In this issue: What is wingsuit base jumping? Equipment and costs? Where to buy it? Is it safe?
Get prepared for one of the hottest trends in skydiving: Wingsuit Base Jumping. If you have never seen wingsuit jumpers so far, your first thought may be “those guys are insane”. Just have a look at some YouTube videos.
What Exactly Is Wingsuit Base Jumping
People jump from clifs, airplanes or towers with special suits which let them slow down and control the fall – that’s basically wingsuit base jumping. Sometimes the jumpers start by skiing and throw away the ski while in the air. Then they are flying with the jumpsuit for certain amount of time which of course depends on the attitude of jumping. At some planned moment the flier has to deploy the parachute and land.
The wingsuit slows the fall to about 30m per second and lets you move 20% more horizontally than you would without it.
Wingsuit jumps can also be performed as a skydiving discipline (from an airplane) but most skydivers find the BASE jumps far more exciting.
What Do You Need: Jumpsuit Cost
First and most important – a wingsuit. The cost of a good wingsuit is about $1,500 – $2,000 and while it’s not cheap, I would not advise you to save money exactly from it. (There are few cheaper options though, as you’ll see in the next section)
|Additionally you will need a normal skydiving or BASE jumping parachute, because of course you cannot land just with the wingsuit.Before getting into wingsuit jumping it’s highly recommended to have a skydiving and base jumping experience. Most experts recommend that you should have 500 jumps and at least 18 months experience. It’s best if before doing BASE wingsuit jumps you are at least intermediate wingsuit skydiver.
Other encouraged equipment is AAD and Pilot Chutes.
What Equipment and Where To Buy It
One of the best looking places for shopping wingsuits seems to be Phoenix-fly. They have a model well under $1,000
TonySuit is another excellent web store with their basic beginner wingsuit starting currently at $850. They have a Facebook group with a good fan base so I guess if you have questions you can ask for opinions there.
Is Wingsuit Base Jumping Safe?
The main danger in base jumping and number one reason for fatalities is striking the object you have jumped from. The wingsuit reduces this risk because of the better horizontal movement it allows you do to.
However exactly the advantages of the wingsuit can turn against you – the low fall rate can perplex your judgement about the attitude and distance from the objects which often can cause accidents.
Often some more experienced wingsuit jumpers try to do jumps that would be impossible without the wingsuit. This can lead to accidents if they overestimate their capabilities.
If you don’t let be fooled by the extra safety that the wingsuit gives you, doing this king of jumps is not more dangerous than the other skydiving disciplines. As always, play safe and don’t let the adrenaline take over your mind.