Sunday, July 5, 2009

Brian Drake - EU Basetour 2009

Brian Drake just posted a series of 10 videos on his Vimeo account, as a video diary of his European BASE trip last month,

Check it out!

Euro Base 2009

Leaving the nest

Almost Ready

Messin' with the cows

One foot after another

The Crew

Getting closer

BASE (anaglyph 3D)

Full disclosure



  1. Nice Videos...but show a little respect for where you are.
    If you cant deal with linetwists or opening your zippers before landing....its easy , just pull a bit higher.
    Every incident in this place erodes the relationship between the locals / rescue services and the jumpers.......and you had more than a couple of potentially lethal incidents.
    I appreciate you are from the states and this is not a regular place for you,so you might not care....but plenty of people do care about coming here regularly and don't want the bad practices of others to risk putting that in jeopardy.
    Well done on not getting hurt bad, dealing with your incidents anyhow, and nice videos.

  2. Hey Anonymous,

    I think you're being a bit harsh. I approached the Valley with total respect. I went out of my way to be a good ambassador for the sport and was kind and friendly to every local and tourist I came across.

    The one time I accidentally pissed off a farmer, I bought him a bottle of wine and did my best to apologize. The continued open access to the Valley is certainly something I care about. Being American has nothing to do with it.

    I'm new to BASE and still have lots to learn. "Pull a bit higher" is obvious advice, but as I'm just learning terminal BASE, my visual altimeter (my eyes) was still developing and I made some misjudgments during the learning process. Rather than pretend they didn't happen, I posted them publicly to 1) humble myself 2) show BASE isn't just sexy videos where no-one gets hurt 3) hopefully help people learn from my experiences instead of learning the hard way themselves.

    Though I'll admit to being slightly aggressive, I don't consider myself careless. I certainly don't want to get hurt or die, so the mistakes I made were simply that, mistakes. BASE is dangerous and bad stuff happens. I work as hard as I can to learn and prepare myself to avoid the "bad stuff" as much as possible. And I don't take it lightly when I have a near-brush with injury/death. I'm very grateful and try to learn from it.

  3. ...continued

    don't misunderstand (if you have) hoots and laughter after a near miss for carelessness and amusement. That was just my instinctive way of releasing tension and being thrilled to be in one piece and alive.

  4. In Skydiving I can untwist by useing one armwing to counter the turn and by that can turn out of a twist with the wings still on.
    Is that possible in BASE as well, or is the canopy's forward speed not enough?

  5. Benedikt,

    Anything is possible if you're skilled. I'm just not skilled.

    Also, BASE openings are MUCH faster (in my experience), so the snivel time in skydiving where you can determine the line twists are happening and start to counter them is much less in BASE. I've only had line twists in BASE twice (both shown in the "Full Disclosure" video) and both times I pitched, BAM - open, instant spin. Since I was low in both cases, I was more concerned with getting my arms free (unzipping as that's more practiced that finding and pulling the wing cutaways) then trying to use my wings to any effect. And perhaps you're right too, the forward speed of my BASE canopy is much slower, so I wouldn't expect the same benefit from using arm wings to cup air after deployment.

    Oh well... here I am trying to defend my screw ups when that was very point of showing them, to admit them as screw ups.

    Just remember, when you watch a sick BASE video the person you are watching has never ever made a mistake. They're just sexy and perfect and have always been that way. I'm the only accident-waiting-to-happen in BASE and I should leave the sport to those more qualified and cool. ;)