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Swedish Ground Launch Boogie

Swedish Ground Launch Boogie (Sept 6-14, 2008)

Do you want to learn to ground launch or join an expedition to a remote location? Are you a graduate of the Ground Launch Center (GLC) in California and want to gather with your friends for an flying adventure? Do you live in Europe and unable to attend a GLC camp in the USA these past few years? This is the training or expedition you have been waiting for!

Imagine having an entire Ski resort and mountain just for you and your friends to play with. We have a place just like this reserved with no skiing required or waiting in long lines! As a matter of fact we have the whole place rented out just for us so everything from the chair lifts to the lodge are catering to the flyers! This is just fun in the sun with the world’s best ground launching pilots melding with the Speed Paragliding scene for 8 days of extreme flying. We have created packages for all experience levels so whether you are a first timer needing to take a class or an experienced launcher we got you covered. We have made it simple and cheaper by providing all inclusive packages for our skydivers and Paragliders alike.


Date: Sept 6-14, 2008
Location: Sweden (Hotel & Mountain Klovsjofjall)
Experience level: All levels including first timers!
Events: GL classes, multiple runs, instructor lead expeditions

Experienced pilots package $995
For those experienced ground launch pilots that have been signed off by Clint Clawson, Jim Slaton, Duane Hall or Pal Hammar.

Coach package $1295
Six hours of coaching each day in groups of 6 or less. As fast as you progress you will be moved to the next group further refining your skills. Coaching will be charged at $50 per day for those signed off early.

Coaching with equipment $1595
As stated in the equipment section you can bring your own equipment but for those wanting the best experience Proper Speed Paragliding wings will be included in your 6 hour training session.

These all inclusive packages include:
8 nights lodging- 4-8 person apartments with kitchen, bathroom, sauna. Double occupancy with Three meals a day served on site at the lodge’s restaurant and bar (liquor not included).Transportation to launch points-chair lift, van, and Experienced guides will accompany each group with detailed information for each run. 4-wheeler‘s.Pick-up and drop off from Are-Ostersund airport for incoming travelers with guided day trip also available.

Check out the lodge we will be staying in and mountain at www.klovsjofjall.se

Who are the organizers, guides and instructors at this event?
Joey Jones
Clint Clawson
Jim Slaton
Duane Hall
JC Colclasure
Brian Germain 
Pal Hammar and others



THE GROUND LAUNCH RUNS

There are three exciting runs we’ll be utilizing.

The first run is called Scooby. It is located on the right side of the
mountain. The second is called Bam Bam and it is located in the
center. Eagle Claw is the third and is on the left side.

At the base of the mountain we offer Badger 1 and 2 for the novice
ground launcher to practice laying out the canopy, manipulating control
inputs and forward launching or kiting the canopy.  It has a smooth,
mellow decent conducive to getting great foot launching experience.

Once confidence and consistency has been gained, you will move on to
either Scooby or Eagle Claw.  Both of these runs are long and “S” down
the mountain. Each has different flight paths from which to choose and
three launch points to work with. The launch points become increasing
difficult in sequence.

Ground launchers will begin at launch point #1, which is the spot to
build confidence and prove your safe launching/flying skills.  After
completion, you will progress to launch point #2 and #3.  As you work
your way up the mountain, you will receive helpful coaching tips and
gain the necessary skills to safely fly the entire hill.

Once you have gained the knowledge and have displayed your proficiency
and the skills necessary, you will graduate to freely fly all the runs.

The center run, Bam Bam, is a very steep and challenging launch that
will require skilled flyers and extra special attention.  Once checked
out on the mountain, you will have three awesome runs to play with.
Enjoy!



THE GROUND LAUNCH RUNS

There are three exciting runs we’ll be utilizing.

The first run is called Scooby. It is located on the right side of the
mountain. The second is called Bam Bam and it is located in the
center. Eagle Claw is the third and is on the left side.

