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Dd0g

BASE without skydives

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I think I had 38, or 37 - can't remember now. It's been almost two years since I've been skydiving. I find many people who are at the DZ to be insufferable social butterflies, not my type. I find that BASE folks who hang out at DZs are often scary, untalented, and insecure.

Look at the List; most of the fatalities have come from folks with lots of skydives. If skydiving made for safe BASE jumpers, this would not be the case.

I'd gladly start new students in BASE with zero skydives. In fact, I have. That way, it is not necessary to un-train the bad habits taught at the DZ. With a blank slate, it is possible instead to instill fundamental survival skills from the first jump forward.

Skydiving is a pastime. BASE is life and death. The connection between the two is tenuous and getting more so every year. Skydiving is sport climbing in the gym; BASE is sketchy mixed climbing at altitude. The skills minimally overlap, if at all.

None of my students has died so far. I like that.

D-d0g
+~+~+~+~
But this, surely, was the glory that no spirits, canine or human, had ever clearly seen, the light that never was on land or sea, and yet is glimpsed by the quickened mind everywhere.

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>Look at the List; most of the fatalities have come >from folks with lots of skydives. If skydiving made >for safe BASE jumpers, this would not be the case.

>I'd gladly start new students in BASE with zero >skydives. In fact, I have. That way, it is not >necessary to un-train the bad habits taught at the >DZ. With a blank slate, it is possible instead to >instill fundamental survival skills from the first >jump forward.
...........................................................................

Now this is only my opinion.
Backed up by only Common Sence.

>Fatalities involving BASE jumpers that have Skydives is Maybe True. Because that is the Normal thing to have before you BASE jump.
You should -Not- throw yourself off a fixed object without mechanical Hands-On training on how to fly a Parachute. That does not make sence.

But that is just an opinion.

I am not sure that is a safe avenue of student training, for a person wanting to learn to BASE jump.
If I was given a chance on which way I was going to learn how to BASE jump. My first choice would be either a AFF Level one jump, or a Static Line Jump Class.
I would favor the Static Line class 1st, if all I was intending to do is BASE.
My second choice. To at least see and maybe do some basic canopy operation. Would be a Tandem Jump.
>This is only my opinion but.
I think my last choice to learn how to BASE jump would be to jump and hope for the best. With never to have had my hand on the Toggels on a actual flying canopy.

:D Be Safe ;)

...Ray Losli...

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Wow I'm in no position to say you are right or wrong, but you've got to admit that your thinking is pretty much the exact opposite of what most so called experts would say. I do believe that certain gifted athletes with experienced mentors could do what you advocate, but what about Joe-blow off of the street who wants to get into BASE and doesn't know anybody? Can they find a qualified mentor and survive one of the most dangerous things a person would do with little or no canopy training as well as little to no gear knowledge? Radical thinking you've got there ... either that, or you just don't like skydivers (and well you pretty much already said that you didn't like skydivers). :S

By the way, regardless of whether they like me or not and would even consider helping me (I will be doing a FJC with a reputable instructor), I am exposed to some pretty darn experienced BASE jumpers who I have met and occasionally skydived with at the DZs here in Colorado and I would not consider any of these people to be the "scary, untalented, and insecure people" that you refer to them as. These people I speak of are very experienced, very talented and very much respected (at least I am told so) in the BASE community.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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Let me play devils advocate for a minute:

[devils advocate]

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You've got to admit that your thinking is pretty much the exact opposite of what most so called experts would say.



True. But it's not so far off what a lot of those so called experts have done. I can think of at least six cases in which a very experienced BASE mentor put a student with less than 10 skydives (in the majority of those cases zero skydives) off an object. Almost invariably the object was a bridge over water.

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...what about Joe-blow off of the street who wants to get into BASE and doesn't know anybody?



I don't think we're talking about someone who doesn't have access to a mentor here. In most of the cases where I know this happened a very experienced mentor was involved.

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Can they find a qualified mentor and survive one of the most dangerous things a person would do with little or no canopy training as well as little to no gear knowledge?



Find a mentor? Perhaps. In truth, the number of unqualified BASE mentors I've seen found at dropzones is staggering. Perhaps it is not such a bad thing to suggest that aspiring BASE jumpers seek their mentors outside of skydiving.

Little or no canopy training? Or gear knowledge?

Why do these things have to be acquired in a skydiving environment? Why not start all of our students out jumping from a nice friendly bridge over deep water? Wouldn't it be just as easy to learn to fly a canopy there as it is to learn to fly one from an airplane? Doesn't there have to be a first opening, a first turn, and a first flare in either case?

