Since I could remember, I always had the dream of flying. When I was a little boy I used to tell my mom that I would be pilot one day, and when I turned 18 years old that dream became real as I obtained my Private Pilot’s license. Now 12 years have passed and my views have totally changed about flying, I know that when I was a kid I always wanted to fly, so I became a pilot, and then I discovered skydiving, and that totally changed my view of flying... I realized that this was the way I’ve always dreamt of, see flying a plane is fun, but it’s still a machine, and controlling the wind with your body and movement is just incomparable…
I’m lucky enough to have a few friends that live on the edge most days and spend their time jumping mountains all around South Africa, and also the main reason why I started skydiving. Becoming a wingsuit pilot takes years of experience, and to be honest most wingsuit jumpers make it look easy, I mean what could be so difficult than to just leap of a mountain? Well as I learned more and more about the sport I realized that it was going to take total dedication to get there, see Wingsuit Basejumping is like no other experience in the world, it’s the biggest game you will ever play on your own mind, convincing yourself that you have the skills and ability to do it while standing on the edge of the world and believing it, and it’s also not something just every person can go out and do, like to do a tandem skydive, you can go to you closest skydiving club and go experience that, but with wingsuit basejumping it takes hours of wingsuit skydiving first, and we all know that hours in skydiving can stretch to years depending on what dropzone you jump at.
So as you can clearly see it would take a few years to get there, but when you do, you taste the purest form of being alive as you can only imagine, and when you reached this point where you can actually fly of a mountain with your wingsuit, that’s when the mountain becomes a playground. I’ve seen wingsuit basejumpers mould the earth to do just what they want purely by flowing over it. The closer they fly, the more intense it the experience becomes, this activity is called Wingsuit proximity flying, where basejumpers plan a line which will allow them to pass close to fixed objects or the ground at high speeds, and choosing the wrong line or miscalculating margins can result in serious injuries or death.
Jumping as much as you can is key, it’s almost like not exercising for 2 weeks, you become lazy and forget things, so the more you do it, the better that reaction response time will be when you really need it, and trust me when things go wrong, they go wrong super quick. After all, basejumping is the most dangerous activity in the world, unless you swim in lava everyday… ;)
Now for the good stuff! Click on the following link to see a video about a mission we did to the Drakensberg, we set out on an epic adventure to go basejump and speedfly Cleft Peak. In this video you will get a taste of what it’s like to Wingsuit Basejump.
Stay tuned to this blog post as I will be talking more about Speedflying and Basejumping in the upcoming weeks.