Wingsuit Progression Series
A series covering WS skydiving, from your FFC through Exits, Skydiving with Others & Safety, by Matt Gerdes & Taya Weiss...
Okay okay. Now that you have read “17 Ways to Survive BASE, Probably”, and therefore have acquired certain invincibility, you are ready to consider how you will actually enjoy your path through BASE…
To get the most out of BASE jumping, do not expect to get anything from BASE jumping. BASE jump because you love it.
BASE jumping has been heavily influenced by social media. It is fairly common for jumpers to feel the need to prove they can talk trash via Facebook like 16 year olds crushing Grand Theft Auto. Congrats! But I promise it is not a good look on you, nor is it going to take you where you want to go. There is nothing more awkward than meeting that big social media persona to find out they are nothing like the big game they talked online. But social media can be a positive thing too. BASE jumping is a community spread across the globe. Social media is the best tool we have to keep touch. Be a positive part of it.
If you take yourself seriously as jumper, you are going to have educate yourself about all of the gear on the market, not just the gear that your buddy told you is the best. When you hear someone completely bashing a manufacturer, know that they are only discrediting themselves. Manufacturers compete, of course — it is business. That is due to the growth that you’re a part of. The jumping community has nothing to gain by embracing a “brand war.” It is important to be educated about gear and manufacturers, but spewing nonsense makes you look bad and hurts the community.
We are all lucky to have lived lives that put us in the position to consider jumping off of a cliff for leisure. So how do you give back to an unregulated, often illegal, activity? That is a tough question. I believe BASE karma is real. It is not always easy to know how to give back to BASE jumping, but if it is always on your mind, you will find the right situation. Be generous. Be thoughtful. Pick up trash. Protect objects. Help other jumpers when possible. If you give to this community, this community will give back to you.
Yup, this made “17 Ways to Survive BASE” and now it is making the “10 Ways to Get the Most Out of BASE” list too. So, trust me, log your jumps! Yes, it will help you learn and keep you safe. And if that isn’t motivation enough, know that your logbook will become irreplaceable documentation of some of the wildest experiences you ever had the privilege to live. BASE jumping is an almost unbelievable journey, and even more unbelievably it all blurs together. Memories fade, logbooks do not. Be sure to remember it all.
I cannot think of a reason not to log jumps other than that it makes it easier to exaggerate jump numbers and details.
Thank jumpers that went before you, be happy for the jumpers that come after you. Please. Please more of this. Do not rush into the community with so much pride that you cannot listen to jumpers who are more experienced than you. If you’re an experienced jumper, do not have too much pride that you cannot enjoy watching new jumpers carry the torch. Carry yourself with pride, but be humble.
No one. If you’re in BASE jumping for attention or to prove something, you’re missing the entire experience. Focus on your journey.
In order to truly become a competent BASE jumper, you will need to submerge yourself in the lifestyle. Many jumpers get so caught up in BASE jumping that they think it is more important than anything else. It isn’t. So yes, consume knowledge, but know there is more to life than BASE jumping. Prepare yourself to ride the up-and-down wave of how important BASE jumping is to you at various stages.
Make friends, travel, adventure, and say yes to some of the absurdity that will present itself along the way.
Ok, I cannot guarantee that this will help you get anything out of BASE, but it seems to have worked for me!