In fact, by making the first landing into water, couldn't you actually reduce the incidence of twisted ankles (and similar injuries) experienced by first jump students? If they were landing in water, instead of on hard ground, they'd be able to practice the flare, and screw it up as many times as necessary, without the consequences.

Why not start an aspiring BASE jumper in on BASE gear right away, rather than making them learn (usually dissimilar) skydiving equipment? Wouldn't it be better to teach them the system they are going to use in the long term?

And why not drill into their heads, from jump number one, the importance of heading control, and instant response to openings? Didn't we all have to un-learn some of our (skydiving) responses to openings?

We always say that it's important to make the right type of skydives, by which we mean primarily accuracy and CRW, to practice for BASE. Why not skip the skydives and go straight to the BASE training?

In short, wouldn't we better prepare our students if, instead of saying "make 200 skydives" we said "make 200 jumps off that bridge in the potato state?"

I've heard people argue as to whether those "safe" span jumps are "real" BASE jumps. But aren't they at least better BASE training than airplane jumps?

[/devils advocate]

Thoughts, anyone?
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Look at the List; most of the fatalities have come from folks with lots of skydives. If skydiving made for safe BASE jumpers, this would not be the case.
__________________________________________________

I don't believe that - frankly I don't generally consider someone with less then 1000, or at least 700, to have lots of skydives - and, as Ray said back in the old days before BASE went mainstream, most people had quite a few skydives before starting to BASE jump anyways... You'd have to narrow your search down to relatively modern fatalities, say early to mid '90's.

As for Tom's statements about doing 200 jumps off a bridge instead of skydives, I disagree on that too. 200 jumps off the bridge at what, 12 seconds per canopy ride? - sure you can do it, but how much experience to you get flying and playing with a canopy in 10 seconds? - versus jumps from a plane which give you, from 3000' s/l, say 2.5-3 minutes canopy time... Which are you going to learn more about canopy control on?

Sure if you're not using the time to learn the canopy control you are possibly wasting much of that, but you're still probably getting 30 seconds to a minute of valuable experience dealing with the opening, steering and then setting up for landing. If you're seriously trying to learn you would use most of the time. Crw is invaluable for learning heading and canopy control rather than passivity, and you can get literally 10 minutes per jump! Of course if you have less then 50-100 jumps, there are probably not a whole lot of people willing to do serious crw with you.

So it comes down to how long are you willing to wait if all you really want to do is BASE?

Maybe you don't need 200 skydives to do it from a bridge over water, but I'd certainly prefer to have at least in the tens, starting out on student canopies and then working down to seven cell BASE-style canopies.

I question how much canopy control experience a newbie gets on even a relatively safe high span like Idaho, basically the canopy opens, they turn around and land where the canopy takes them, rather than learning to take it where they want to land.

And generally I think, the more parachute experience the better.

Just my opinion
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Radical thinking you've got there ... either that, or you just don't like skydivers (and well you pretty much already said that you didn't like skydivers).



Nothing against skydiving or skydivers. Personally, I find skydivers to be a social group - I'm not really so social. So I often find myself feeling a fish out of water at a DZ. I've had some good times jumping out of a plane, but with limited days in life until I'm dead it is just not at the top of my list very often.

I just think it is funny that it's a not-very-well-kept secret that there's many examples of BASE folks who started with way less than the 150 "suggested" skydives. I also find it funny that, without exception, I trust the instincts and survival skills of most all of those BASE folks better than nearly any BASE person with many thousands of skydives. I don't think this is causative - skydiving doesn't make people scary BASE jumpers.

Rather, I think it's correlation. BASE folks who do lots of skydiving tend - on average - to have less sharp survival skills and be a bit less, um, solid. As I said, on average - I can think of half a dozen BASE folks with lots of skydives who are absolutely top quality jumpers. They are the quite obvious exceptions to my posited rule, though for me the rule itself still stands.

BASE today is changing, and BASE jumpers today are changing. A different type of person is entering the sport than even when I started a few years back.

The thing is, are these two jumps the same sport?

1. Static line on a roundie off the bridge in Idaho, on a sunny summer day, in Idaho;

2. Running exit off an underhung 330 foot cliff where it is mandatory to take a 2.5+ second delay to outrun the underhang, jumped at deep sunset with a bit of winds, dodgy landing area amongst the trees and beside some hard to see power lines.

We call them both "BASE." They have nearly nothing in common, not even the same gear. How we train people to do each safely is an obvious question. In either case, does skydiving in itself help make a safer jumper? No, not in itself - canopy understanding and canopy control are essential for #2, but the skills are unlike what is taught in 99% of skydiving situations.

