"With great power comes great responsibility.."
I bet the writers at Marvel Comics weren't thinking of Wingsuiters when they came up with this motto for Spiderman but our Super Human ability of travelling large distances through the air at warp speeds is something that needs to be taken in to consideration.
In the past few weeks I have come across a few situations where people have been sold Wingsuits that they are not ready for. One was a brand new suit from a authorised dealer (not Squirrel) and another was a second hand suit.
What happened to the good old days of screening people's experience levels?
It seems that today's trend is just to take the money and run, it has to stop.
If you have used gear to sell then you have a RESPONSIBILITY to make sure, to the best of your knowledge that the buyer has the experience needed to stay safe. Winsguiting is a small community, if I don't know you directly then I can find out about you very easily. It's inexcusable to hand over something that can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
At my local DZ I've started to see a trend where people are actually downsizing to increase their skills. This is the type of mentality we need to see more of, if you have less than 100 wingsuit jumps, no coaching and no freefly skills then you still have a lot to learn in a small suit. Adding fabric to compensate for a lack of knowledge will only slow down your progression.
Learn to fly aggressively, on every axis and be the best Pilot in your group..
Don't let some one sell you a Monster Suit because they need the cash.
photo by Camilo Lopez.
2017 is the year that things will start to change.
It's not going to happen overnight but I can say with confidence that for the first time, there will be a clear and objective-based learning process for people that are interested in Wingsuiting. It's going to be awesome!
I'm part of a small group of World-Class Wingsuit Pilots and B.A.S.E jumpers that are working together to make the Educational Revolution a reality and then we're going to give you a way to prove that you're a part of it..
Just like any experience-based activity, Skydiving, Wingsuiting and B.A.S.E jumping have so far relied on an honesty system and honestly, the system hasn't worked. Log books are too easy to fudge and there's people out there that literally "fake it 'til they make it", all the while putting other people's lives in jeopardy.
For these reasons I'm stoked to announce my partnership with Sigma.
Sigma is an online database of merits you have earned from authorized Organizations and big news for 2017 is that the U.S.P.A (Unites States Parachute Associaton) and Next Level Wingsuit and B.A.S.E Education have signed up to use Sigma's online database for all qualifications they offer. This means there is now a rock-solid, authentic way for everyone to see what kind of training you have done and who you did it with. Guess what that means.. No more faking it!
Ciao for now,