Here are six skydiving book recommendations for you in this week’s post. Finding yourself a bit bored in this strange time of lockdown? Naturally missing skydiving, as we all are. Well, we want to give you some inspiration to pass the time. Reading skydiving content is a great way to keep flying at the top of our minds during the lockdown.
Thankfully, across the globe, skydivers have become very creative at sharing live streams, videos, and posts. In an effort to keep us learning and thinking about flying during this unexpected “weather hold.” We want to provide some more options to pass the time. While keeping flying at the forefront of your thoughts. And so, here are six skydiving and BASE related book recommendations. I want to read during quarantine as much as possible. I made a shortlist of the first six books I’m going to read. Although there are many skydiving books, these are the ones that catch my attention at first.
The Parachute and Its Pilot – The Ultimate Guide for The Ram-Air Aviator – Brian Germain
The Parachute and Its Pilot from Brian Germain covers it all. Regardless if you are a new jumper or a seasoned skydiver, it has something for everyone. Indeed, this is a must-read for us all! Author Brian Germain is an industry-leading parachute designer, previous dropzone owner, creator of a popular flight skill and safety course, and host of a safety show on Skydive Radio. Yet, this is just to name a few of his accomplishments in our sport. Sufficient to say, Brian is very educated in the sport of skydiving and his book is now in its 5th edition, containing over 20 years of skydiving experience.
Part of this book focuses on parachutes and flight techniques, including theory, equipment, skills, and procedures. Brian teaches the technical knowledge to assist learning in canopy piloting and how to avoid undesirable situations. For beginner to expert skydivers, you will learn about improving your landings as well as the basics of how a canopy works and why it reacts in certain ways. Following the basics, it moves on to high-performance canopies and psychology of skydivers/canopy pilots. The book discusses theories of mental processes from fear responses, to the ego, and onto visualization issues. Followed by a straightforward approach to human behavior and mindset. Learn to relax and overcome fear with the right tools.
“Brian’s unique ability to combine a clearly defined technical explanation with his own self-realized Zen approach to flying offers the reader a truly comprehensive insight into the experience that is canopy piloting.” – Jay Moledzki, World Champion
Above All Else – Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld
Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld is the well-known DZO of Skydive Perris, in South California. He is one of the most famous skydivers in the world and co-founder of the Arizona Airspeed team. He is one of the most incredible skydivers that I have the pleasure to meet.
Above All Else is an inspiring skydiving book that recounts the journey Dan BC made from a very young age to become a renowned world champion. After suffering severe and traumatic injuries in an airplane accident and dealing with his beloved friends’ deaths, that likely would have caused others to give up on their dreams, Brodsky-Chenfeld instead doubled down. This pure and genuine love for something is an inspirational story that I highly recommend you to read.
“An incredible story one man’s persistence and grit to do above else what he loves to do, regardless of the outcomes and obstacles.” Katelyn Jenkins
Dan BC wrote an incredibly inspiring book, giving us countless examples of techniques for success. Using tragic experience to overcome obstacles, he goes on with living life to its fullest. This book is full of methods for excelling, achieving dreams, and reaching ones fullest potentials. Relentless in his nature, we can all learn from Dan BC’s advice to overcoming obstacles and reaching all of our goals in life.
“Most people have more potential than they realize and less desirable than they think they do.” – Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld
Sugar Alpha – The Life and Time of Señor Huevos Grande – Roger and Melissa Nelson
Skydiving and drug smuggling. Yes, you read that correctly. Sugar Alpha is the Skydiving Chicago must read book. You almost cannot even believe in Roger W. Nelson’s real-life. He wrote much of the book. However, after his unexpected death, Melissa Nelson (daughter) finishes the project that their dad had been writing for years.
Sugar Alpha is a skydiving book that recounts Roger’s experiences as a drug smuggler, dropzone owner, and skydiving competitor. It is an exciting read, and makes you scratch your head thinking – this can’t be based on true events – but it is!
While Mr. Nelson was running a skydiving center (Skydive Chicago), focusing on skydiving competition and raising a family, he also was attempting to leave behind the drug smuggling scene. Roger was looking to retire from smuggling after dodging the authorities one too many times. The book highlights the fun times and crazy lives of dropzone bums and addicts. This might remind some of your own skydiving friends and memories.
