Wingsuit is an extreme sport in which you can fly through the air using a body suit. The suit has wings that create a resistance with the air and allows you to glide like a bird.
One of the most daring and exciting wingsuit flyers is Jokke Sommer from Norway. His videos have racked up millions of views on YouTube. We had the opportunity to talk with Jokke and learn a little bit more.
How do you control the wingsuit and how much precision do you have? It looks as if you can touch the side of the mountain in a few shots. How close to the mountain do you get?
Because of the speed your flying, only small changes in your body position is needed to steer. On normal flights close to the wall, I use a combination beetween the legwing and armwings. By using both, the suit responds quicker and turns sharper.
On slopeflying close to the ground below, I use only the armwings. This is becouse most of the power is in the legwing and therefor I want to do minimum changes in this part of the suit.
By using only armwings, my turn radius gets bigger, smoother and I cut less trough the air than on normal turns. Cutting trough the air and loosing height would be dangerous if you fly close to the ground.
Precision wise, I have a control range within half a meter. Usually I fly aprox 2m above ground or next to the cliff, then I have a litlebit of margins. Some special ocasions I fly a meter away from the terrain…but this is just on very good day.
How do you generally begin the flight? Base jump, airplane, helicopter?
95% of my jumps starts from a cliff. This is the most fun and free of charge. Special jumps like big mountain flying, we use helicopters. If you cant find a place on the mountain that is high enough to start flying, a helicopter is needed.
What is your favorite terrain or region to fly? Why?
My two favorite terrains are slopeflying and playing with the trees. The slopes that have a correct angle allows you to really attack it and go low. The visual is so intense and feeling of flying can`t get better! Same when I fly trough trees and over bushes.. Super 3 dimensional visuals!
My favorite region is Romsdalen, Norway. Best terrain I have ever flown and its my home country.
What are the top speeds you reach and how long does the average flight last?
The speed varies on the terrain I fly, usually cruising speed is about 180-200kmh. This is when I attack the terrain. Some places where you have to fly steep you get speed up to 250 ish kmh. The world record is close to 300kmh
The flight time depends on the height of the jump. On most places in Norway and Switzerland we get a minimum of 1 min freefall/flight time. Sometimes more as well.
What makes wingsuit flying special compared to say just base jumping or skydiving?
The most special about it is that humans can get the experience of flying like a bird. That has been a dream for humans for decades and something that has been tested out for a long time. Everyone can pull off a regular Basejump from a bridge or other structures, but flying wingsuit close to the terrain requires skills you can`t buy on a regular course.