At the base of the mountain we offer Badger 1 and 2 for the novice
ground launcher to practice laying out the canopy, manipulating control
inputs and forward launching or kiting the canopy.  It has a smooth,
mellow decent conducive to getting great foot launching experience.

Once confidence and consistency has been gained, you will move on to
either Scooby or Eagle Claw.  Both of these runs are long and “S” down
the mountain. Each has different flight paths from which to choose and
three launch points to work with. The launch points become increasing
difficult in sequence.

Ground launchers will begin at launch point #1, which is the spot to
build confidence and prove your safe launching/flying skills.  After
completion, you will progress to launch point #2 and #3.  As you work
your way up the mountain, you will receive helpful coaching tips and
gain the necessary skills to safely fly the entire hill.

Once you have gained the knowledge and have displayed your proficiency
and the skills necessary, you will graduate to freely fly all the runs.

The center run, Bam Bam, is a very steep and challenging launch that
will require skilled flyers and extra special attention.  Once checked
out on the mountain, you will have three awesome runs to play with.
Enjoy!


GROUND LAUNCH GEAR

The ideal gear to have would be a speed flying wing and
harness or a ground launch wing like the Daedalus "GLX" or "GLS".  If you do not have this gear, then any ground launch canopy
or open-nose skydiving parachute with a wing loading of 1.3 or less may
be used.  Cross-braced canopies have more of a closed nose by design
and are difficult to pressurize on a running launch. Therefore, we do
NOT recommend a cross-braced canopy unless you are a highly experienced ground launcher.

Parachutes with an open nose and flatter glide will offer you the most
range on the hill and be easier to launch.

A ground launching harness is best, although you can use a base rig or
skydiving container without the reserve.

For your protection, we will require a helmet and kneepads.  We also
recommend motocross attire (such as padded pants) that has leg and back
protection and elbow pads.  Good hiking boots are also recommended
because the offer good ankle support and there will be some hiking
involved during the event.

Don't miss the event of the year!  You can join  Jim Slaton's and Duane Hall's group at the info below:

check out more at www.canopypiloting.com
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  Finding some quality gear

 

Finding some quality gear to begin your ground launching activities is one of the first steps you can take to get involved in this fascinating and exciting activity. If you have ever considered piloting a parachute or a hang glider down the side of a mountain, then this could be something for you. The best advice I could give to you is to get some quality training and take great care in choosing your equipment.

One of the biggest considerations when choosing your equipment is your experience and skill level. Bear in mind that the heavier canopy or parachute or paraglide you choose, the more of a slope or wind will be required to get you going.

You could pick a good speed flying wing and harness or maybe a specific ground launching wing. One good option is the Daedalus GLX or GLS. These are solid pieces of equipment that most experts would be willing to recommend even to someone who is just starting out in the sport. This equipment is relatively easy to control, although it will require some getting used to and you should definitely not even consider flying without getting the proper training.

There are many other options to consider if any of those options are not appealing to you. You may use any kind of ground launch canopy or open nose sky diving parachute. Just make sure that it has a wing loading capacity of 1.3 or less. For someone with limited experience a parachute with an open nose and flatter glide will offer the best range. Additionally, it will also be much easier to launch. An experienced runner will fare better with a cross-braced canopy.

Whatever equipment you choose, be sure that you know how to operate it. Get whatever training is required and make sure you master each successive step in the process.

As a first time ground launcher you should really consider what type of protection to use. This does not mean the actual canopy or parachute itself but rather what you should wear as you attempt to train or actual do a launch.

Most people may not be aware that this is actually a sport that can give your body a pretty good beating. It is very important to make sure that your body is protected. For starters, make sure to wear a good helmet. Something like a motorcycle helmet would work, but make sure it has as much padding as you can possibly find. There is no substitute for head protection.

