Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 - 2010: a friendly wish and message

As new years eve crawls closer with every second, we see another amazing year come to an end. A year with many amazing things that happened. A year with sad things as well.

The discipline is growing, rapidly expanding. And we see many good things come from that. Something that really showed this past year.
Lots of new people coming to the sport. More and more coaching, instruction and general safety information becoming available everywhere. General skills and knowledge slowly expanding. Wingsuit development moving forward, step by step.
Pushing us more and more towards the flying dream that started it all.
Wingsuit formations, flown in shapes, sizes and numbers we didn't imagine doable a few years back. Flying distances we couldn't have imagined, doing aerobatics, trying new things and expanding the competitive disciplines. People flying with jet engines. Skimming rocks. Flying relative to canopies. Every few weeks, something new that amazes us. Every week new things that inspire us. New things that also help us grow, as they pull more enthousiastic people towards the nylon.

But as we grow in numbers, we sadly also see some of the negative effects.
The many videos online are also pushing and pulling people into our sport that seem to be in a rush. Not doing it for the road and experience, but merely wanting to reach the destination as soon as they can.
Making them aim to do things their experience levels don't always match.
Doing jumps they shouldn't be doing. Flying suits they shouldn't be flying. Just like the rapid growth freeflying experienced in the beginning, we do sometimes show the urge to run before we can walk, or dare I say sometimes didn't even master crawling.

Small growing pains. But pains we should always watch and be mind full of to not let complacency set it.

Regardless of your experience level. Be it zero, five or five-thousand wingsuit jumps. Never fear to speak up when it comes to safety.
And realise (and help raise general awareness in new flyers) that many of the amazing things everyone sees in photos and videos, sometimes came at a high price. A lot of the good flyers have honed their skills through hundreds, if not thousands of jumps. This past year we've seen many of the people that helped push the sport, and more specifically our discipline, get injured or worse.

We lost many great people this year. Some directly to our sport. Some to other sports or unplanned events. Sometimes preventable, sometimes not.
But regardless, people that lived and breathed flying. Sport only being a small word for something that means so much more to us all. A passion. A lifestyle. An obsession. A dream.

Its hard to look back, and see mistakes people made. Sometimes even worse to look back and actually see they did everything right, and still died.
Its a dangerous game we play. And though for everyone the reward seems more than worth the risk, that doesn't mean we can not do everything within our power to try and minimise that risk. And try making this sport (regardless if its BASE or Skydive) as safe as possible.

If there is one message I would wish everyone for the coming year. Its to make 2010 the year where you pay attention to the person next to you. Be it with a tip, check, warning or compliment. We are only a small group of friends, in a big big world. Lets all try and make this world a fun one, where everyone is the best he can be, in the safest possible way.

And one where is not the place where you go to read bad news, but the place where we get to read and write about the cool things, and see great videos on peoples accomplishments.

Everyone, have a safe new years eve.
And many, many beautiful, safe and incredible flights for 2010.


1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year!
    Very great recource, i wish that all your plans for 2010 have come true.