Do Not Attempt This Yourself

Marco Waltenspiel and Chris Espen wing suit through a gap on the Austrian-German border. This is not a base jump, and its interesting because while it is still a dangerous stunt, you can see them trying to lose altitude after they leave the helicopter (meaning they have a pretty significant margin for error on their near pass).

I find wing suit flight compelling, I like to watch these videos because the first person POV often found in these videos carries some mote of free flight in them you can’t experience through the recording of other sports.

That said, I’m a pretty normal dude, who, like a lot of other normal dudes has tried some pretty extreme stuff in the past. I dislike the word “extreme” to describe what is arguably a fringe sport. Wing suit and paragliding pilots do not have the following that soccer teams or golfers might experience the world over, but much like surfing the success of these fringe activities is not really dependent on bringing a crowd of 50,000 cheering fans into a stadium every Monday.

The threshold for entry into these sports is also a lot more open.   And the line between professional and amateur is a lot more fuzzy. You do not need to be a genetic freak with a team of sports scientists monitoring, controlling and training you for decades on end to be competitive in a sport like wing suit piloting. It is actually a lot better if you are able to maintain solid, trustworthy relationships with your peers within the community since going it alone often results in both the termination of your sports career and arguably too often your life.

I watched the wing suit flight above in part to get a little of that juice I used to get soaring. I also watched it to see how they set up the shots, specifically the use of cameras on hover drones. But I happened to watch it through the end of the video where I caught hanging off the end of the credits the statement “Do not attempt this yourself. Both Marco and Chris are trained professionals.”

This tweaked my nose a bit. Seems a bit extreme don’t you think? I mean, given sufficient time and jumps I too, a mere mortal, could attempt and achieve very similar achievement.

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