Also make sure that you wear protection for your joints. This includes knee pads and also elbows pads. Once again, just make sure that there is a lot of padding and protection here as well. As the author points out, motocross attire is quite acceptable. This should include some type of padded pants along with leg and back protection. You may also consider a neck brace like some football players wear. To round off the equipment, make sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots to provide ankle support.

  This article sent me on a

 

This article sent me on a very interesting research project. I am not they type of person who is interested in extreme sports or even more mainstream sports like skiing. In fact, the last time I went skiing I remember not being able to figure it out at all. Eventually I grabbed a sled and went down part of the beginner trail on that sled!

I have not watched any of the X Games or other extreme sporting competitive events. To be honest, I have never even been tempted. Although I know what they are, they do not hold any interest for me. Having said all of that, I was actually quite intrigued learning about ground launching and the Swedish Ground Launch Boogie event.

The first question I had as I started looking into all of this was exactly what is ground launching. I learned that this is actually a bunch of people with high tech parachutes or even sky diving equipment who launch themselves off of the sides or tops of mountains. There are actually a number of different ways to do this sport or activity.

Since it is more challenging to launch from a higher elevation, most beginners start out at a lower point of the mountain, possibly even the ground level. This is a great position in which to get training on how to operate the equipment, which can also be called a canopy. In fact, there is even an actual school that teaches people how to enjoy this activity. The school was started by one of the pioneers of this so-called sport, out of Lake Isabella, California. Apparently, the school has been quite successful as interest is growing in this type of activity.

Someone who may be interested in learning about this can find out a whole bunch of information by browsing on the Internet. There are many sites that provide information and a huge number of videos. Some of these folks taking advantage of this sport are really incredible. In fact, that is something that the beginner should remember. Indeed, I discovered that many of the folks in the videos are world-class sky divers or para gliders. It is easy for a beginner to look at a video and think that it looks like fun and they want to give it a go.

Please do not forget that doing something like ground launching is actually quite difficult. It will require a fair amount of training and practice. This training and practice should be supervised by a quality and experienced instructor. Not only is this training important, but it may even help if you had some hang gliding or sky diving experience and training as well. Also, be sure to proceed in a graduated and consistent manner. Start at the lowest type of elevation that you can. Only after you have mastered how the equipment works and understand the basic mechanics, should you proceed up the mountain. That school in California is one of the best places to obtain quality training.

This looks totally awesome! 

This looks totally awesome!  I plated a video game once called “Just Cause 2” and ground launching and platform jumping were an integral part of the game play that really made it cool.  It was a game that was what they call a “sandbox” game where you could literally go anywhere in the game at any time and do whatever you wanted, there was not set storyline that you had to follow.  The world you played in was huge too, and with the ability to basically “fly” using an automatic parachute and a grappling hook, you could explore just about the entire thing. 

The mechanics of the game gave me an idea of how fun the real thing could be, although some of the things done in the game are not really possible in real life.  For instance, you could launch yourself in the air by aiming your grappling hook, which was kind of like a retractable harpoon of sorts, at some point off the ground higher than you are, firing it and have it pull you forward into the air and then releasing your parachute to catch the wind from your speed and then, poof, you’re flying.  I guess the physics of it are possible, but the practicality of it really seems far fletched but, what the hell, it is a video game. 

The point is, once you got airborne on this thing, whether it was from the means I just described or by performing a base jump or ground launch, the physics of flying through the air under a controllable parachute were very realistic and truly made the game what it was in terms of playability and enjoyment.  It highly makes me want to try the real thing and it seems like ground launching would be the closest approximation of doing so that a normal dude like myself could handle. 

I would be pretty afraid of the effects of crosswinds and downdrafts though.  It seems like a lot of practice would be necessary in order to be able to handle such unexpected circumstances and the only way to truly practice is to do it.  Who is to say you would not get caught in some kind of up draft and then go much higher than expected?  That could not just be a mistake on the way to learning that could be a mistake on the way to dead kind of a thing. 

