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BASE Jumping: Articles: Getting Into BASE: Number of Skydives

Number of Skydives updated popular

by BASEwiki

Number of Skydives

The debate on how many skydives one needs to safely get into BASE is a recurring and heated one. Everybody loves talking about it, including Basejumper. Here we provide two answers.

The Easy Answer

Get at least X number of skydives, where X depends on who you talk to.

The average recommended minimum X is 150.Apex has a minimum of 100 jumps for their first jump course, while Basic Research used to recommend 150, and Morpheus recommends at least an X of 200.

There are some BASE jumpers that will say you need at least 1000 jumps. Not always did these jumpers have that many skydives themselves, but sometimes an injury had them wish they did. Other times, it wasnít until they started BASE jumping that they realized how much skydiving experience it requires. And sometimes, the X they use is however many skydives they have themselves at the moment you ask.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those whose X is zero or close to it. On so called deathcamps, people with zero skydives are dropped from a bridge often to land in water. When word first came out about deathcamping, there was a big uproar in the BASE community. Since then, we have learned that deathcamping is often not what it seems. Sometimes the students are experienced paragliders who are doing some jumps from a forgiving bridge, and intend to get into skydiving alongside their BASE progression. Other times, the jump is a one-off stunt the same way that a person would make a bungee jump. When done as a pilot chute assist assist off a forgiving bridge and landed into the water, such jumps can work great.

As long as the jumper involved realizes that one such jump does not make him a BASE jumper, and all other site policies are respected, these stunts do little harm to the BASE community.

In general the recommended average of 150 skydives works well for BASE. More is often better. However, the minimum to take a first jump course -combined with the proper mindset- provides a great starting point to become a proficient BASE jumper.

The Complicated Version

Skydiving consists of many different disciplines and all of them are fun. Unfortunately, not all of them prepare you equally well for BASE. The reason this is a complicated answer is because it is not always what prospective BASE jumpers want to hear. Many skydivers who are considering BASE look at their skydiving logbook and see 300 freefly jumps done with heavily loaded small canopies.

Everytime the plane goes up, you need to decide whether you are going to do a multiway head-down jump with your friends followed by a ride on your swoop-canopy, or whether your are going to open your big docile seven-cell at 5000 feet and do nothing but canopy drills followed by a potentially scary downwind rear-riser landing.

While the freefly jumps donít hurt, beyond a certain point they donít do much to prepare for BASE. You are better off doing some of the recommended exercises.

The second reason skydiving requirements are so debatable is because the skills required in BASE can differ drastically between jumps. Many competent skydivers can safely do a pilot chute assist jump from a bridge and land their canopy on land. It gets more difficult once you move to a building jump where the main landing area is a tiny parking lot full of cars, the backup landing area is a second story roofdeck, access involves trespassing, object-strike is likely death because of balconies, and the getaway car is parked in an alley 700 yards away.

The difference in skydiving preparation required to safely complete those jumps is incredible. And this is where the jumpers mindset becomes important. It is possible for a BASE jumper to start out with the bare minimum of skydives necessary to do a first jump course. As long as said jumper recognizes the limitations of his abilities, has made good use of his time jumping out of airplanes, and doesnít do any BASE jumps that have requirements beyond what his current skillset offers.

It is worth mentioning what some BASE jumpers call the lure of the packjob. Once you start BASE, there is no way back. Even if youíre just a Potato bridge jumper with ten jumps, once you come home and pack your own rig, itís going to be calling out to you. Like the Sirens from the Odyssey, it be the lure that is going to trick you into jumping something beyond your skill level. If you donít think youíll be able to resist this temptation -and even the most level headed BASE jumpers have fallen into this trap- wait to get into BASE until you have more than the bare minimum of skydiving experience.


Submitted by BASEwiki on 2007-07-01 | Last Modified on 2010-04-16

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.  | Votes: 19 | Comments: 2 | Views: 28681

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2 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 kaos24201
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 2008-08-25
i think that if you can do everything well and arer prepared for all the suprizes in he sport then it doesnt matter how many jumps you have
 Tygan
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 2013-08-20
I watch video after video in awe of the skills and determination this community have. I watch "grinding the crack"...I read and watch the Troll Wall, ITW...Canada antennas...my god...I want in so bad...I follow "douggs"...we hail from the same city...i get bitten...tell myself...7 yrs and I can "grind" myself...1 tandem under belt, atm...then i see Jeb's accident...for 6 months i stop watching...i think...i think...then i think some more...i realise i cant stop thinking...I see Valery Rozov jump everest...the important to me, he's in his late 40's...12 yrs I now set myself..."grind at 45"...im late to the game...but im here...starting now...I hope to join your community, be a part of it, add to it, make it more than what it is today. BASE. BASE.

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