving is like the school cafeteria, sit at a different table every day,” Jesse muses. “Meet new people. Keep an open mind. Try new things. Seek a diversity of perspectives. Travel. Check out a bunch of DZs. You owe it to yourself to live, not just to exist. You may not be wealthy by measure of assets, but you’ll be among the richest in experiences.”
We are proud to have you on Team #SSKInc, Jesse! Keep on, keepin’ on – we love how big you dream. Blue skies, brother!