Thinking about getting into BASE Jumping? Are you looking for a BASE Jumping course? Do you want to learn how to BASE Jump? Maybe you’re already an experienced Sky Diver, and want to take things to the next level. Or you want to ensure a family member is learning to BASE Jump safely. Do you know what experience is needed to BASE Jump?
This handy guide to BASE Jumping courses will point you in the direction of the people that can take you from Base Beginner to full on daredevil.
Due to a combination of the secretive nature of BASE jumping, the obvious and inherent danger it presents, and it’s flirtation with illegality, BASE Jumping courses can be hard to track down. There are certainly less BASE Jumping instructors that driving instructors, despite the statistics making it clear that the latter is much more dangerous.
This article is designed to help people wanting to learn how to BASE Jump to find a course that will guide them through their first steps. It is now, however, a BASE Jumping lesson. It acts only only as advice on how to get started in the sport. Professional training and experience are both required before BASE Jumping, and it should never be done by anybody until the required level of ability has been reached.
Most, if not all BASE Jumping courses insist that students are experienced Sky Divers before taking even the most preliminary steps into the world of BASE Jumping. Sky Diving provides prospective BASE Jumpers with the foundation of canopy control, freefall control, and instinctive decision making that will be a fundamental past of learning to BASE Jump.
BASE Jumping Courses in Europe
Based in Arajunez, 30 miles south of Madrid, are Freefall University. The British ran company based in Spain were formed in 2001 and act predominantly as a sky diving school but also offer a couple of BASE Jumping courses.
There’s a two day course specifically for learning about equipment and how to pack it, with no jumps at all included. In the two days, students can expect to learn about the history of BASE Jumping, packing techniques, inspections, maintenance, equipment configuration and more.
There’s also a one-on-one, six day Full BASE Jumping course that’s broken into two distinct modules.
The first module is similar to the above two day course, covering theory, equipment, packing and configuration. It also looks at selecting A BASE Object – the thing a BASE Jumper leaps from - and what kind of equipment pack to use. Unlike the two days course, students will actually jump regularly during the duration of Module One, albeit using a safer Sport rig and not a BASE rig.
Module Two starts with more theory lessons and a tour of different kinds of BASE Objects, which usually includes some low level BASE Jumps with powered parachutes. The aim is for students to get some real BASE Jumps under their belt, while still learning and adding knowledge. The people that run the course know a series of BASE spots that the believe are suitable for first time BASE Jumpers, making it the ideal way to learn.
However, before Freefall University will take on students, they insist those applying heave a minimum of 200 sky dives to their name, along with a sound understanding of parachuting techniques. This is to ensure that students are already accomplished at landing in a small space, and have a full understanding of body position, canopy flight, and canopy landings – essential in BASE Jumping.
For more, visit www.freefalluniversity.co.uk
Australian BASE Jumper Chris ‘Douggs’ McDougal has over 16 years experience leaping off things all in the name of getting a rush, and now offers his own BASE Jumping courses, passing on his years of knowledge and knowhow.
BASE Dreams is a truly international affair, with the course being conducted in Croatia, Italy, and Switzerland. There are three levels of course available, that progressively cover greater amounts of information and afford greater opportunity for experience.
The first is Level 1 which takes place in Croatia, and will involve around 15 to 25 jumps over the five day duration. Level Two envelopes Level 1, but also takes in Italy, and will see students make between 20 and 35 jumps. If you opt for Level Three, you’ll do all that students on the first two levels do, but add jumps from some large cliffs in Switzerland among the 28 to 45 jumps that the course offers.
To qualify for any of the BASE Dreams courses, students must have a minimum of 300 sky dives under their belt, and own at least one BASE Rig, a pilot chute, safety equipment, including a mobile phone, and the ability to pack their own equipment.
Courses book up quickly, sometimes a year in advance, so it’s worth booking early if you want to learn to BASE Jump with Douggs and the BASE Dreams team.
For more information see www.basedreams.com
BASE Jumping Courses in America
If you’re looking at learning to BASE Jump outside of Europe, then Apex BASE (not to be confused with Swedish pop group Ace of Base) is the BASE Jumping school that makes it’s home close to one of the most iconic BASE objects in the world – The Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Apex BASE, who claim t have taught more people to BASE Jump than anybody else in the world, and having been teaching Jumping for over 20 years, they certainly have a lot of experience.
Their First Base Jump Course offers either three days (or four, if the extended course is selected) running all year round, although March to November are the most popular, as the weather in the winter months can create delays in jumps. During the course, students can expect supervised equipment pack sessions, ground instruction, and video debriefs of every jump they do.
The jumps themselves will start with pilot chute assisted leaps, static line, hand held and, if possibly stowed chute jumps, if progress suggests the Jumper is good enough.
Unlike many BASE Jump courses, Apex BASE take on students with as few as 100 sky dives under their belt. However, they recoment students have as many as 1000 Jumps before starting to BASE Jump.
For more information, see www.apexbase.com
Word Wide BASE Jumping Courses
Snake River BASE Academy
Also making their home at the US capital of BASE Jumping – Twin Falls Idaho - are Snake River BASE Academy. The American company offer a wide range of BASE Jumping courses, priding themselves on focusing solely on BASE, not venturing into sky diving and other aerial pursuits.
They also offer the only dedicated BASE Jumping facility in the world, which includes a packing area with space for 11 rigs, a modern classroom for lectures and debriefs, and a igging and sewing room for both teaching and repairs.
Snake River BASE Academy offer five comprehensive BASE Jumping courses, which are tailored to various levels of experience and knowhow.
Fundamentals Of BASE is their introductory course. It’s a four day course, typically lasting 12 hours, but sometimes stretching as long as 16 hours.
During the four day programme, students will learn all they need to know about packing equipment, both exit theory and exit practice, what to do after opening their parachute, how to check gear, wind and turbulence affect, and how to complete a hand held jump, all before leaving the ground.
After that, students will get outdoors and learn stowed BASE Jumps, night jumps, static line jumps, solo jumps, accident review, gear selection and progression.
Snake River BASE Academy also offer a number of courses for more experienced BASE Jumpers looking to improve. There’s a four day Safety Skills course, focusing on avoiding the perils of things that may share your air space, a four day Object Evaluation Course, looking at how to select optimum places from which to BASE Jump.
Also on offer is a Big Wall tracking course – located in Italy – it focuses on creating separation between the BASE Jumper and the JASE Object they’re leaping from. Finally, there’s also an Intermediate Big Wall tracking course, that specialises on the BASE Jumper creating distance between themselves and medium sized BASE Objects.
For more information see www.snakeriverbase.com
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