What Is A Wingsuit Jump? (Beginner's Guide) | FlightNotch

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Key Takeaways

  • Wingsuit jumping combines skydiving or BASE jumping with a specialized suit.
  • The wingsuit design allows pilots to glide, maneuver, and perform impressive stunts.
  • Safety is a priority in this extreme sport, requiring proper training and precautions.

Wingsuiting is one of the most exciting sports in the world, but many people don’t really know what it is. Learn what a wingsuit jump is in this expert guide.

Wingsuit jumping involves skydiving or BASE jumping while wearing a specially designed jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which generates lift and allows the wearer to glide through the air. It has revolutionized air sports by allowing jumpers to fly through the air at high speeds like never before.

I’ll be completely honest, when I first got into air sports like hang gliding and paragliding, I thought people who went wingsuit jumping were flat-out crazy. But after years of learning more about it, I realized how exciting it must be to fly through the air like that. I hope that when you’re done with this article, you know everything about what wingsuit jumping is so you might consider giving it a shot yourself.

Table of contents


Complete Guide to What is a Wingsuit Jump

Wingsuit jumping is an exhilarating sport that combines elements of skydiving and BASE jumping. In a wingsuit jump, you wear a specially designed jumpsuit called a wingsuit, which has webbed surfaces between your arms, legs, and body. These surfaces increase your surface area, allowing you to glide through the air rather than just free-falling.

When you take part in a wingsuit jump, you'll typically start by skydiving out of an airplane or BASE jumping from a fixed structure like a cliff or building. As you exit the plane or structure, your wingsuit will increase your lift, enabling you to glide forward and experience what it's like to fly.

You can control the direction and speed of your flight by changing the angle and shape of your wingsuit. By arching your back and adjusting the position of your arms and legs, you'll be able to maneuver through the air, making your wingsuit jump an exciting and thrilling experience.

It's important to understand that wingsuit jumping is an extreme sport that requires a certain level of experience and skill. Before attempting a wingsuit jump, you should have a solid background in skydiving or BASE jumping.

If you're new to these sports, consider starting with tandem skydiving, where you'll be securely attached to an experienced instructor as you learn the ropes. No matter how experienced you are, all wingsuit pilots should adhere to skydiving disciplines and be aware of their surroundings and any risks at all times.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when taking part in any extreme sport, including wingsuit jumping. Make sure you receive proper training from a certified instructor and invest in high-quality equipment to ensure your wingsuit jump is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

In summary, a wingsuit jump is an amazing experience that combines the elements of skydiving and BASE jumping with the unique sensation of flight. With proper training, equipment, and respect for safety, you can join the community of wingsuit flyers and experience the thrill of human flight for yourself!

Types of Wingsuit Jumps

There are various types of wingsuit jumps that you can try, depending on your experience and skill level. Let's briefly explore some of the most popular ones you might encounter.

Skydiving with Wingsuits

Skydiving with Wingsuit
Skydiving with Wingsuit

When you think of wingsuit jumps, the first thing that might come to your mind is skydiving. In this case, you gear up with a wingsuit and jump from an aircraft. You fly horizontally at high speeds and execute acrobatic maneuvers, making the most of the wingsuit's capabilities.

After enjoying your wingsuit skydive, you deploy your parachute and descend safely back to Earth. Wingsuit skydiving is a lot like regular skydiving at first as you make a parachute jump out of any aircraft, but then everything changes once you’re soaring through the skies!

Wingsuit BASE Jumping

Wingsuit BASE Jumping
Wingsuit BASE Jumping

BASE jumping stands for Building, Antenna, Span (bridge), and Earth (cliffs). It's an extreme sport where you jump off a fixed object while wearing a wingsuit. This type of wingsuit jumping demands precise techniques and calculated risks as you fly in close proximity to the ground and other objects. To partake in wingsuit BASE jumping, you're required to have considerable prior experience in skydiving and wingsuit flying.

Proximity Flying

Proximity Flying
Proximity Flying

Proximity flying, also known as wingsuit proximity flying, involves flying close to the ground or other solid structures like cliffsides and trees. It presents a greater challenge and higher risk due to the need to navigate tightly around obstacles while maintaining control of your flight. This type of wingsuit jump is recommended only for experienced and highly skilled wingsuit pilots.

In conclusion, if you're interested in wingsuit jumps, it's essential to understand the differences between each type and the skills necessary to participate safely. Always begin with the basics, like skydiving with wingsuits, and work your way up to more advanced jumps like wingsuit BASE jumping and proximity flying as you gain experience and build your skills.

Components of A Wingsuit

As you embark on your wingsuit jumping adventure, it's essential to understand the various components that make up a wingsuit. These elements play a crucial role in ensuring both the safety and the exhilarating experience associated with wingsuit flying.

Let's dive into the primary components of a wingsuit.



