A wing of fabric spreads taut from wrist to hip and from foot to foot. A body soaring through the sky, carving between caverns of clouds. This is wingsuiting: the closest to a bird you can become. From careening through hills and mountain vales, to forming “flocks” and formations with fellow wingsuiters, this burgeoning discipline offers a lot.
Have we piqued your interest? With something this dynamic, it would be hard not to. Keep reading to learn just how you too can begin to wingsuit.
Are you ready to learn how to become a wingsuit skydiver?
Becoming a wingsuit flyer is one of the most exciting aspects of skydiving, but like all things, it takes patience and time in the sport. Flying in a wingsuit is what attracts many people to skydiving, but realizing what’s entailed to make the dream a reality will require a long term commitment.
Here are the steps to becoming a wingsuit skydiver:
Step 1: Learn How to Skydive
Step 2: Make 200 jumps within 18 months
Step 3: Enroll in a Wingsuit First Jump Course
Step 4: Rent Wingsuiting Gear Before Purchasing
Step 5: Hire a Wingsuit Coach
The first step on your wingsuiting journey is entering the wide world of freefall and learning how to skydive. Before upping the ante with a wingsuit, you’ve got to get the whole skydiving thing down first. The goal of flying in a wingsuit attracts many people to skydiving, but be prepared for the reality of what it’s going to take to zipping up your squirrel suit – time, money, and patience!
The first aspect of this is time. Becoming a licensed skydiver is a process that involves a minimum of 25 jumps which for most people takes about two months with a solid commitment of being at the dropzone every weekend. Unless the weather gods cooperate, this could be done in less time, but that’s rare!
Like learning any new hobby, the speed of your progress will be limited by your budget. The AFF program which teaches you the fundamentals required to jump solo will run about $1450 just to get started. Thereafter, you’ll need to hire a coach and make several jumps to get you to your A-license which is your primary goal when getting started; it’s a big investment!
Skydiving is an amazing sport, but realizing your dreams is a test as it pulls on all major resources of time and money, but also patience. Getting air time means managing mother nature and she doesn’t always cooperate. There are many weekends spent at the dropzone looking up at the clouds. We point these things out not to deter you from getting into the sport, but rather to inform you of what this commitment looks like!
If the goal is to fly, then you’re going to have to earn those wings! As mentioned above, you’ll need time, money, and patience, but you’ll need to stay committed to realizing your goal because you’ll need to log 200 jumps within an 18 month period before you can enroll in the First Flight Course. The reason so much experience is required has to do with risk. The risk quotient of flying in a wingsuit is higher than your typical skydive and there is no shortcut to gaining the necessary skills to have a solid foundation; you have to put in the jumps!
PRO TIP: Be sure to faithfully log your jumps – you’ll need proof of them for any reputable dropzone to offer you the opportunity to wingsuit.
WNY Skydiving is unique as not many dropzones have an onsite wingsuit school. Once you’ve logged your jumps, you can immediately get started on realizing your dream by enrolling in your First Flight Course via the WNY Wingsuit Academy. During your Wingsuit First Jump Course, you will be provided you with all the necessary ground training to help ensure you have a successful wingsuit ride. In your course, you will also learn about equipment considerations, wingsuit selection, deployment procedures, emergency procedures, body position, navigation, and flight patterns.
This is more of a pro-tip than a step, but we wanted to make sure this was mentioned. You’re going to be eager to fly in a wingsuit, but don’t purchase your own… yet! Your wingsuit career will commence in a beginner suit and being that wingsuits are pretty pricey, you’ll want to rent that beginner suit to up your skills. A major plus of learning to fly with WNY Wingsuit Academy is your beginner suit will be provided for you. If you’re reading this blog article and don’t jump at WNY Skydiving, there are businesses that rent wingsuits if your local wingsuit school doesn’t offer this service.
Perfect practice makes perfect! Only a handful of people are “naturals” at anything. Seeing as how we weren’t born with wings, it’s very likely you’ll require some help and practice along the way. To ensure you’re on the best possible wingsuit progression, consult with our staff about wingsuit coaching.
Ready to soar like an eagle? Reach out to WNY Skydiving today!