I hear someone is doing a BASE-specific skydiving certification. Seems like a good idea to me. Just sending people out to the DZ to fall out of an airplane in sunny weather is poor preparation for BASE. This is pretty obvious, really.

The real expertise in BASE lies far outside of the media-hungry jumpers whose names become well-known nowadays. More than a few experienced and battle-tested jumpers are all but invisible to the new generation of BASE Gods gestating at the DZ today.

Time moves on and things change. But BASE is still deadly and people will keep dying from stupid mistakes in our sport. It's sad, but probably little can be done to prevent it in the long run. More jumpers means more mistakes means more fatalities. Maybe the current "BASE boom" will die out when the next season of carnage plays itself out.

D-d0g
+~+~+~+~
But this, surely, was the glory that no spirits, canine or human, had ever clearly seen, the light that never was on land or sea, and yet is glimpsed by the quickened mind everywhere.

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I don't believe that - frankly I don't generally consider someone with less then 1000, or at least 700, to have lots of skydives - and, as Ray said back in the old days before BASE went mainstream, most people had quite a few skydives before starting to BASE jump anyways... You'd have to narrow your search down to relatively modern fatalities, say early to mid '90's.



Not a question of "belief," really. It's just a fact. How we interpret that fact is the real question.

Also, the majority of the List entries date from the early to mid 90s. So it's not really "narrowing the search" much to discuss the correlation on the list between skydives and fatalities. I'm thinking of 1000+ as, roughly speaking, "lots of skydives."

The obvious point here is that, historically at least, the folks most active in BASE were also most active at the DZ. Ergo, more fatalities with lots of skydives under their belt. Today, I think this correlation has broken down. I know many BASE folks who are extremely active (both in jump numbers and in opening new objects or repeating challenging ones) but who rarely if ever skydive. This is, in my understanding of the data, a fairly new development in BASE. It also makes for difficult comparisons, "now versus then," in terms of the safety correlation between BASE and skydiving.

I'm not arguing causation between the two variables. However, it is worth noting that most (or perhaps "many") people who have died in our sport had lots of skydives. On the flipside, there is no apparent over-representation on the List of entries who had few skydives before learning BASE.

Ergo, it's hard to argue that lots of skydives makes for BASE jumpers who do not die. At least, I'm not sure how that argument would go given the empirical evidence at hand.

I teach people who want to BASE jump how to deal with extreme pressure, first and foremost. If you can't do that, don't take up BASE. Skydiving does NOT teach this skill. Ergo, I don't assume that people who skydive alot are better prepared for BASE than those who don't.

Peace,

D-d0g
+~+~+~+~
But this, surely, was the glory that no spirits, canine or human, had ever clearly seen, the light that never was on land or sea, and yet is glimpsed by the quickened mind everywhere.

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As for Tom's statements about doing 200 jumps off a bridge instead of skydives, I disagree on that too. 200 jumps off the bridge at what, 10 seconds per canopy ride? versus jumps from a plane which give you, from 3000' s/l, say 2.5-3 minutes canopy time... Which are you going to learn more about canopy control on?

That is a heads-up Statement.
If you own a Skydive Rig.
Jump it or Free-Pack your BASE rig in a old, Big student container
I routinely go on Hop& Pops to ring-out my BASE canopy. Stalls, Rear Riser turns, Stops and spin around moves.
Flat turns, in half brakes, and on and on.
I can do so many Canopy training drills my arms get tired.
Then I can practice Accuracy on landings

( Here Comes The Important Part )

> You can cram more Canopy skills practice into one Hop&Pop than ten BASE jumps.
>That practice translates over to, Learned Brain and Muscle. Reaction.
( Spontaneous Action ) Not Thinking about doing it.
It just happens. It will Happen with repetitious training.
That's what will save your Life.

>Skydiving is not Evil. It is a good learning tool.
I continually use it to this day.
Use it to your advantage.

;) Be Safe

...Ray Losli...

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I think that reaction times are very important here and of course, using BASE specific equipment.

Although I don't have 'tons' of skydives, I do think that a few skydives to get altitude awareness is important as well as getting used to flying a canopy, learning landing patterns and learning how to sink a canopy and flare.

I've never swooped a canopy, neither have I had an interest to downsize or did downsize. I would say that a bunch of skydives on a 7 cell fury did help me a lot in terms of understanding, getting a feel for and getting some flight experience on what a 7 cell is like.

Jumping a BASE canopy out of a plane I feel is a good idea as one can get a feel for when it stalls, check out where the deep brakes are, how far a canopy drops when you rear riser stall it and of course how it flares when you come in for landing.

