10 Ways to Get the Most Out of BASE
Tips from Matt Laj on enjoying your BASE journey...
What a paradise! Tambor Bay has a superb room with a view!! Organised by Tsunami Skydivers (Rich Grimm) and with Josh Hall and Regan Tetlow. One of my most beautiful skydiving trips ever! What a terrific boogie.. the location, organizers, skydives, friends, resort, organization, country, manifest, pilots, local boogie staff, nature, plane and much more…
On Saturday morning, after a 30 hours trip from Amsterdam - Panama - San Jose (incl. a short night in San Jose) I landed with an overloaded Cessna Caravan in Tambor, Costa Rica. The landing strip, heading directly to the Pacific Ocean surrounded by palm trees, looked surreal. This place will be our “skydive play garden” for a week. The boogie “party at the playa” has been (just like Palau last year) organized by Rich Grimm from Tsunami Skydivers.
I feel lucky that I have joined several tropical skydive events. It's always great to meet many skydive friends from all around the world and to jump at these very special locations. Also the World Team from BJ created a “warm” global skydive community. I think that out of the 95 skydivers (130 participants in total) in this boogie over 10 have jumped several times with the World Team. At the (pool) bar we discussed that it's a gift to be here with passionate skydive friends from all corners of the World… A thank you from us to BJ, as he started this many years ago :-)
Sunday morning we had an extensive safety briefing. We are, as usual a very long way from a medical centre. If needed this can only be reached by (our skydiving) plane or a possible open seat on one of the few (Cessna caravan) airline flights. Quotes like : “you will be immediately grounded to have a week at the pool if you do not follow these obvious strict rules”, “make it your most boring canopy ride ever” and “you don't want to be that guy” expressed the seriousness of the message of Rich.
The DZ (for safety reasons divided in two zones, one for slow and one for rapid flying canopies) is a beautiful long beach in front of our resort with palm trees as far as you can see. The manifest, swimming pools, bars, restaurants and packing area were all located directly on the beach.
Two minivans brought us for each load to the airport, just 500 meters from the resort, where the Cessna Caravan boogie plane (up to 18 skydivers) was waiting to bring us quickly to 13.000 ft. This plane, which had been specifically flown in from the US, had two long benches, on each side of the plane. This made the line up quite long and a couple of times I was still sitting on the back of the pilot seat, while the floaters jumped off, making for a very long dive to the formation…
No matter! The long dives and views were incredibly spectacular with the bay, beach, resort and airstrip far down below.
The first days I jumped with Josh Hall (former FS4 World Champion). Josh organized great skydives and we made 14 and 16 ways with multiple points. The first day we already set a new FS record for Costa Rica with nice 2 point 17way.
The quality of the skydives was mostly really good and later in the week we broke the record again to a nice 18way with the energetic and always smiling Regan Tetlow. :-)
I also joined a load for a “hop and pop” at 13k and you can imagine how we all loved the incredible views. Next to that I made some nice “no suit skydives”, “train exits” etc.
Each late afternoon / early evening we all were hanging in and around the pool with music, beers and cocktails. You can imagine that we all had great and smiling moments. Specifically, the whale-watching in the Pacific right in front of the resort is a moment I will never forget. :-)
Next to the skydives there were several organized tours and most of us went zip-lining to a nice waterfall… including jumps from a 5-meter high rock into the water, with the beautiful Costa Rica nature around. Costa Rica has a spectacular nature and it feels that you are walking in a beautiful zoo. Each day we saw many colourful large parrots, monkeys, chipmunks and many other beautiful animals.
What I really love is that each tropical skydive has a “pay it forward” action. This time we were asked to bring pencils, colour books and other gifts for a local privately-run school. Large boxes were easily filled and next to this we collected 4000 USD in cash among us! I was happy to see their smiling faces and to briefly explain (via a translator) some basic skydive elements.
If you also would like to escape winter I can absolutely recommend to join this tropical skydive boogie.