Fernie local Lance Edwards, owner and operator of Elevation Industries along Second Avenue, has been working hard to pull off one of the most extreme events this town has seen - Kavu athletes and the GoPro Bomb Squad will wingsuit skydive across the town of Fernie.
It's hard to even imagine what wingsuit skydiving is - I suggest you google it at once and then come back to read the following Q&A with Lance.
Q. Hey Lance, we are so excited about this event! It's all over the place, from Facebook to Twitter to Vimeo, but for those hearing of it for the first time what's it all about?
A. KAVU Athletes and the GoPro Bomb Squad are made up of Marshall Miller, Jesse Hall, Neil Amonson, Jeff Shapiro, Scotty Bob, and Jordan Kilgore. This guys are wingsuit skydivers and will jump from helicopters and fly above 2nd Ave landing at our Kavu event location, at the Fernie Secondary soccer fields.
The grounds open at 3pm, with the event starting at 4pm. Of course an event of this nature wouldn't be complete without an after party, hosted at the Northern.
Q. What made you decide to host an event of this scale and excitement?
A. I recently acquired Canadian distribution rights to KAVU, an American lifestyle adventure clothing brand and wanted to launch it with some serious momentum. Having access to a team of professional KAVU sponsored skydivers, it just made sense to incorporate a wingsuit skydive demo above Fernie into the mix!
Most people have only seen wingsuit skydiving online, not flying above their downtown and then landing right in front of them! The skydivers will be loading the helicopters right in front of the audience. We will also be raffling off a passenger seat in the media helicopter that will be going up for a very close view of the action! The athletes will be available for photos and autograph signing.
Q. What kind of training goes into this sport?
A. I personally do not have a background in this sport, but from what I have been told… Some athletes recommend a minimum of 250-500 regular skydives before skydiving with a wing suit.
Base jumping is whole new ball game. Base is (arcording to wiki..) BASE jumping, also sometimes written as B.A.S.E. jumping, is an activity where participants jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span, and Earth.
Now combine Wingsuits with base jumping and you get a very spicy sport! These are the guys that are flying a mach looney right above the rocks and through the canyons! These KAVU athletes are some of the most talented wing suit pilots jumpers in the world!
It would be a dream to fly one!
Q. How were you first exposed to it and how has its popularity grown since?
A. I went to uni with KAVU / GoPro Bombsquad member Jesse Hall in Colorado and saw the fun shenanigans that they were doing with skydiving and base jumping a while back. Wingsuits were developed in the late 90s and with the recent technological advances in the design of these suits has changed the game! The modern designs are enabling these wingsuit pilots to push the sport to new levels by giving them so much more control and performance.
Q. Any additional details you would like to include?
A. We are raffling off a ticket in the media helicopter that will be going up to film this up close and personal. Tickets are $5, proceeds benefiting the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation. There will be a ton of prizes, it's a great event for the whole family! Except for the after party at the Northern, of course.