TJ Landgren - Freefly Master and Expert Canopy Pilot
First Jump: 1997
Home Dropzone: Skydance Skydiving, Davis CA
Tunnel Hours: 1000+-
Sponsors: Liquid Sky Suits, Velocity Sports, Cookie composites & Icarus Nz
Container: Velocity Sports Infinity
Canopy: Perta 67, JVX 88
Reserve: Icarus 119,Icarus 1092
Wingsuit: Havok,Tony suits Apachi Rebal
Helmet: Cookie G3 and Cookie Fuel
DZ: You started skydiving quite young, when you were just 16. When you did your first jump, did you ever foresee that your life would end up revolving around skydiving, to a large degree?
TJ: I did my first jump at Parachute center in Lodi,Ca. After that first jump I knew that I wanted to skydive for a living. I figured with skydiving there would always be cool new disciplines starting and always be interesting.
DZ: Many of the top flyers talk about how they initially struggled in their AFF training and that their skills had to be developed through constant persistence and that it was never something they felt came to them naturally. What was your AFF training experience like? Did you feel as though things came natural to you in the air?
TJ: Aff was a little rough for me, I failed level two twice and for a second I thought this was harder then I initially assumed. I took a couple days to rethink what I was doing and whether skydiving was really going to be for me. My Aff jump master Yoni Bango said "Just arch and smile, and donít forget to pull. YOU GOT THIS" The rest is history. Some things in skydiving came natural and other things took a little more time. I had to keep telling myself to just keep trying youíll get it!
DZ: You're considered an expert in both freeflying and in canopy piloting, which discipline do you find yourself having more fun in and do you see yourself leaning more towards any one discipline in particular?
TJ: I love freeflying and canopy piloting a lot! I find myself learning more in freeflying, with all these new tunnels popping up witch makes it easier to fly 7 days a week. I spend most of my time at Ifly SF Bay. On the canopy side I haven't been able to really push my canopy in a long time. The DZ I was jumping at would not allow big turns. I left that DZ about a year ago and started jumping at Skydance in Davis CA. I didnít realize how much I missed it. Now that I get to swoop all the time I would say Iím having so much fun on my canopy. With all these new canopies coming out from Icarus makes it a really good time to fly fast canopies.
DZ: Which competitive teams are you currently a part of?
TJ: NorCal Alliance
DZ: In your opinion, what makes Norcal Alliance such a strong team, besides having skilled flyers?
TJ: What makes us a strong team is the comunication with each other and the pure love for what we are doing.
DZ: Outside of skydiving, what other sports are you most interested in and which do you partake in?
TJ: Outside of skydiving I like to snowboard, wake board and speed flying. I would say out of those 3 I speed fly the most.
DZ: You've got quite a number of achievements under your belt. Which of them stands out as your proudest and why?
TJ: The freely world records! Itís awesome to see all your friend from all over the world on one big jump and also all the people I have coached over the years ripping on the big ways. Truly rewording.
DZ: Your schedule is usually pretty busy, with something exciting almost always on the calendar. What events are you most looking forward to at the moment?
TJ: Extreme Week in Norway! Itís an awesome country, people are friendly and the event is amazing. Seeing all the extreme sports in one place is epic!
DZ: Outside of your home dropzone, what is your favourite dropzone to jump at and why?
TJ: Wow, that's a hard question to answer. Do you base it on scenery,lots of jumps in a day or if they have a tunnel close by. I love Skydive Arizona for always having a plane flying and a tunnel running. For scenery, Torquay in Australia - the view is amazing and the ocean is so beautiful. First time I saw a kangaroo was there.
DZ: In your opinion, which aspect of skydiving safety doesn't receive enough attention?
TJ: Canopy piloting, I feel a lot of DZ are stepping away from this. I remember when DZs where building swoop ponds not filling them in.
DZ: I believe you have a keen interest in Canopy Wingsuit Flying / XRW, this is a discipline that not many people may be aware of. What does XRW entail and what makes it so interesting to you?
TJ: Xrw is when wing suit flying relative to a open canopy. It is so amazing watching a person in free fall while you are under a open canopy and talking to them like your on the ground. Nothing gets me more pumped up then XRW. When you are doing Xrw you normally want to load a canopy at 3.0 or higher. The canopy pilot exits first with the wing suits and 10-20 seconds after the canopy pilot will be about 90 off of jump run by this time. When the wing suit gets close he should be aproching on the canopy pilots head level after the wing suit pilot figure out the speed we can then try to dock. The wing suit pilot flies in and the canopy pilot tack the dock. You fly around for about 2 min break off is at 5,000 ft.
DZ: You do canopy testing with companies who are working on new products. Are there any new products in the works that you've seen that you're excited for?
TJ: Yes! I love testing new canopies. Icarus is playing with so many new ideas. I canít wait for there new line of canopies coming out.
DZ: Which disciplines do you see dominating the future? Do you think we'll see more cross disciplines where jumpers are merging various existing ones in unique ways?
TJ: I believe dynamic flying is going to dominate the future. Its got all the cool things in freefly that keep us pushing the edge, sit flying, head down, carveing and a hole bunch of eagles.
DZ: What are you hoping to achieve in the next 5 years of skydiving? Are there any specific accomplishments you're hoping to achieve?
TJ: I would love to do another canopy world meet and win and do 2 way VFS, Oh and win a Dynamic comp but will see.
DZ: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us TJ, and all the best with your flying! Keep killing it!
More articles in this category:
- Insights in Head Up Records - Interview with Fly Warriors - by Damian Alvarez (Posted: 2017-08-21)
- Discussing Jet-Powered Wingsuit Flying With Jarno McCordia - by Joel Strickland (Posted: 2017-03-20)
- Juan Mayer - Behind The Lens - by Bryn De Kocks (Posted: 2015-10-05)
- Niklas Hemlin - Breaking Boundaries - by Melissa Lowe (Posted: 2015-01-20)
- The Harpers - A Lasting Passion for the Sky - by Melissa Lowe (Posted: 2014-06-20)
- TJ Landgren - Freefly Master and Expert Canopy Pilot - by Bryn De Kocks (Posted: 2014-02-19)
- Ricardo Sa Freire - Developing The Cookie FUEL - by Dropzone.com (Posted: 2014-01-27)
- Roberta Mancino - Not Just a Pretty Face - by Bryn De Kocks (Posted: 2013-11-11)