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Since the development of the sport in the last decade is largely the stuff of YouTube videos, let’s talk about what’s next. Where’s wingsuiting going in the future?
Wingsuits add massive amounts of potential to skydives. A wingsuit flyer is able to fly farther and at much higher horizontal speeds than is possible on any other type of jump.
Wingsuit training is multi-faceted and requires both freedom and flexibility to change with the rapid development of suit design, competition formats and flying styles.
Wingsuit flying is complicated and requires a significant amount of training, education, practice and dedication. It isn’t something you can just do a little here and there and still do it well. It deserves respect and your full attention. Your life is on the line, along with the lives of others. A wingsuit skydive presents many opportunities to make fatal errors. And don’t kid yourself about the risks to others: If you mess up in this sport, you can kill someone. It has happened before.
After exiting properly for your wingsuit skydive (covered in “Wingsuit Progression—Part Two: Exits,” July Parachutist), you still have the rest of your jump ahead of you. All skydives require planning and careful execution, but wingsuit skydives require just a little extra.
The subject of wingsuit exits—specifically, in what order wingsuit flyers should exit and how to conduct the exits—seems to cause a lot of confusion and worry among wingsuit flyers themselves, as well as other jumpers at the DZ. Much of this confusion and worry can be resolved by simply doing a little pre-planning before boarding the aircraft.
It sounds like a lot when you don’t yet have them. But in reality, 200 skydives is not that many. And in some cases, it’s not enough to prepare the jumper for the added complexity of flying a wingsuit, which adds risk and reduces comfort during almost every phase of a jump from exiting the plane to deploying the parachute.
Photo by Dan Dupuis | D-33713
From top, Andy Farrington, Nic Sacco, Mike Steen, Will Kitto and Matt Gerdes take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other during a Squirrel wingsuits meet-up event at Skydive Moab in Utah.
USPA has sent more than 60 of the most accomplished U.S. skydivers to Siberia to compete in the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Parachuting Championships-Mondial. The action starts August 10, and the competition runs through August 20. To follow along behind-the-scenes, follow our Instagram page where we are posting daily stories from the event: https://www.instagram.com/skydiveuspa
Each year the International Skydiving Museum inducts a select few men and women who have “defined, promoted, inspired and advanced the sport at the highest levels” into its Hall of Fame.
Safety has always been a priority for the United States Parachute Association and its predecessor organizations, National Parachute Jumpers-Riggers Inc. (1946-1957) and the Parachute Club of America (1957-1967).
In the beginning, there was accuracy or, as it was called at the time, “spot jumping.”
In 1946, when legendary exhibition jumper Joe Crane founded National Parachute Jumper-Riggers Inc., he brought with him a licensing system for parachutists that he had earlier originated.
One night, as you’re reading a bedtime story to your young parachute, it will inevitably want to know the answer to the question, “Where did I come from?” A responsible parachute owner had better be ready with the answers.
It was a beautiful spring morning at my beloved DZ, Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York. The air was cool and crisp, and the sky was cloudless. I was doing wingsuit hop-and-pops from 10,000 feet with the hope of generating interest in this new-at-the-time discipline.
Many members wonder what USPA does exactly, not only as an organization, but also for its members. Well, since USPA turns 75 this month, what better time to share how the organization works and where it’s headed from here?
Without Jacques-André Istel, the sport of parachuting would not be what it is today.
Executive Director Albert Berchtold updates USPA members on matters of the organization. Learn more at https://uspa.org/ OR https://parachutist.com/.
I was about to ride 533 miles across Virginia—west along the Potomac River, then through the mountains to the famous red caboose in Damascus in the southwest corner of the state. It would be a multi-day ride with 33,000 feet of climbing. My stomach had butterflies.
In 2021, the USPA Sisters in Skydiving program celebrates its 10th anniversary!