We’re wishing GOOD LUCK to Langar team member Ryan today as he embarks on his first FAI Wingsuit Performance World Cup, taking place this week in the Czech Republic.
Ryan is representing Great Britain in the wingsuit performance advanced category in which he will be judged in three criteria – speed, distance and time.
While we eagerly await the first round scores and send Ryan all of our positive vibes, here’s a post to explain exactly what’s going on and what we can expect to see as this international event unfolds…
First things first… what is wingsuiting?
Wingsuiting is a skydiving discipline which is regularly named by new skydivers as one of their main ambitions. Flying in a winged suit – sometimes known as a ‘squirrel suit’, skydivers achieve horizonal distance while minimising vertical descent, making for longer skydives and probably the most true simulation of real human flight.
Wingsuiting can be done out of a plane, or you may have seen it done as part of BASE jumping, too (where participants jump off a cliff or high structure). In either case, the skill and qualifications needed to wingsuit are many and great.
If you’re a skydiver thinking of getting into wingsuiting, it’s worth noting that you’ll need at least a British Skydiving C licence and 500 jumps. Find out more here.
Competitive wingsuiting is a growing art in the UK, but at the top level is still very much reserved for the most highly skilled flyers. With high entry criteria and even higher skill levels required to excel, qualification for international events takes a lot of work and dedication.
The qualification criteria for this World Cup were set by British Skydiving and took into account the results of the British Wingsuiting National Championships in 2022. The top athletes were invited to represent the country at this world competition.
By competing, athletes like Ryan will be judged on three key criteria:
You can learn more about each of these in this post.
Your journey to competitive wingsuiting
The best place to start your own journey to competitive wingsuiting is – as with most things – at the beginning!
If you feel inspired by athletes like Ryan to give it a go, you’ll need to start by building your foundation skills as a skydiver. Completion of your initial training and achievement of your skydiving licence are just the beginning; from here, you’ll need to build your flying skills through learning disciplines like FS (formation skydiving – belly to earth skydiving involving flying relative to other people and enhancing your own personal flying skills) and angle flying / tracking (forward movement across the ground).
You’ll also need to gain experience more broadly as a member of the skydiving community. Ability to successfully navigate, to understand the conditions of the day and to stay safe in the environment are integral to progression in any discliple and arguably more so in an advanced discipline like wingsuiting.
Fortunately, athletes like Ryan are on hand at Langar to provide coaching. If you’re an experienced jumper wanting to get into wingsuiting, or you’re just starting out and want to know more, find Ryan at the DZ or contact him directly through his social channels. You can also email our office if you’re struggling to find him.
Good luck Ryan!
As with any time a member of our team goes to compete in skydiving, we’re incredibly proud and wish Ryan all the very best of luck. We’ll be cheering for you!
Remember, this week is also the World Cup of Formation Skydiving in Voss, Norway, featuring a number of the Langar staff and fun jumpers. Good luck all!