"Thoughts about Speedflying"

2013-04-19 14:19 von Florian Pankarter

Speedflying Interlaken (Schweizer Speedflying-Club)

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In the year 2009 we've lost 9 of our friends through speedflying accidents. This tragedies and our love to the sport forced us once more to think about what we're actually doing...

In the beginning of Speedflying some people were thinking speedflying is gonna be that sport of the next centery, for everybody who can ski. They were expecting a big boom - 3-5% of all skiers were expected to start speedflying because its so easy to learn...Every beginning of the last 4 winters they thought this winter is gonna be the boom...there was no boom like they expectet to be until now and there will never be a boom like this. In contrary of the expectet boom there are more and more deadly accidents. Speedfliyng slowly turns from the easy looking sport, which everybody could give it a try to one of the most extreme sports ever. We can't look away anymore, too many accidents have happend, too many people lost their life. And those people who had accidents weren`t even the beginners - no, they were some of the best. So we definitly need to change the way we think about it and the way we fly.

Speedflying is an Extrem Sport

Speedflying is at least as extreme as Basejumping...it doesn`t look like when you try it first on a little snowy hill, but it gets extreme in the moment your leaving your training hill and your going to the backcountry of your skiresort. And you don`t want to stay on the training hill forever, don`t you? So here we are: Speedflying is an Extreme Sport. Would you get a parachute one day, go on a big cliff and just give it a try? You wouldn`t, no one of us would. You need to have serious training and education before, unless you want to risk your life stupidly. That's extactly the same in Speedflying. Think about that....

We need to learn from the past, we need to learn from the ones who left us behind, trying to show us the right way. To many serious accidents have happend, to many people have died with speedflying. These people didn't act stupid, they were just not as lucky as the rest of us. We might think the way we fly it is safe, but couldn't it be that we don't know all the risks yet? Maybe we underestimate the risk of speedflying? Doesn`t it always give as a good feeling when we do it? Isn`t it easy to do, easy to learn? Isn`t it easy to fly a small wing? The last runs went well, so the next one will either...maybe it wont. Did you ever need a lot of courage when you were Speedflying? Courage like you need it before you jump a big cliff on skis or on the snowboard? Courage like you need when you dive from a high brigde into the water, trying doing a flip. That sort of courage you don`t need in speedflying, because speedflying is easy and allways gives you a good and safe feeling. Be honest with yourself, do you need courage when you ski over a huge cliff with your wing? If you crash in diving from the brigde, trying the new flip, you end up with a painfull burning red back and you don`t try it anymore. Think about what happens if you crash at the moment you Speedride over a big cliff, even thought you didn`t need a lot of balls to do it...you won`t survive. That`s what makes speedflying so dangerous. It let`s you always feel safe, even when your fliyng over your limit. Only the lucky ones are slowed down by broken bones or other injuries -  for the unlucky ones it`s too late to realise, they loose their life!

We might think that accidents happens only to the ones who are unlucky, acting stupid or doing it super extreme over the limit. " I`m gonna do it safe, i don`t do it extreme like the others..." It`s easy said, but hard to do. Isn`t it harder to say NO when your standing on the take off with hard winds then to just give it a try? Last time it went fine as well...

We don`t know how to make speedflying more safe, it`s probably never gonna be like paragliding, but we need to think about and we need to learn from the ones who left us behind, trying to show us the right way...