“If you’re interested in skydiving, planes, or even just thrilling stories, this one doesn’t disappoint, and to know that it was at least mostly based on the truth makes it all that much more incredible.” Adam Tuttle
The main character is remembered as a genuinely charismatic man, highly intelligent, and someone who lives life to its fullest. Reading the story of Roger Nelson will, for sure, leave you laughing and astounded.
Confessions of an Idiot – Chris “Douggs” McDougall
Confessions of an Idiot is an autobiography of “a colorful life in freefall” by Chris “Douggs” McDougall. He is one of the world’s most experienced BASE jumpers. Douggs’ book covers the progression of an adrenaline junkie into skydiving and BASE jumping. He recounts in brutal honesty, stories of absolute lunacy, which will have you laughing in disbelief. Really, this is one hell of a life story. Read about Douggs experiences from hilarious adventures, to devastation, and pushing boundaries to their limits.
“Insightful, fun, and REAL. Douggs takes you in his life journey and doesn’t disappoint”. Vinson Nelson
Douggs has been in the sport for more than 20 years and traveled all over the world skydiving and BASE jumping. He is hugely respected for his experience, knowledge of the sport, and damn insane Aussie nature. Besides the crazy stories in his book, you can also learn from Dougg’s desire to chase and make your dreams come true and never stop living your life to the fullest. As well, this skydiving book gives us all some more insight into the skydiving and BASE jumping. Dougg’s honest point of view of extreme adrenaline sports is something we can all learn from.
“My main goal in life is just to have more fun than anyone else. And that pretty well sums me up” – Chris “Douggs” McDougall
Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight – Matt Higgins
Bird Dream Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight is an adrenaline-filled narrative written by the journalist Matt Higgins. Higgins chronicles around five years of the lives and adventures of two wingsuit BASE jumper experts, Jeb Corliss and Gary Connery. This skydiving and base jumping book track the evolution of the latest advancements in wingsuit BASE jump—specifically, the desire to land a wingsuit BASE jump without a parachute.
Matt Higgins offers first-hand reporting and interviews of the lives of the two wingsuit pilots. Along with countless other jumpers with dreams of flying and adventure-oriented lives. He includes some of the most spectacular moments in the wingsuit BASE movement, as well as the moments of devastation and disaster. This book will take you straight into the extreme and fascinating world of wingsuit BASE and its athletes.
“[P]erversely entertaining. In a truly intoxicating read that was hard to put down, Matt Higgins has managed to make real a world about as far removed from daily life as it gets.” Daily Beast
Bird Dream also includes a very informative introduction to the history of BASE jumping and wingsuit BASE jumping. The author discusses the technology behind the sport and how its been developing over the years. Higgins explains some technicalities of wingsuiting, offering readers some idea of the science behind a wingsuit and its flight. Are you interested in learning more about the development of BASE jumping and wingsuit? Bird Dream will be an exciting read for you.
Body-Flight Basics – Andy Newell
This is a new book on the market and it is absolutely worth checking out for any skydiver and tunnel flyer. Body-Flight Basics is “the mechanics of skydiving and tunnel flying explained”. Author Andy Newell is a former British national skydiving champion, free-fly coach, and tunnel instructor with over 10 years of coaching and instructing experience.
Body-Flight Basics is a technical book about who we are and how we fly as individuals. Written in a style to be relatable and easy to follow. It breaks down and explains the mechanics of body flight, in such a structure to support a flyers progression. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, this book will enhance your understanding of body flight and offer guidance to take your flying to the next level. Beginning with basic foundations of flights, and covering everything up to advanced vertical and angle flying styles. Offering skills and drills with the knowledge of how to transfer between tunnel flying and skydiving.
“Body-Flight Basics is by far the most comprehensive and detailed work about how to fly the human body.” Dave Pacey – British National free-fly skydiving champion, AFF instructor and coach.
The book includes over 400 descriptive photos and illustrations and numerous flying drills and exercises. As well, offering coaching tips, planning considerations, information on entering the tunnel and exiting an aircraft, and how to deal with obstacles and self pressure. There is also an introduction with contributions from some of the worlds leading body-flyers.
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