The Ultimate Guide to Tandem Wingsuit Flying

A serene view of a vast sky, where the lower half is dominated by fluffy white clouds and the upper half reveals a clear blue sky with scattered, wispy clouds.
Flying Through The Air Without Jump Experience Is Possible

Have you ever experienced the thrill of a tandem skydive and wondered if there was anything even more exhilarating? Look no further than tandem wingsuit jumping, the newest and most majestic discipline of skydiving.

In this complete guide to tandem wingsuit flying, you’ll find everything you need to know to take the leap and soar through the skies like never before. So let’s start with the first question: what is a tandem wingsuit flying?

Tandem wingsuit flying is a new type of wingsuit flying where a student is tied to an instructor using a harness. Pioneered in France in 2021, wingsuit flying is similar to tandem skydiving but requires specialized training and equipment.

In this blog post, I will cover the different unexpected aspects of tandem wingsuit flying, the similarities and differences to tandem skydiving, and common myths.

Can Anyone Participate in Wingsuit Tandem Jumps?

There are no license requirements for tandem students so anyone can participate in tandem wingsuit skydives. However, students need to meet certain physical requirements, be able to obtain a ticket and have the money to cover the cost.

If you still consider learning wingsuit flying, this guide will help you understand how long it takes to learn wingsuit flying.

What Are The Requirements For Tandem Wingsuit Flying?

Wingsuit tandem students need to weigh between 90 and 185 lbs (40 – 85 kg) and need to be in good health. Students must demonstrate that they are able to raise their knees to their chest for landing and fill out a medical questionnaire before the jump.

Furthermore, there are certain age requirements. For students that are between 12 and 17 years old, both parents need to sign a certificate that their child is allowed to jump. It is not possible for kids under 12 years old to participate.

If the student is over 60 years old, a medical certificate stating that there is no contraindication to traditional tandem skydiving, dated less than 6 months before the flight and issued by a general practitioner is required. This ensures that only people without the risk of a heart attack or other medical participate in the jump.

As tandem wingsuit flying is a new sport, the facilities take close care to guarantee the maximum level of safety. If anything happens during tandem wingsuit flying the new discipline could be dammed while still being in its childhood shoes.

This would hold true even if the injury or fatality of the tandem student has nothing to do with the jump itself. There would be a lot of negative press around it and regulators might be pushed to ban the discipline.

How Does Tandem Wingsuit Flying Work?

Ground Training For Tandem Wingsuits

The tandem wingsuit experience starts with a comprehensive ground training session, which is essential to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the student. During this training, students will receive guidance on safety procedures, how to communicate with their instructor before and during the jump, and how to behave throughout the entire process, from exiting the aircraft to landing safely on the ground.

In addition to safety procedures, the ground training will also cover various body positions, including a demonstration of being able to raise the knees to the stomach. It is crucial for students to master the correct body position, especially in tandem wingsuit flying, as wingsuits are more susceptible to movements.

While the equipment will be introduced during the training, the instructor will manage the entire flight, so students do not need to worry too much about it. The equipment used in tandem wingsuit flying is similar to that of traditional tandem skydiving but specialized and modified for wingsuit flying.

For example, a special harness will be used that holds the student in a good position. In case you wondered, the tandem student will wear a normal skydiving jumpsuit, whereas the instructor will wear a large wingsuit that maximizes the surface areas.

The Free Fall During a Tandem Wingsuit Jump

In solo skydiving, flying a wingsuit is significantly more challenging than using just a jumpsuit. Therefore, individuals who want to learn how to fly a wingsuit solo must have a minimum of 200 skydiving jumps to become experienced skydivers before using a wingsuit.

The same is true for tandem wingsuit flying: It is even more challenging for the instructor to control the flight and balance the student than in traditional skydiving tandem jumps.

Unlike in tandem skydives, wingsuit instructors can only steer with their bodies and not their arms. The arms are “tied” in the wings, providing the necessary stability for the wings to inflate. If the arms were used, it could change the way the air floats around the wingsuit, and start pushing the tandem pair around.

If the student becomes imbalanced or makes sudden moves, the wingsuit tandem instructor must counteract them. However, the movements that the instructor typically uses during solo wingsuit flying may not work and could even amplify the imbalance. Therefore, special techniques have been developed for tandem wingsuit instructors.

