Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground,
and miss. – Douglas Adams
When you close your eyes, can you still feel the lightness you found in those childhood dreams where you were flying? I’m guessing some of us can still remember floating through every room in the house without connection to the physical earth, reveling in the weightlessness and taking in a completely new vantage point. I recall the world always felt different when I woke — full of the possibilities and wonder from a fresh perspective.
This is how we might imagine it feels to Speedfly.
If you haven’t heard of this sport, no worries, you aren’t alone. I didn’t have a clue about speedflying until I stumbled upon the video below. Then, before I knew it, I was hooked into hours of stunning footage and planning a trip to learn how to make this a part of my own life.
Here’s what one speedflyer has to say about it:
“The ability to experience flight in such a simple and pure form is a real privilege”
– Joseph Innes 1
That’s such an important sentiment. This kind of flight does look like such a rare privilege! Let’s see what you think…
I audibly gasped maybe twenty times while watching this, and then made every person around me sit down and watch as well.
It’s awfully similar to paragliding, though the wings for that sport are larger and allow you to get more lift, where as with speedflying, you’re looking for more, well…speed. Here’s a little history on the sport from Speedfly Soboba of Southern California:
“The roots of this young sport go back to the late 90’s when skydivers started “ground launching” their high performance canopies for the purpose of “swooping” long portions of downhill terrain. This was superior to the short swoops they could achieve when landing from a skydive. It was also a lot cheaper!
Although these high performance canopies had great flying characteristics, they were not meant for inflating in this fashion, and the paragliding industry saw the opportunity to develop wings designed specifically for this purpose. Other great advancements included the addition of adjustable wing pitch (trimmers), highly efficient airfoils and a variety of harness designs.
The early community of pilots adopted the name Speed Flying for this brand new sport. It has become the easiest and least expensive flying sport to learn, but is also one of the most exciting!” 3
What a thrilling way to experience our world!
Even if we suffer from fear of heights, there make be a break-though waiting for us on this one. It seems that amazing things happen when we push our own boundaries. What do you think?
Breaking out of our set routines and pressing the refresh button is how we stay truly alive. Taking risks is the only way we can progress — becoming stronger, more courageous and expanded by everything we try.
This is how we grow.
“You can have a desk job and still go and see new places and do new things and scare yourself on a daily basis. It’s cliche but just kind of being on the edge is really exhilarating.” – LJ Strenio
In the two videos below, we’ll hear first hand what there is to love about speedflying (past the obvious thrill of flying) from the person who spoke the quote above as they fly above in the beautiful state of Vermont, as well as from another individual having a blast exploring the gorgeous mountains of their backyard in Norway.
A great way to get down a hill, no?
You may have experienced the same mountain hundreds of times by trail, but seeing these majestic formations and the land below as you fly through the air has to be a completely altering experience! It’s hard to think of another way to get down hill that stacks up.
A huge thanks to these humans for strapping on their gear and bringing us along for a small taste of their adventures! This collection of videos took my breath away, and I hope you experienced a little wonder today as well.
Anyone else adding this to their “do before you expire” list?
(If you’ve done anything like this before we’d love to hear about it! Please send us thoughts on your experience through our Contact Us page!)
Stay open to new possibilities and happiness may stay nearby!
I just couldn’t help myself, so here’s another!
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- “The Autumn That Flew By ~ Speedflying Chamonix 2014.” Vimeo. Joseph Innes, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/115149617> ↩
- “Unreal Speedflying in Dreamland: Romaniacs.” Vimeo. Joseph Innes, 16 June 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/221973601>. ↩
- “FAQ.” Speedfly Soboba. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <http://www.speedflysoboba.com/faq/>. ↩
- “ALL IN: LJ Strenio.” Vimeo. Hemetic Trading Co., 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/104575005>. ↩
- “Every Flight Counts // Homebound Speedflying – 2016.” Vimeo. Marius Beck Dahle, 30 Oct. 2016. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/189505591>. ↩
- “Aurlove // Swing Spitfire2 // 2016 // Speedflying.” Vimeo. Marius Beck Dahle, 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 08 Sept. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/170007251>. ↩