How to

20 October 2016

The Wingjump – Turning Skiers into Snowbound Flying Squirrels

Fitness Gizmos
Base jumping and skiing don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, one of them is a death-defying practise only undertaken by the most extreme of extreme sportsmen, and the other is something you can do with your family, up to and including 3 or 4 year old kids. That in mind, it seems odd to think that you could build a wingsuit – a piece of gear specifically designed for base jumping – for skiers.

Well, that’s what the wingjump is. As you can see from the video, it’s a kind of easy-on easy-off cape that enables you to zip around on the slopes like some sort of demented mountain bat. Rather than hurling yourself off a cliff and hoping that you’re still alive when you hit the bottom, the Wingjump simply enables you to float on the air for a few seconds at a time.

This reduced weight and increased maneuverability should, in theory, allow even beginner skiers to have an enhanced experience. There are a few different proposed models, graded in terms of how they change the action of skiing, from longer jumps to faster carving.

The design is so simple that it basically acts like another item of skiing equipment alongside the poles, helmet, skis and boots. You just wrap it around your skis, get on the lift, get off at the top and clip it around your shoulders.

It’s designed to counterbalance with your own body weight in such a way that you’ll never get lifted so far up that you’ll lose control. The primary aim of the Wingjump is for fun, rather than anything which might end up on the Red Bull Freeski highlight reel. With time, more seasoned athletes might figure out how to make the most of it, but it’s definitely more about how you feel on the slopes than how you look.

At the moment, the project is still looking for funding on Indiegogo, but with less than 2,000 euros to go, it’s a fair bet that they’ll hit their target. You can already pre-order the actual suit, and there are 3 different types – the Activ, which is the base model, the Acitv’Air, which is wider and ‘double skinned’ to allow more life, and finally the Activ’Carve, which is more streamlined than the other two, and designed for more experienced skiers.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop.