BASE Jumping in California
Locations, Companies, Equipment
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Is it Legal?
Interested in BASE jumping? Before you start BASE jumping, you will need to become a skilled parachutist. This is mainly achieved by training through skydiving. BASE jumping is more dangerous and requires more skill than skydiving because faster mental decisions are needed due to the time constraint. Just how many skydives before BASE jumping is a highly debated topic. Generally it’s recommended to have 100-200 skydives and/or parachute jumps before making your first BASE jump. That may seem like a lot of jumps but it’s all meant to prepare you for the intensity and quick mental decisions of the sport.
We have been unable to locate any legal locations for BASE jumping in California at this time. El Capitain is a 7,573 foot rock formation in Yosemite National Park. In 1980, the National Park Service experimented with issuing BASE permits. Although no major injuries occurred during this time period, it only lasted 10 weeks due to a significant disregard of the park rules. It’s likely there are many locations which meet the required criteria for a BASE jump but we have not found any which were legal. The nearest location to legally jump is at the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho. This is the perfect location for enthusiasts as it’s the only place in the United States to jump year round without a permit.
The Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, Colorado offers BASE jumping during a 3 day event hosted by the Go Fast Games. Go Fast! hosts this event to allow experienced BASE jumpers the opportunity to jump legally. The event caters to BASE jumping and bungee jumping. Unfortunately, participation in this event is by invitation only. It appears the games have been suspended for now but we hope to see this event again shortly.
Another option is the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. “Bridge Day” is hosted by Fayette County on the third Saturday of every October. On this day BASE jumpers can legally jump for 6 hours weather permitting.
Are you interested in top notch BASE jumping equipment? Apex BASE is the largest manufacturer of BASE specific equipment in the world. They design, manufacture and distribute BASE harnesses/containers and parachutes.
Are you familiar with a new or unlisted legal location for BASE jumping in California?
Mountain Wingsuit BASE Jumping:
Mountain wingsuit BASE jumping or WiSBASE is considered the future of BASE jumping. The wingsuit gives the jumper the ability to fly as they glide through the air. The special suit (sometimes referred to as a squirrel or birdman suit) is similar in design to a flying squirrel which can glide from tree to tree. The flying squirrel uses their tail to slow down in flight whereas the wingsuit needs a parachute.
The wingsuit increases the surface area of the jumper by adding fabric under the arms and between the legs. This increases freefall times and provides better maneuverability. The jumper manipulates their body position in flight to create the desired amount of lift and drag. Depending upon their body position, the jumper can glide through the air at speeds of 100mph. Most wingsuits have a 2 to 1 ratio which means that for every foot they drop, they fly two feet forward.
Equipment for BASE Jumping can include the parachute, harness, helmet, altimeter, action camera (optional), two way radio and gps.
Equipment for BASE Jumping
GoPro® HD Cameras: BASE Jump Movie
GoPro® HD Cameras: Betabrand’s Disco BASE Jumpers in Greece, Switzerland & Malaysia
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