Archive for the ‘base jumping’ Category

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We’re moving to our new domain!!!

July 9, 2009

So exciting, we have finally matured from a blog to a website! I feel so grown-up! Please don’t desert us, follow this link and we’ll continue where we left off…

www.xtremesport4u.com

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Banging on about High Diving and extreme sports rules and regulations

April 24, 2009

This is becoming an exhaustive subject! Sorry. But apologies again for some more mis-information…

We recently reported on Dana Kunze’ 172 ft dive as being the highest dive in the world. We thought that was pretty extreme.

We were then corrected and told that it was actually Oliver Favre who held the title with a 177 ft dive. Also extreme.

And then Dana Kunze himself has set the record straight for us….

Yes, it is perfectly correct that Oliver Farve completed a dive of 177 ft. However, he sustained injuries – in fact he broke his back – and the rule of the game is that you are disqualified if you are injured in this sport.

Therefore… it is Dana Kunze who holds the title and achievement of being the World’s Highest Diver.

If you are an avid reader of our Blog (which we sincerely hope you are) you might remember  similar rules in another extreme sport we follow with interest – freediving.

Although Sara Campbell completed an incredible 100m constant weight depth dive – the first woman to have attained this remarkable depth, she briefly blacked out as she broke the surface and was therefore disqualified. She completed the competition with a successful 96m dive – still a world record breaker.  littlefreediver

There are rules that are put in place to try and protect competitors from doing themselves a damage.

There have been many debates  over regulating thrill-seeking ”extreme sports’ – Freediving and High diving, to name but two, have imposed their own strict rules.

Lawmakers in Switzerland have been  pushing for laws regulating fate-tempting sports, which often involve inexperienced participants, but passing such laws, whether involving caving, canyoning, paragliding, ice climbing or bungee jumping, has proved difficult in Switzerland, even in the face of several disasters in recent years.

The problem is  people do extreme sports because it gives them a feeling of freedom – an escape from the nanny state we all live in. If everything became too regimented one risks pushing these people toward activities that are even less controlled.

You might have heard of the BASEjumping accident at Table Mountain, Cape Town on Friday? It seems that South Africa has a remarkably sympathetic and sensible attitude to extreme sports enthusiasts and this accident has drawn it into focus. Would the rest of the world could listen and learn…

Base jumper Karl Hayden sustained minor injuries after his canopy malfunctioned as he leapt off Table Mountain on Friday. Rescue workers spent several hours combing the mountainside before airlifting Hayden to safety, the Cape Times reported. Hayden was lucky; despite multiple fractures — wrist, rib, femur and pelvis — the Capetonian managed to avoid a spinal injury, the daily reported.

That was the situation.

And the shout that goes out worldwide saying “aren’t people like Karl Hayden wasting rescue services time and money by doing a sport that is inherently dangerous? Why should rescue survices then put themselves in danger by trying to rescue these foolhardy idiots?”

Well, the response in South Africa was calm, measured and sensible. Wayne Smith, deputy director of Metro Medical Services, South Africa, agrees that although there are risks involved, extreme sports will continue despite any attempt at regulating the activity.

“Extreme sports are always going to be around. Extreme sports are risky but society needs to give people who enjoy those types of activities the necessary space to do so,” said Smith.

Mountain rescue worker, Roy White, says he has no problem in helping those who put themselves in harm’s way.

“It’s part of my job. Most of us are quite happy to help them. Where do you draw the line from an accident to an attempted suicide? Everyone who uses the mountain faces a certain amount of risk.”

If regulations were brought in, the feeling is that very quickly most extreme sports enthusiasts would find a way to circumnavigate them. Banning a sport in a certain area would only make things worse because they would go ahead and do it anyway and that would make things even more difficult for rescue services.

It seems rescue workers and extreme sports enthusiasts reach a stalemate when it comes to regulating the sport. But perhaps the last word belongs to basic common sense.