This is what I would think would be a good BASE specific course (just a thought that I wanted to share, that's all!):

50 Skydives using either a 7 cell or a BASE specific canopy practicing flying (while doing this, practicing all the drills from say, the Vertigo course which is rear riser stalls, flying with one toggle, landing with rear risers, immediate riser turn upon opening, and so on)

Static line Jumps on a BASE specific canopy

10 jumps from 2000 feet, hop and pops, or a few seconds of freefall then deploy.

Jumps from a bridge over water or soft sand.

Tracking jumps from a plane (for big walls/buildings)

Windtunnel time for body flying practice (I know a lot of people are going to argue here, but I feel this helps a lot, even in a zero speed environment).

Platform diving practice: head up, body flat exit

It is interesting to note that even someone with 3000 skydives could go in on their first jump.

I do understand that the jump numbers are there for the average Joe's safety but I would say that some people are more capable than others.

Finally, I think one has to accept the fact that anything can happen on a BASE jump (no matter how prepared you are) and if one is not prepared to accept that, well then, they better not jump and stick to skydiving (or not jump at all!!!!).

Just my thoughts, this is in no way a recommendation or anything like that. What do I know anyway?

Matthew
www.motavi.com

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None of my students has died so far. I like that.


How many students have you trained from the beginning?
Out those students, how many had zero skydives?

It stands to reason that experienced skydivers have died, because most BASE jumpers started skydiving to ... you guessed it,Skydive.

With the influx of BASE jumpers this day and age due to it's expounding popularity, that too will increase the chance that death will occur.
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I find that BASE folks who hang out at DZs are often scary, untalented, and insecure.

What DZ's do you hang out at?
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It's been almost two years since I've been skydiving.

oh.. that answers the question;)

Seriously where do you hang out that you find enough BASE jumping skydivers to come up with such a conclusion? It could easily be stated that BASE jumpers are too insecure to go out in the day time unless it's with another BASE jumper. That's just a statement so take as such

I don't disagree entirely. I find a few skydivers that don't dedicate much time to BASE. Casual BASE if you will.

For the past 2years and some months, I've been BASE jumping. In my short in the activity of BASE, I've watched both Inexperienced, and experienced Skydivers show really poor judgement and some serious lack of skill too.

Out of pure curiosity:
How may years do you have in the sport?
How many BASE jumps?
How many skydives and what type of skydives did you do?

Do you feel that all skydivers are social butterflies?
What makes them untalented?

I know several extremely talented skydivers that BASE jump and do it very well. I don't see how all those skydives were detrimental. Take Sabia for instance. Have you seen him skydive? He's a bird. The people that have trouble in BASE are the same ones that don't bother to get good training because "how hard could it be" <== that's not from my head, it's an attitude I've seen in many jumpers. Especially the ones that jump high wingloadings at low jump numbers.

Admittadly I had very little training. In BASE. I did have some skydiving habits to change.

Yeah there are some people with few or no skydives that turn out ok. I have a whole lot of skydives and personaly I think I turned out ok. There is so much to learn and I wasn't so gung ho to try every possible object. I feel that was from my experiences in the skydiving world.

There are plenty of skydivers that fit your social butterfly generalization but look around at a BASE boogie. It's quite the social event. The folks DO tend to be a bit more twisted, and to me that's a good thing. Some of those folks are untalented as well.

As far being social, I'm not sure what that's got to do with BASE. You either are or you aren't.

Do what you will dog, but challenge me to canopy control sometime. I won't challenge you to acrobatics. I'm not much of a gymnast these days but when it counts, is after the parachute opens.

Whickah!!!....What cha gonna do next?

None of my students have died yet either. I like that.

It's way to late to keep writing.. Good luck, stay safe.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Given how important we're always told that canopy control is in BASE I'm staggered that anyone would advocate mentoring someone with zero skydives. Give someone the best possible BASE environment (friendly legal span, daylight, whatever) and it'll still be a poor learning environment for canopy control compared to a skydive if only for one reason - time in the air.
The better you understand your canopy the better you can fly it and in terms of gaining that understanding there's no substitute for actually spending time under the thing - something you'll rarely get much of in BASE.

The 6 jump wonder has spoken ;).

Gus
OutpatientsOnline.com

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Vey interesting concept... With my entire knowledge of 4 BASE jumps, I'm probably not the "ideal" person to respond on this issue, but wanted to voice my feelings anyway.

I had 1500 skydives before at my first BASE jump. I jump a very heavily loaded elliptical canopy anytime I'm not doing tandems. I think most skydivers start out like I did, which is in a hurry to downsize. In retrospect, downsizing has done nothing but harm my, just beginning, BASE habit. I have 4 BASE jumps, and 0 stand up landings. First jump, I busted my ass on the rocks. 2nd jump, I busted my ass on the rocks, and split my pants and underwear wide open, not to mention burising my tailbone. 3rd jump, best landing yet, it was dark, and I got lucky and flared right, just sort of plopped down on all fours. 4th jump, I again busted my ass after barely clipping a tree in a parking lot, and my ass is stole sore. How long before a tailbone heals up?

