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Wingsuit

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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mono

New Member
Nov 25, 2003
2
0
0
Does anyone know if a kind of wingsuit exists for freediving? I am thinking about s.th. like this:
piece_00000001_1784479022x01.jpg

Stiffer of course.

If there's no such thing, why is it so? Will it not work? Such suit could give you a Manta-like feeling...
 

bluecape

Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
574
164
83
Hey Mono

The pic is the 'Birdman' wingsuit, manufactured for skydiving by a Finnish guy called Jari Kuosma.
Interesting concept, but cannot see it working for diving, just too much surface area and too little speed. It only starts working in a skydive once you have picked up enough speed for the wing to start generating 'lift'.

Welcome to DB.

Jeff
 

Roan

Deeper Blue Wayfarer
Jul 12, 2003
168
37
28
That's the great thing about freediving. You don't need a suit like that. The water does it for you; once you hit neutral buoyancy you really start to fly (downward)!

I've seen those suits in action though, they're pretty cool. We show the Warren Miller film here in my theatre every December and one year it showed those guys jumping off huge cliffs/mountains. Just when you think they're going to splat on the ground, they've gained enough speed and they literally fly down into the valleys. I'm not sure I even remember them ever pulling their ripcords.

Welcome to DB
 

mono

New Member
Nov 25, 2003
2
0
0
I came up with the idea while monodiving because your arms are pretty much useless then. A suit like that would be a good opportunity to use your arms as well for generating speed - like mantas or penguins. Well, at least that's what I thought.
So, the parallel with the skydiving suit is just its design not the functionality (I guess the skydivers don't flap their 'wings'... ;) )
 

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
72
118
Mono,

Your debut post is actually a pretty good idea and in our neck of the woods we do something similar that we call "rock-luging". Basically, we grab a large, flat rock -- up to 100 lbs and jump off an underwater cliff that comes close to the surface (close enough that you can stand on the edge). When you point the rock downward, you drop at an amazing speed. However, once you are going pretty fast, you can actually glide on a relatively flat trajectory. The "flight" is controlled by angling the rock, pulling it under your body or extending it away, angling your fins etc. (all very intuitive). Equalizing is hard unless you can eq hands free and there were times that I had to let go of the rock in order to equalize.

The glide-plane is better than 2:1 -- maybe up to 3:1.

JerseyJim is definitely the king of all rock-lugers because he can eq hands-free, but this summer he leaped out of the stone age and into the new millennium when he bought an Apollo scooter. I still occationally revert to the old-school approach though ;).
 

The111

Shallow Water Whiteout
May 29, 2004
155
29
118
Woa... thread revival!

I just had to post to this thread, no matter how old it is, because it just so happens that freediving and wingsuits are two of my favorite things! I was doing a Google search for something about wingsuits and saw a DB URL in the results and flipped out to find out that wingsuits had been discussed on these boards. :) I've been flying wingsuits for two years now and have met and jumped with Jari, the owner of Bird-man, who was mentioned earlier in this thread.

Last summer my favorite thing to do was go make a few jumps on a Saturday in DeLand with my suit (20 minutes from the famous Blue Springs), then go freedive Blue Springs at sunset. As I was sinking vertically through a very narrow rock channel, using my body position and fins to follow the "S" shaped contour of the vertical drop, I remember thinking how I was doing the same thing with my body in the air just hours ago (controlling glide angle), and wondering if anyone could possibly understand this comparison! I actually have met one other very accomplished wingsuit pilot who says he used to freedive way back when but isn't interested anymore. Both such small sports, it's hard to find someone who does both!

And Pez (hi Mike), that rock-luger thing is a cool idea, never thought of that.

Although I will say, I have been following the "subsurfing" threads recently with a lot of interest as that sport seems to combine ALL my passions (freediving, skyflying, and surfing). The few good pics I have seen of someone in a good subsurf position look REMARKABLY like a skydiving "track" (horizontal motion without a wingsuit). Before I was able to fly a wingsuit I loved tracking dives. Basically you pull your arms in to your side, legs together, de-arch at the hips and shoulders (roll your shoulders forward) to create a shape with your body similar to a classic airfoil. Without a wingsuit, skilled trackers can reach 1:1 glide ratios (about 90mph:90mph). With a wingsuit, dependent on technology, skills, and body type, glide ratios of 3:1 (about 120mph:40mph) are possible, though not common. Picture of subsurf/track position here (sorry, can't find a good one in the air).

The coolest thing about the wingsuit is not the max glide, it is that your glide (and heading, and everything else) is controlled by your body, so you can fly (almost) wherever you want. I regularly pick out cars on the highway and race them, and they never win. rofl But by far the coolest thing to do is swoop clouds. You can fly over, under, around, and through clouds. It's best if you find a big puffy one with a hole in the center and dive through the hole. :) Or a big tall one, and just stay next to it as long as you can so you have a good visual speed reference. If there's a big tall column-y cloud you can just fly circles around it as you descend.

Attached is a pic of me flying my wingsuit (blue/white). There are also quite a few great videos edited by a friend of mine named Omar that you can get for free off of skydivingmovies.com. You'll have to register for the site, but it's worth it if you're interested... go into the wingsuit section and check out any video with "Z-Flock" in the title (these are the group of guys I jump with). The one with "big fat clouds" in the title has some great footage of cloud swooping, but unfortunately I'm not in that video. :(

Ok, I'll end my rant now. Not sure if anyone is interested in this post, but I love talking about wingsuits and I figured next to skydivers, freedivers are the most open-minded people out there so maybe this will catch someone's interest and eventually we'll have another one join the darkside we like to call "nylon crack." Be prepared, it is VERY addictive. :)
 

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