The foundation of your wingsuit jump, a wingsuit is a specially designed jumpsuit with fabric wings connecting your arms and body, and between your legs. These wings are made of durable and lightweight materials, such as nylon, which inflate as you fly, allowing you to glide through the air horizontally and control your movements.



Your head is, without a doubt, one of the most critical parts of your body to protect during a wingsuit jump. A sturdy helmet specifically designed for skydiving or BASE jumping helps shield your head from potential impacts, ensuring that you remain safe throughout your jump.

Parachuting Equipment

Parachuting Equipment
Parachuting Equipment

Despite the impressive horizontal flights achieved by wingsuits, a parachute is still the primary method for landing safely back on the ground. It's vital to have a reliable, well-maintained parachute system, which usually includes a main and a reserve parachute, a harness, and a container.

Gear & Accessories

Gear & Accessories
Gear & Accessories

Along with the significant components, you will also need some essential gear and accessories to optimize your wingsuit jumping experience. These can include an altimeter (to measure altitude), an audible altimeter (which alerts you when it's time to deploy your parachute), and goggles (or a visor) to protect your eyes from the wind.

Now that you know the essential components of a wingsuit, you're well on your way to understanding how this extraordinary equipment enables incredible flights and thrilling experiences. Always prioritize safety, maintain your gear, and seek proper training to ensure you get the most out of your wingsuit jumps. Happy flying!

The Science Behind Wingsuit Flying

Welcome to the world of wingsuit flying! In this exhilarating sport, you'll be using a specially designed suit to glide through the air and experience a sense of human flight. Let's dive into the science behind this thrilling activity and learn how it all works.

To begin, your wingsuit is specifically designed to increase your surface area, which in turn helps generate lift. Lift is essential in wingsuit flying, as it counteracts the force of gravity and enables you to maintain altitude. The suit achieves this by creating an airfoil shape, similar to that of an airplane wing, which generates lift as air passes over it.

When wearing a wingsuit, the key to maintaining both altitude and forward speed lies in striking the perfect balance between lift and drag. Drag is the force of air resistance that opposes your motion and slows you down. By controlling your body position and adjusting the angle of attack—how the airfoil meets the oncoming airflow—you can find the sweet spot that maximizes lift while minimizing drag. This balance is crucial for achieving the best possible glide ratio, which is the ratio of forward distance traveled to the altitude lost.

As you soar through the sky, you'll need to manage your speed and glide ratio to reach your desired landing point. Typically, wingsuit flyers can achieve forward speeds of up to 100 mph (160 km/h) and maintain a glide ratio of roughly 2.5:1. This means that for every 2.5 meters of horizontal distance covered, you'll lose 1 meter in altitude. Remember, maintaining an efficient glide ratio is important for optimizing your flight time and covering more ground.

In summary, wingsuit flying is all about harnessing the principles of lift, speed, altitude, forward speed, human flight, airfoil, drag, and glide ratio. By mastering these concepts and honing your skills, you'll be able to glide through the air like a bird and experience the thrill of human flight. So grab your wingsuit and get ready for an adventure that defies gravity and pushes the limits of what's possible!

Wingsuit Pilot and Training

As a wingsuit flyer, your journey starts with a strong foundation in skydiving. You'll begin by taking a skydiving First Jump Course and work towards earning your solo skydiving license. Gaining wingsuit flying experience requires several steps to ensure you are well-prepared.

Before diving into the world of wingsuits, you need to gather ample skydiving experience under your belt. Typically, this means completing at least 200 skydives. The skydiving experience is crucial as it helps you understand vital aspects like navigation, body position, and gear handling, all of which will benefit you when transitioning to wingsuit flying.

Once you feel confident in your skydiving abilities, you can enroll in a Wingsuit First Flight Course (FFC). This course provides you with the required training and coaching to make your first jump while wearing a wingsuit. You'll learn crucial techniques, such as opening the wings after exiting the aircraft, maintaining a neutral position, and interpreting hand signals from your instructor during flight.

The initial wingsuit "First Flight" course is highly recommended for beginners as it ensures you already have a foundational knowledge of flying a tracking suit, which could aid in your future development. Tracking suits can give you an idea of the difference in range when using good body position versus regular jumps without an inflatable suit.

To progress even further as a wingsuit flyer, you can seek intermediate and advanced wingsuit courses like the NEXT LEVEL flight courses. These provide a more structured approach than regular coaching sessions, allowing you to hone your skills and techniques to soar through the mountains using nothing but air and physics to control your flight.

Remember, learning to become a wingsuit pilot takes time, dedication, and proper instruction. With patience and persistence, you can turn your dream of human flight into reality.

Safety Measures in Wingsuit Jumping

Wingsuit jumping can be an exhilarating experience, but it's crucial to prioritize safety when participating in this extreme sport. By following these safety measures, you can minimize potential risks.

First and foremost, ensure that your equipment is in top condition. Regularly inspect your wingsuit, parachute, and other gear for any wear and tear. Your parachute is a vital component for a safe landing, so never cut corners on maintenance.