I guess my point is, that out of all my 1500 skydives, my canopy control on a huge 7 cell sucks. It has nothing remotely related to how I land my heavily loaded elliptical canopy. I don't think that all the canopy control I learned in skydiving has helped me in BASE very much at all. In retrospect, I wish I had made 100 jumps or so on a huge ass 7 cell before getting into BASE. I guess hind site is always 20/20 though...

Ganja "4 jump baby" Rodriguez

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I'm not aiming this at czechbase, it's just a general comment.

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Jumping a BASE canopy out of a plane I feel is a good idea as one can get a feel for when it stalls, check out where the deep brakes are, how far a canopy drops when you rear riser stall it...



Honestly, I feel like these things (stall point, riser stall altitude loss, and especially deep brake setting) are far better checked off a nice, friendly span over water. I just have a much better frame of reference to judge what is going on if there is stuff around to look at. When I do these drills out of an airplane (err, aside from the DBS--when I do that out of an airplane, the canopy experiences deployment stall and I don't get to test the DBS at all) all I see is open air. That means I'm guessing at such things as altitude loss during riser stall based on how it "feels" to me.

Judging actual used altitude precisely on a skydive is very difficult.

I do all my "new canopy" drills off objects because I want to know what's happening as precisely as possible.

You can't test DBS out of an airplane. If you put a slider on a BASE canopy with properly set deep brakes, it's going to stall during opening, and you won't know if the brakes are too deep, or just right. DBS must be tested on a slider off opening.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Damn Ddog, 2.5+ mandatory off a 330ft cliff, with winds, at night, and a sketchy landing area? I'll take video for you, but I wouldn't jump it...

I had about 500 skydives when I got into BASE, and like pullhigh said, all of those were a race to downsize to a sub-100 crossbraced canopy, and swoop from one end of the landing area to the other. They did nothing to help me with my BASE canopy control. When I front riser 360 turn my Crossfire2 119, it is different when I sink in my Blackjack 280 into a small area. In my opinion, the experience of landing several hundred times helped because I was a lot more relaxed landing the 500th than the first couple. That is obvious.

I don't like going to the DZ much either. I feel like I'm at high school, back into the clicks and social groups. I see skygods that thrive on apparent superiority. And I simply don't have $20 for a jump anymore.

Every time that I stop by the DZ to say hi to friends, I realize that skydiving and BASE are so different, that I can find very few things that they have in common. They both use parachutes, but not even made of the same material or shape. I think of the things that I've learned in skydiving, and don't think that a whole lot of it helped me.

I learned some basic canopy malfunction drills, and don't get scared when I have a rig on, with two canopies, next to an open door of an airplane. But the whole point of this is- I think I've learned more bad habits from having 500+ skydives than I've helped.

SKYDIVING IS NOT BASE!!!
---------------
Peter
BASE - The Ultimate Victimless Crime

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Damn Ddog, 2.5+ mandatory off a 330ft cliff, with winds, at night, and a sketchy landing area? I'll take video for you, but I wouldn't jump it...



I've got some vivid memories of PCAing him off a nasty (90 right = death) underhung exit in a swirling snowstorm. Say what you will, that old dog can definitely walk the walk.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Let's face it if it was not for skydiving none of us would be BASE jumping. DZs are a great learning tool. Would you get off a cliff with a brand new wing suit that you have never tried? Come on!

I can see the rotten atmosphere around some DZ but not all DZs are created equal...
Memento Audere Semper

903

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This has become a unique debate as to what skillsets are most important to base jumping and what is the best way to get those skills.



Indeed it has. I'm really interested in people's thoughts on this.

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So what skills should you teach and how should you train for those skills?



What skills should you teach? I'm not sure any of us can tell you what should be taught. But here are my random musings on what I, personally would teach (in no particular order). I'd love to hear other people's thoughts. Perhaps I'll try to make up an organized list.

Regardless of what you are doing, and the extent (or lack) of your skydiving experience, you must find a qualified BASE mentor to see you through your learning progression.

Skydiving skills that apply to BASE (to a greater or lesser degree)

- 7 Cell Canopy Control
CRW is definitely the best way to train this. The skydivers who are best prepared for the real life and death aspect of BASE (i.e. avoiding object strike) tend to be CRW jumpers.

