Is Wingsuit Flying Hard: Beginner's Guide | FlightNotch

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Key Takeaways

  • Wingsuit flying is dangerous and should be taken very seriously.
  • You should have at least 200 skydiving jumps under your belt before wingsuit flying; it’s even better if you have that many within the last 18 months.
  • After your 200 jumps, you should take classes with an expert instructor and learn everything you can before taking flight.
  • You should always follow all rules and regulations around diving, depending on what time of wingsuit flying you’re doing.

If you’re thinking about getting into wingsuit diving, you probably want to know how hard it is. Learn everything about getting started in this expert guide.

As one of the most dangerous and exciting sports out there, wingsuit flying is not to be taken lightly and it can be a challenge to learn. To effectively learn how to wingsuit fly, you should be an expert at skydiving with at least 200 jumps before even trying. From there, take classes to learn.

FlightNotch began with a focus on hang gliding, but has quickly expanded into the other extreme airsports that we have a passion for, including wingsuit flying. Arguably the single most exciting air sport of them all, getting into wingsuit diving is something more and more people are wanting to do. So we talked among ourselves and with other enthusiasts to figure out how hard it really is to get into. Let’s dive in.

Table of contents


What is Wingsuit Flying?

Before we can get into any of the exciting details about how hard (or easy!) wingsuit flying is, let's take a minute to make sure we're all on the same page about what wingsuit flying is. Like with many other extreme airs ports, some people tend to confuse wingsuit diving with other things, such as BASE jumping or even skydiving.

So what in wingsuit diving or wingsuit flying?

First of all, both of these things mean the same thing. It can be referred to as wingsuit flying, wingsuit diving, or even wingsuit jumping, but we're talking about the same sport. For the most part, we'll refer to it as wingsuit flying in this article and across the site. But what is it?

Wingsuit flying is a sport where you wear a special jumpsuit that has fabric between your legs and attached to your arms. This gives you a larger surface area, which allows you to glide through the air rather than just falling straight down like when you go skydiving. You can even reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour or more while wingsuit flying!

You typically jump out of either an aircraft or off a cliff or ledge (like in BASE jumping) while wearing your wingsuit. Then, you'll fly through the air for a little while, typically up to a few minutes, before deploying your parachute and gliding down to the ground.

Wingsuit flying is an incredibly exhilarating experience, but it's not for everyone. It takes a lot of skill and practice to be able to do it safely, which is why you should never just go for a solo wingsuit dive with no training.

Now that we've answered the question "what is wingsuit flying," let's move on to discuss how hard it is and what you need to know to get started.

Is Wingsuit Flying Hard?

Wingsuit flying is not an easy sport to pick up. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and practice to be able to do it safely. It is not a sport to be taken lightly. Many people who are new to the sport often ask how you can learn how to wingsuit fly. Once you know that, the question becomes how long it takes to learn how to wingsuit fly, and so on.

So let's dive in. Pun intended.

How Do You Learn to Wingsuit Fly?

Learning how to wingsuit fly is not something you can just do on your own. It's extremely dangerous to try to wingsuit dive without any training or experience. The best way to learn how to wingsuit fly is by starting off with skydiving. Even though there are major differences between the two sports, you have to be able to skydive before you can even think about cranking it up a notch and beginning your wingsuit flying.

There are many different types of skydiving courses available, but most of them will include both ground training and actual in-flight time. The ground training will cover things like how to properly put on and take off your wingsuit, how to control your body in the air, and how to safely land. You'll also get some time in the air with an instructor, which is important because it's the only way you'll be able to get a feel for what it's actually like to fly through the air in a wingsuit.

After you've completed a skydiving course, you'll want to continue skydiving. And continue....and continue. In fact, it's recommended that you make at least 200 jumps in an 18-month period before attempting your first wingsuit flying experience. If that sounds like a lot, that's because it is. But it's important to remember that this sport is extremely dangerous and you want to make sure you have the experience and skills necessary to do it safely before you attempt it.

Once you've made at least 200 jumps, you can start thinking about taking a wingsuit flying course. These courses are typically a few days long and begin with some ground training and information about the wingsuit and how it's worn, how you can control it, and everything else that you need to know about flying. Lastly, you should strongly consider hiring a wingsuit diving coach and then absorb all the information you can from them before taking to the skies.

Do You Need a License to go Wingsuit Flying?

This is one of the more controversial aspects of wingsuit flying, since most air sports -- like skydiving, hang gliding, or even just flying an airplane -- require you to have a license or certification of some sort. But due to the way wingsuit diving is done, you do not technically need a license or certification to do it. It's similar to BASE jumping, which is not regulated to nearly the same degree as something like skydiving.

But that's where the major delineation comes in. If you're going to be wingsuit diving from cliffs or high ledges like a BASE jumper, then you do not have to be licensed or certified, nor do you have to wear a reserve parachute. But if you're planning on jumping out of an airplane or any other type of aircraft, then you must follow the same regulations that surround solo skydiving, including certification and all the necessary gear.

Should You Learn How to Wingsuit Fly?

Now that you know how hard it is to learn how to wingsuit fly and what you need in order to do it safely, the next question becomes: should you even bother? Is it worth all the time, money, and energy that it takes to get started in this sport?

The answer is ultimately up to you. But if you have a desire to fly and a sense of adventure, then learning how to wingsuit fly might be something you want to consider. Just remember that it's important to take your time, start with skydiving, and make sure you have all the necessary experience before taking flight.

If you decide to go for it and give wingsuit flying a shot, enjoy! It's arguably the single most exciting air sport (or any sport really) in the world, and it'll likely give you an adrenaline rush unlike anything else you'll ever experience. So get out there, learn how to fly safely, and take to the skies!