Attend regular training sessions and follow guidelines provided by experienced instructors. Wingsuit jumping requires a strong foundation of knowledge and continuous skill development. As you gain experience, you'll become more familiar with best practices for avoiding and handling emergencies.

It's important to choose appropriate locations and weather conditions. Avoid busy airspace, and seek out designated spots for wingsuit jumping where the risks of collisions, terrain hazards, and wind-related issues are minimized. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to postpone jumps if conditions are unfavorable.

During your jump, be mindful of the altitude and height at which you are flying. Knowing when to deploy your parachute or canopy is crucial, as it ensures a safe descent to the ground. Always have a predetermined altitude for deployment and establish a strict emergency plan in case things don't go as planned.

Observe the following tips to increase safety:

  • Know your limits and never push yourself beyond your skill level.
  • Regularly practice emergency procedures, like cutaway and reserve deployments.
  • Jump with a group or experienced buddy to provide guidance and support.
  • Keep a clear head and remain focused during your flight.

By taking these safety measures into account and prioritizing responsible participation, you can mitigate the risks associated with wingsuit jumping and continue to enjoy the thrill of soaring through the sky.

Advanced Wingsuit Techniques

In this section, we'll focus on advanced wingsuit techniques that can help you refine your flying skills and maximize your performance in the air. Be prepared for an exciting challenge as you take your wingsuit flying to the next level!

One advanced technique you should master is tracking. By adjusting your body's position in freefall, you can control the horizontal distance you travel. This is achieved by spreading your arms and legs and directing your body's movement through the air. Mastering tracking enables you to cover significant distances while maintaining a safe altitude.

Wind tunnels are fantastic training tools for practicing advanced wingsuit techniques with the added benefit of a controlled environment. With the assistance of powerful fans, you can simulate the sensation of freefall and practice various maneuvers without leaving the ground.

Another critical aspect of wingsuit flying is understanding the terminal velocity to optimize your performance. Terminal velocity is the maximum speed you'll reach during freefall, and it's affected by several factors, including body position, wingsuit design, and air density. By adjusting these variables and refining your flying posture, you can significantly influence your glide ratio and the duration of your flight.

When it comes to advanced wingsuit techniques, dealing with turbulence is essential. Turbulence might cause instability in your flight, so it's important to remain relaxed and flexible, adapting your body position and movements as necessary. Practicing in various conditions and adjusting to the constantly changing air currents will make you a more versatile and skilled wingsuit pilot.

Remember, advanced wingsuit techniques require a thorough understanding of the fundamentals and extensive experience. With dedication, practice, and focused attention on these specific skills, you'll soon master the art of wingsuit flying. Good luck on your journey!

Different Wingsuit Designs

When you're looking into wingsuit jumping, it's essential to understand that there are various wingsuit designs to choose from. Each design offers unique features and benefits depending on your needs and experience level.

One popular type is the squirrel suit, which is designed for maximum glide efficiency and increased air time. It operates by shaping your body into an airfoil through the use of webbed fabric sewn between your legs and under your arms. This airfoil structure creates lift and helps you glide through the air like a flying squirrel.

Another well-known design is the birdman suit, which is more suitable for advanced wingsuit jumpers. They have a more extensive surface area than the squirrel suits, which allows for higher maneuverability and more precise control during flight. On top of that, birdman suits provide an added level of stability and speed.

In both squirrel and birdman suits, air inlets play a crucial role. These inlets, located on the leading edge of the wings, allow air to flow into the wings' chambers, creating the necessary lift and keeping you gliding smoothly through the sky. Proper positioning and functioning of air inlets are critical to ensure a safe and enjoyable wingsuit jumping experience.

While wingsuit technology has come a long way from its inception, you might still come across some unconventional designs such as wingsuits made out of cardboard boxes or steel. These designs are more often a result of experimental creativity and are not recommended for actual wingsuit jumping.

No matter which design you choose, it's essential to research and understand the unique characteristics and capabilities of the wingsuit before attempting any jumps. As your skills progress, you might even want to explore different designs to see which one suits your preferences and flying style best. Always remember, safety should be your top priority when taking part in wingsuit jumping.


In your journey of exploring wingsuit jumps, you've learned about its history, techniques, and the thrill it brings to those brave enough to conquer the skies. Now that you have a better understanding of this extreme sport, you can appreciate the dedication and skill required to become a wingsuit jumper.

Remember to always prioritize safety when embarking on any adventure sport, including wingsuit jumping. Achieving success in this area takes time, practice, and patience, so be prepared for a challenging yet rewarding journey.

Finally, enjoy the exhilarating feeling of freedom and flight that wingsuit jumping offers. That first wingsuit skydive is seriously one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It’s something that you’ll never forget.

Keep learning, stay curious, and who knows — one day, you might find yourself soaring through the sky like a bird, experiencing the ultimate adrenaline rush.