- 7 Cell Canopy Accuracy
Real accuracy practice, with real accuracy jumpers. Not "let's all try to land over there". But actual targets and measurements. I'd prefer "sport" accuracy to classic accuracy, because landing soft is also an important part of BASE. Unfortunately, "sport" accuracy is usually done on higher performance canopies, so I'd insist on big 7 cells and soft landings.

- Tracking
Get a coach. Make sure they have a much better max track than you and can film you. Do "max track" coaching dives. Learn to dial in your track for maximum glide.

- Low adjustments
In BASE, you have to be able to turn and adjust in much smaller amounts of time than in skydiving. I'd suggest just kind of getting close, then setting up your landing in the last 500 feet or so. Unfortunately, most DZ's probably aren't going to allow this.

- Cross and Down Wind Landings
Again, you may get some resistance from your DZO, but I'd definitely practice landing cross and downwind. This is also something might be easier the first few times if done into water. Don't forget that these need to be accuracy landings, too.

- Riser Flares
Practice flaring on just the risers, with the toggles unstowed. Also try it with one toggle. Having a lake (or other soft surface) under you could make this learning experience more enjoyable.

- Heading correction
Practice checking heading before deployment, then correcting immediately after opening. Again, this is a skill that is difficult to practice on a skydive, because (a) you don't have a frame of reference to know how long it took, and (b) the opening sequence is so much slower that it's very easy, and not really representative of what's going on in a BASE opening.

- Malfunction awareness
The only way I can think to train this (aside from packing yourself an actual malfunction) is to pack with only one brake set. This can give you a wacky "almost malfunction" opening, to help you get used to the idea that you must get the canopy flying away from the object as your first priority. Combined with heading awareness, this could be excellent training. I'm not sure what your DZO is going to think of this, though. I wonder if this might be better done off a span over a lake? That way no matter how bad you screw it up, your odds of actual injury are very low.

BASE specific skills

- Exit stability
I'd use a pendulator to train this, then do a couple round PCA's into water to make sure it had stuck.

- Delay awareness
Do progressively longer delays, and require a student to actually achieve their nominated delay within about a half second. I'd practice this by doing jumps with video, then checking the delay.

- Heading correction
Change heading immediately after opening, on the risers. Learn how much altitude this takes. Work up to the point where you are doing full floaters off a span, and turning your canopy around before it flies under the bridge (which is where you would strike a solid object). Eventually, you might want to try packing yourself a 180 (spinning the canopy in the pack tray) to try for a 180 with your body in a realistic position, and see how it feels to correct that.

- Accuracy and Approach
You can practice it out of the plane, but you'll need to practice it again off an object. Your whole setup and flight pattern need to be already established on opening, and you need to be able to adjust them depending on circumstances. This is rarely something you have to do for real out of a plane. Flying in part brakes will help this a lot.

Hmmm. This is getting long and disorganized. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the critical things to learn are (1) Exits, (2) Object Avoidance (off-heading correction and object clearance--from launch or track) and (3) Landings. These three things are at the root of the majority of BASE accidents. After you've got them ironed out, you move on to (4) fixing malfunctions (correcting an off heading ought to feel routine by then, and not really qualify as a "malfunction") and (5) advanced skills.

Honestly, the only thing I see here that I think is going to be clearly superior (in terms of developing skills, not necessarily in terms of student safety) from an airplane is CRW. The spaces in CRW are much tighter than most people are ever going to be willing to practice in with a solid object. Even tracking is going to get better training (because the frame of reference gives instant feedback) on a big wall.

Ok, that was a mess. I'll try to clean it up and re-post something more coherent later.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I would agree with one inference based on your statement - more and more 'less' qualified people are becoming skydivers all the time. I've seen more and more bad things almost happen every single year I've been in the sport of skydiving. There is definately a need to please for alot of jumpers on the average DZ - almost to the point where they'd put themselves in harm's way to get on a specific load. One better get rid of this feeling of cushion if they ever want to do more than casual base.

-- (N.DG) "If all else fails – at least try and look under control." --

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Quote

Would you get off a cliff with a brand new wing suit that you have never tried?



:$ :$ :$

Who, me? Of course not , nope, never. I'd never even consider such a thing.

In all seriousness, everyone who's made a BASE jump on a new wingsuit before skydiving it, raise your hand and step forward in shame...

:$

In further seriousness, we've mostly tried to do the first jump off an antenna, with a decent tailwind, rather than a cliff. But you never can tell with the Vikings...
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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>Honestly, I feel like these things (stall point, riser stall altitude loss, and especially deep brake setting) are far better checked off a nice, friendly span over water. I just have a much better frame of reference to judge what is going on if there is stuff around to look at. When I do these drills out of an airplane (err, aside from the DBS--when I do that out of an airplane, the canopy experiences deployment stall and I don't get to test the DBS at all) all I see is open air. That means I'm guessing at such things as altitude loss during riser stall based on how it "feels" to me.