“We can’t regulate the sport but we could advise them to leave contact details with someone. It all comes down to educating people about good mountain use,” said White. And that sort of prosaicness is comforting and oh-so sensible.

Anyway, what has happened to freedom of choice? I am not advocating that you go out there and so something so ludicrously stupid that the result is death. But, if you do an extreme sport, you are obviously aware of the risks, are you not? And having evaluated that and decided to continue, then that, surely, is your choice, is it not? and having taken that decision, you are not likely to be the type of person to squeal if something goes wrong… are you?

If you are aware of the dangers before you begin, you can’t then cry “but nobody told me…”

The problem is that we are being so conditioned by over zealous governments as to ‘what to, how to, when to… do anything’, that if anything goes wrong one instantly hears  “it’s not my fault., it must be yours'”. I think for this very reason a chunk of society, in a last ditch attempt of having some control and decision over their own lives, take to an extreme sport where they decide on a sport, learn the art and then make their own decisions and no-one can tell them what to do…

What do you think?

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2009 Nissan Outdoor Games – extreme

February 20, 2009

The second edition of the Nissan Outdoor Extreme Winter Games are happening right now in Chamonix.

5 international teams of extreme  sporting professionals have, this week,  been climbing, freeriding, BASE jumping, wingsuit flying and paragliding their way around the valley in an attempt to make the most impressive extreme sports short film.

Do you know what the Nissan Outdoor Games is all about? Here’s a quick video from OutdoorGamesTV to remind you…

The films will combine the skills of the individual athletes as well as the creative talents of the film crew that they work with.

Chamonix, the death-sport capital of the world as it has been described in the past, is the perfect backdrop for Nissan’s second games . This quote, from someone who lived in and loved Chamonix many many years ago, personifies Nissan’s quest:

“The great object of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even        though in pain; it is this craving void which drives us…” Lord Byron

The results will be displayed on a giant screen in the Outdoor Games Village  in the Tourist Office square today, Friday 20th, and Saturday 21st February, and prizes will be awarded for Best Sport’s Sequence, Best Photography and Jury’s Special Award.

There will also be an opportunity to talk to the experts themselves or try your hand at ice climbing, slack-rope walking and the climbing wall.

On Saturday there will also be two air shows combining BASE jumping, wingsuit flying, speed flying, acro-paragliding and hang gliding. The first one will take place at mid-day on the Aiguille du Midi and the second will be above the Grands Montets ski area at 3pm.

Cham will be at her best – difficult when lovers of Chamonix say she is ALWAYS at her best, but Cham has it all this weekend, and with the fantastic snow conditions that Europe has had this season, this year’s films should capture some amazing images of the valley and surrounding regions.

This was the Ride The Planets winner last year, again thanks to OutdoorGamesTV for posting it:

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American squirrel man escapes jail sentence

January 24, 2009

We have often written about Jeb Corliss, one of the most celebrated and well known names in the world of base jumping and wingsuit flying , who in April 2006 was arrested while attempting to jump off the Empire State Building in New York. Earlier this week Corliss, 32, of Malibu, California, received probation and community service for his thwarted stunt.

He was convicted of reckless endangerment in December. Prosecutors argued he could have caused injuries by jumping, despite his claims to have studied traffic patterns around the foot of the 102-storey tourist attraction.

The skydiver could have faced up to a year in prison for the offence. The judge, Thomas Farber, said he received letters from Raymond Kelly, New York City Police Department commissioner, and the Empire State Building owners asking for a jail term for Corliss.

Mr Farber, however, rejected the suggestion, saying, “I simply don’t find it warranted in this case.” He added that in all his years as a prosecutor and a judge presiding over murder, rape and other cases, he had never received a letter from a high-ranking police official asking for a specific kind of sentence.

“From some of the letters I received, you would have thought the defendant tried to commit a terrorist act,” the judge said. Mr Farber sentenced Corliss, who had no prior criminal record, to three years’ probation and 100 hours community service, which he said the Californian could complete in his home state.