If the flight is stabilized, the instructor might allow the student to change the flight trajectory. By slowly moving his or her body around, the student can change weight distribution under the wingsuit and the angle through which the air floats.

In a way, this is similar to steering the canopy under the instructor’s supervision during normal tandem skydives. The student can play around and taste the feeling of steering the flight.

The Parachute Deployment Of Tandem Wingsuits

After 60 – 120 seconds of free fall aka flying, the parachute needs to be deployed. The parachute deployment process represents the most difficult part of the tandem flight from an instructor’s perspective. The tandem instructor needs to change the body position to be more vertical.

Gaining the correct position is not easy because the tandem pair could overshoot and start spinning around. A drogue is therefore used to stabilize the flight – similar to normal tandem jumps.

Once the parachute is deployed, the rest of the flight is quite similar to normal tandem skydiving. The pair will be under the canopy for around 7 – 10 minutes before landing. During the landing process, the student needs to lift his or her knee such that the instructor touches the ground first.

Where Can You Go Tandem Wingsuit Flying?

There is currently only one company called Skyvibration that offers tandem wingsuit flying. Depending on the commercial success of Skyvibration, there will be more competing companies in the future. Ultimately, tandem wingsuit jumps might become as common as traditional tandem skydives.

Skyvibration is a French company that luckily offers jumps in various locations. Some of the most noteworthy locations include Senegal, Archachon, and Grenoble. All of these locations offer unique and stunning views of the landscape. Unfortunately, tandem wingsuit flights are currently not offered in the US and Australia.

What Does Tandem Wingsuit Flying Cost?

The cost of a tandem wingsuit jump lies between 1,300 and 1,500 € depending on the package type. At Skyvibration, you can expect to pay 1,450€ without video and 1,600€ with video for a single jump. If you’re jumping with a partner, the price for two people is 2,600€ without video and 2,900€ with video.

The prices for tandem wingsuit flying are relatively high compared to traditional tandem skydiving, primarily due to the lack of competition in the market. Additionally, the sport requires specialized and more costly equipment and a significant amount of training for instructors.

It’s worth noting that Skyvibration pioneered tandem wingsuit flying and invested a lot of time and resources in developing this unique and exciting experience. Therefore, if they are now making a good profit, it helps cover the initial investment – which I believe is quite fair.

How Safe Is Tandem Wingsuit Fyling?

There are no current statistics about the safety of tandem wingsuit jumps due to the novelty of the sport. The best indicator is to look at the fatality and injury rate for normal tandem skydiving. In tandem skydiving, there is one fatality for every 500,000 jumps (0.0002%) and one injury for every 1,900 jumps (0.05%).

That being said, Skyvibration boasts excellent safety and that they have completed more than 300 successful tandem wingsuit jumps already.

What Is the Difference Between a Tandem and a Solo Wingsuit?

The main difference between tandem wingsuit jumping and solo wingsuit flying is the modifications made to the wingsuit. Additional openings and arm releases are added to the suit, and a slider gate is used on the main tandem canopy to secure the openings and eliminate any line-overs.

In addition, a wingsuit with a large surface area will be used to increase the possible glide. Apparently, it was not easy to find a wingsuit manufacturer that allowed the described modifications to the suit (due to legal aspects). However, Sykvibration found one that cooperated with them.

What Should I Wear For a Tandem Wingsuit Jump?

It is important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing for a tandem wingsuit jump. Loose-fitting, non-restrictive clothing such as t-shirts, shorts or leggings, and sweatpants are recommended. Closed-toe shoes such as sneakers or athletic shoes should also be worn.

Additionally, Skyvibration will provide a jumpsuit, harness, and helmet, which should be worn over your clothing for safety and comfort. Clothing with loose items such as scarves or jewelry that could become tangled during the jump should be avoided.

In fact, you can orientate yourself on normal tandem skydiving. In this blog post, I gave detailed tips on what and what not to wear during tandem skydiving.

In conclusion, tandem wingsuit jumping is a new era for wingsuit flying, offering an even more thrilling and unforgettable experience than traditional tandem skydiving. With proper preparation, a trusted company, and a willingness to take the leap, you can soar through the skies like never before.

That being said, enjoy your freefall!

Kai Schmidt

Hi, I'm Kai. The first time I jumped out of an airplane and experienced free fall was one of the most amazing moments of my life. For me, skydiving does not only stand for freedom and independence but being present in the moment and being respectful to others and oneself. Now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

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