>Judging actual used altitude precisely on a skydive >is very difficult.

>I do all my "new canopy" drills off objects because I want to know what's happening as precisely as possible.

>?You can't test DBS out of an airplane. If you put a slider on a BASE canopy with properly set deep brakes, it's going to stall during opening, and you won't know if the brakes are too deep, or just right. DBS must be tested on a slider off opening.


Why not do both. I understand that you don't judge the ground that well when your at 2000' and falling backwards while stalling your canopy but at least you'll know what it feels like to fly backwards. 99% of the time your canopy flies foward, it's a very weird feeling or scarry feeling to fly backwards, isn't it.

I have over 5000 skydives most all of them under high performance canopies. I have yet to fly backwards. Give me a BASE canopy and I will have fun scarring myself flying backwards.

A 19yr old kid came to my dz and he had 55 jumps and I asked him what he was doing on his Hop N Pop and he said he was going to fly backwards with his Rear Risers. I asked him why? Because I want to BASE jump later and... he gave me a great explaination.

If you want to BASE jump and you want to live then you will do what it takes to survive. IF you just go do it and don't put any effort into it, then we will read about you later or maybe not because you are the lucky one.

How many people have you seen pull out of some amazing shit? Would you have done the same thing in the same situation? Who knows? You can only react when your in that situation. Someone with 4000 skydives and over 400 BASE jumps had a 180 and he said cool, I'll just push off the object and then turn it around. Well, that didn't work and he couldn't jump for over a year. What does this person tell everyone else to do in this situation? Turn it around as fast as you can and you know the rest of the story.

Canopy control off the B in potato valley. 10-15 sec canopy time. PCA you have 20sec or more, depending on wingloading. Someone with no Skydives and doing their 1st BASE jump, they go off and have a line over and line twists. What is the possibility of this person going in? Sure you can put them over the middle of the water but what if they have been flying and spinning to the right and towards the shore. So they get out of it, maybe by releasing the toggles, they clear the line over, now they are still heading towards the rocks, now they have to land with the rear risers(how many times have you landed with your RR on your BASE canopy and how was the landing?) on the shore, near the rocks. What % do you think is going to get hurt and remember that they just dealt with their first BASE jump, spinning, maybe dizzy from the spins and now they have to deal with landing with RRisers? I be a very high %!

Teaching someone with NO skydives is very, very stupid in my opinion. I have taught AFF for 6 yrs now and the most heads up people can really mess up under canopy. Some people get it and some don't. How would you feel taking someone with no experience, and they had the jump from hell, as I explained above, and they broke their back, femuers, brain damage and so on. How would that make you feel? Sure someone with lots of experience skydiving could have the same experience and do the same thing but you'd feel better because the person probably has dealt with a problem in this type of canopy enviroment, I'm sure everyone that has made at least 20 skydives has experienced some line twists or some type of problem, more than the person with no skydives. At least the person will have some type experience with canopy control and be less likely to freak out and maybe NOT

>I do all my "new canopy" drills off objects because >I want to know what's happening as precisely as >possible.

How many BASE jumps to you have? How many skydives do you have? How much experience does that add up too?

You can do this but someone with no experience at all? Why not get them to jump out of an airplane and do this within 10 IAD/static line skydives. They can practice alot in 10 jumps! That equals out to almost 1 hr of canopy time at 5-6min each jump.

You do 10 jumps in potato valley and that equals out to say maybe 3-4 mins. You can't possible say that they are the same.

Sure you pay more money for the 10 skydives but it's your life, isn't it? How much does a funeral costs these days? Taking that chance, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that. Some might and well, go for it, it's your life. Most of the time nothing is going to happen but that 1 time, how are you going to feel.

>I had 1500 skydives before at my first BASE jump. >I jump a very heavily loaded elliptical canopy anytime I'm not doing tandems. I think most skydivers start out like I did, which is in a hurry to downsize. In retrospect, downsizing has done nothing but harm my, just beginning, BASE habit. I have 4 BASE jumps, and 0 stand up landings. First jump, I busted my ass on the rocks. 2nd jump, I busted my ass on the rocks, and split my pants and underwear wide open, not to mention burising my tailbone. 3rd jump, best landing yet, it was dark, and I got lucky and flared right, just sort of plopped down on all fours. 4th jump, I again busted my ass after barely clipping a tree in a parking lot, and my ass is stole sore. How long before a tailbone heals up?

