"It's a choice I've made, making people who care about me worry."
December 12, 2013 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Split of a Second is an eight and a half minute youtube video about wingsuit flying and a practitioner of the art.
posted by jason's_planet (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Are there wingsuit flyers that don't get off on making other people say, "look at that guy"? I'm really asking, because the daredevil and adrenaline junky are just totally not in my nature and I'm genuinely curious as to their mindset.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:35 AM on December 12, 2013

Worried is right.

I don't know if this is usual for the sport or for parachuting in general, but I noticed most of the wingsuit accidents reported by Wiki were in 2013. There were three of them, including Mark Sutton, the guy that parachuted into the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony as James Bond.

Wikipedia said he was traveling at 125 mph when he crashed.
posted by FJT at 11:40 AM on December 12, 2013

Are there wingsuit flyers that don't get off on making other people say, "look at that guy"?

I believe so. "Hey look at me" is a big part of it, but the main thrill comes from the experience itself. Most of these jumps are done with few or no spectators.

(former jumper - not crazy enough to ever base jump)
posted by aturoff at 11:42 AM on December 12, 2013

Whenever I see video of a wingsuit the term "Pants-shittingly awesome" comes to mind. I wish to hell I was doing it but there's no way in hell I would do it.

Bookmarked for later pants shitting.
posted by bondcliff at 12:03 PM on December 12, 2013

Also see the excellent Channel 4 doc The Men Who Jump Off Buildings, featuring top UK base jumper/wingsuit flyer Dan Witchalls.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2013

Are there wingsuit flyers that don't get off on making other people say, "look at that guy"?

I think more often it's the rush of doing something that's normally considered impossible (flying!). There's some really good insight into that stuff in another wingsuit flick called Birdmen- it's streaming on netflix and has some pretty breathtaking (or breathholding) flight shots and a lot of good interview footage.
posted by Dr. Zachary Smith at 2:22 PM on December 12, 2013

I saw this when the Banff Mountain Film Fest came through town. It was pretty cool watching some of the flying on a movie screen - it really makes you appreciate how fast these guys are going.
posted by sauril at 4:27 PM on December 12, 2013

I read the quote as "It's a choice I've made, [and this choice I have made for various reasons has another effect] making people who care about me worry."

Some extreme people do their extreme thing for attention, or to prove themselves as compared to other people (with the subset of people who feel they represent tribe X and must prove that tribe X is the superior tribe and the rest of us are wrong). However, most often it seems to me that this extreme thing is just the thing they want to do.

There's also evolution. If you do some skydiving, then skydiving is normal. Then base jumping is a step, just a step. And then you look for what's next. To me, wingsuit flying is beyond the pale. To someone who has been long acclimated to freefalling, perhaps wingsuit flying is not such a leap.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:34 PM on December 14, 2013

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