Corliss has made more than 1,000 safe jumps in countries all around the world including Japan, Russia, France and Malaysia.

Regular readers of this blog will know that Corliss is attempting to be the first man to land on earth, with only a wingsuit and no parachute, and to survive, and then go up and do it again. Details of how this will be achieved are top secret but we do understand that a special landing strip is being designed, somehow to be suspended in the air, which Corliss will have to fly to with pinpoint accuracy.

OMG – sure sounds tough – good luck Jeb.

Below is a video from wingsuitflyer which gives an update on the wingsuit landing project and as its coming up to a year since that release any further news would be greatly received. As for Corliss’s escape from imprisonment – well thank goodness Judge Farber used his great common sense – Corliss is no criminal.

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World record base jump from world’s tallest building

November 22, 2008

The Burj Tower in Dubai will, when finished, be the world’s tallest building. How tall is that? Not sure. It currently stands at over 650 metres, or over 2,132 feet but architect William Baker from SOM is not letting the cat out of the bag until construction is finished, scheduled for 2011.

If, as speculation suggests, the tower is over 800 metres , 2,624 feet, it will be four times higher than London’s Gherkin and nearly twice as high as New York’s Empire State building. The trouble is when you build something that tall – for a base jumper or wingsuit flyer, it is like putting a carrot in front of a donkey. It just has to be done.

In May 2008, in the early hours of the morning, two men, one from France and the other from Britain, entered the building dressed as engineers. Security and workers presumed they were part of the construction team. They decided not to risk using the lifts and so climbed the stairs to the 160th floor, it took them an hour and 15 minutes, and then waited for dawn.

Everything was set,  they launched themselves from the world’s tallest building, as Herve says ‘ What is always the best is the first time!!’, and they were the first – watch the video below to see their story and their flight – thank you mazen2k for the video.

As a side note it is worth mentioning that the planned 1,600 metre building, that was to be built in Moscow, has been stopped due to the economic crisis.

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The wingsuit landing project

November 17, 2008

Inspired by the flight of a flying squirrel Jeb Corliss will attempt to be the first man to land from a wingsuit flight without deploying a parachute. Although details of the landing structure are top secret we do know that Corliss is going to have to master the art of precision flying.

Jumping from an aircraft Corliss will reach terminal velocity, about 120mph, and then aim for what is called a ‘gateway’, which is further described as 20 feet by 20 feet, no other details have been released. He will need to be controlled and accurate as he does intend to get up, walk away and do it all over again.

If successful it will be a fist for mankind; at the moment Corliss is practicing his flying proximity skills and control of his wingsuit whilst airborne, and attempting to raise the $2.0 million required to build the landing structure.

We will keep you posted of any developments – below is a video from wingsuitflying of Corliss’ preparations

And the inspiration – here is a short clip from moconservation of the flying squirrel, which as the commentator says ‘don’t really fly, they glide…….the only mammal to truly fly is a bat’………maybe it was Bruce Wayne who first truly inspired Corliss!

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About as hard core as it gets

November 17, 2008

The final installment of the Jeb Corliss story – this video from excalibour88 shows Corliss basejumping from that same bridge, over the Royal River Gorge, just a year after his buddy Dwain Weston had his final fatal journey and crashed into the bridge being killed immediately.

Flipping in different directions, forwards and backwards, Corliss seemed to lose control as he nearly hit the canyon wall – in his own words, ‘I was as close to the wall as you can get without touching it…..if I had pulled (the parachute) a second later I would have gone in’.

Corliss goes on to talk about his view and opinion of both base jumping and life, ‘it is who we are, it is what we are, if I die doing something i love it is not throwing my life away………I don’t believe you can push life too far, if you stop pushing you become stagnant and die……you must evolve…….find what it is you love to do then go do it.’

Powerful words from a man who certainly follows in his own creed. Who knows where or how the story will end. We started this series of blogs reporting that Jeb Corliss wanted to be the first man to land from a wingsuit flight without deploying a parachute, tomorrow we will bring further news on this latest venture.