>I guess my point is, that out of all my 1500 skydives, my canopy control on a huge 7 cell sucks. It has nothing remotely related to how I land my heavily loaded elliptical canopy. I don't think that all the canopy control I learned in skydiving has helped me in BASE very much at all. In retrospect, I wish I had made 100 jumps or so on a huge ass 7 cell before getting into BASE.

How true that is!! I messed up my ankle my first week I moved to Moab last year. I was flying my BASE canopy like it was my Velocity. I was trying to turn in half brakes to avoid a tree and it wouldn't turn because I was making small correction. Then Vertigo told me it was like flying a Truck instead of a Porche. You have to make big corrections with the bigger canopy. I knew this but in BASE, there is usually not a Great landing area like at a dz. My bad for being a dumbass! I've learned from my mistake(s).

Czechbase said "Jumping a BASE canopy out of a plane I feel is a good idea as one can get a feel for when it stalls, check out where the deep brakes are, how far a canopy drops when you rear riser stall it and of course how it flares when you come in for landing."

You said alot of good things after that also!!

Our BASE specific program that Skydive Moab and Vertigo are setting up will have everything that you mentioned and so much more.

So far, and it could change and probably will, we know that it's going to be that you make 2 tandems, and then you will do 5-8 IAD jumps, then progress into some freefall time, a couple clear and pulls, then some 5 sec delays, some 10 sec delays and work your way to 30-40 sec delays.

At least 5 tracking jumps. Whatever you think you need to do under canopy to get you ready for BASE, YOUR GOING TO DO IT!!

The first 10 jumps or so will be on a student canopy. Then the rest of the jumps will be on Vertigo's Dagger's Start with a big Dagger and work your way down!

This program is going to be the best way to get into BASE jumping. Everything you do is gearing you towards making your first jump at the B in Idaho.
You are still going to do a PCA on your first jump and maybe a few more depending on YOU and then work your way up.

I will post all the details when we are finished with it!

I started my own canopy school 3 yrs ago because I was tired of watching everyone smack the ground so I tried to do something about it. No matter how much canopy time you have you can always get hurt and putting someone in the position of learning to BASE jump with NO canopy time and with the landing areas that BASE jumping usually has, it's spelling possible tragedy. Think about it, it's common sense to have canopy control, and if your willing to learn from someone that is williing to teach you and you have no canopy control, well that's your decision.
Much more than someone with canopy time.

Just like someone coming to Moab with 3 BASE jumps, is that smart, not really but it still happens and it's always going to happen. That is their choice!

I could go on forever and I might later. Canopy control is the most important detail in either skydiving or BASE jumping. Not too many people die in Free fall, it's after the canopy is extracted from the container when shit goes wrong.
Clint MacBeth
Skydive Moab 435 259 JUMP
M.O.A.B. Mother Of All Boogies Sept 19 - 23, 2012

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I like what you posted! With our BASE specific program, most of these things you posted are already there, just need to put them in certain jump orientation. I do like the CrW stuff. I didn't really think of that and I have no crew experience at all. I think Jimmy has some. We should go play and somehow add that in to the program.
Thanks Tom,
Clint MacBeth
Skydive Moab 435 259 JUMP
M.O.A.B. Mother Of All Boogies Sept 19 - 23, 2012

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Flying backwards is a skill I gained while skydiving in the 80’s and it saved my life on my first BASE jump. I used to fly my 7-cell Unit backwards on most skydives just for the fun of it. The way I would do it is pull the toggles all the way down until it fully stalls and then it starts to flutter as you go backwards. You can steer it going backwards by pulling more on one side and you can even spiral it going backwards. Just keep one very important thing in mind. While flying backwards your canopy is in a complete stall. You must allow for enough altitude to recover from the stall. For this reason I would NOT recommend this be your plan A, especially on a low object. I have done most my backwards flying using the toggles. I remember when 9-cells first hit the market and one of the first things I notice was that they do not fly backwards. They just fold up in a bow-tie.

Clint, I am glad you pointed out the danger of the rocks in the Snake River canyon. One day I witnessed an experienced BASE jumper have line-twist and come very close to hitting the cliffs on the south side. Gnarly jagged cliffs are on both sides of that canyon and it is possible for a person to fly into them while struggling with line-twist or a tension knot or a number of little things that can complicate canopy control. In my opinion, making a number of skydives can help the individual get hands on familiarization and experience in dealing with some of those complications. The more experience someone has with dealing with different winds is also beneficial in my opinion. Sometimes even a light wind can get a bit funky in that canyon.

Keep it real,
Have Fun, Don't Die!
Johnny Utah
My Website
email:[email protected]

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