I would guess that helmets and some kind of pads for the elbows and knees would be necessary, but even with that, a crash to earth is going to do some damage.  I would probably want like a whole football uniform with the full cage helmet.  That might make me a little heavy to do it, but I think I would rather error on the side of caution and it would look totally crazy to see a guy in a football uniform hurtling down a mountain on a parachute.  Ok, now this really sounds like a good idea.

Wow, this sounds like an

Wow, this sounds like an incredibly fun experience.  I have never heard of ground launching prior to reading this article, but after getting the jist of it, I had to go out and learn more.  There are a lot of great websites out there that detail where you can go and what equipment you need and with events like the Swedish Ground Launch Boogie, it seems like there is a strong community of enthusiasts that you could meet and get to know.  It really all sounds like a lot of fun. 

I personally have never gone sky diving, bungee jumping, or anything really like that.  I think I want to, but by this point I think if it has not happened, there is probably a reason.  Ground launching seems like a lot of fun.  Leaving the ground and gliding down a mountain that close to the ground and being able to climb and soar at will just sounds like an amazing experience.  Human beings have always been fascinated with flying and although airplanes are cool, it kind of removes you from the experience.  Being out in the open air and under your own control really seems like the ultimate possible situation to endure. 

This does seem like it would be an exceptionally difficult, expensive, and relatively dangerous hobby to take up.  The equipment alone would cost thousands of dollars not just to buy, but the maintenance must be costly as well.  I have experience with sail boats and perhaps one of the greatest expenditures of money and effort are the preservation and care of the sails.  It must be every bit as important when you are doing so for a flying machine that could literally hold your life on its intricate structure.

Storing the equipment must be difficult as well.  It seems like the chutes that keep your mass afloat are rather sizable and although you can fold them, you have to keep them very dry and avoid misshaping the chute so it can be steered and manipulated when needed.  Control is obviously going to be very key and crucial to doing this activity successfully.

Despite all these challenges though, it truly does sound like a thrill and I will investigate more about the sport of ground launching in general.  It seems like ski hills in the summer time are a good place to look to see if I can find somewhere locally to get involved and start learning about how to do it properly.  I will also continue to search online and see if I can hook up with some of the community and get involved that way.  I really can’t wait to fly!

I just do not understand the

I just do not understand the infatuation with almost-dying that some people have.  After reading about ground-launching, which I had never heard of before, I think I may have reached my limit.  People go skydiving, they go bungee jumping, and cliff diving but evidently that is not enough of a challenge for some and they feel compelled to add the danger of flying REALLY CLOSE TO THE GROUND down a mountain for a thrill. It kind of blows me away really, just when you think do not have enough ridiculous activities to throw their money at, the next new thing comes out and baits them right back in. 

Now I do not really care how people get excitement in their lives, but what I do have a problem with is people who spend ridiculous amounts of money on frivolous crap and experiences that only serve themselves so they can brag about it later.  Throw in the irresponsibility of potentially killing yourself in the process, leaving behind friends and family to lament your early demise, and the act of ground launching just seems silly, selfish, and disrespectful.

Could not thousands of dollars be spent better elsewhere?  Without going into a rant about the essential nature of man, I just cannot understand how easily we will spend three, four, or five thousand dollars on a trip like this one or some other thrill seeking adventure ride, could not they spend that money on helping a volunteer organization or something else more worthwhile?  I just feel ashamed of our society as a whole when I think about (and this is going to sound cliché’) the people in the world who have so little that they are literally starving to death.  At the same time somebody is fighting for their very right to survive and struggling against hunger, disease, and terror, some other yahoo is plunking down five G’s to throw himself down a mountain with a parachute on his back.

Ok, I will get off my soapbox here.  Far be it from me to point fingers and cast stones about how my time and money is spent.  But I think we can all agree that the truly wealthy among us have become or always been very OK with spending their money on lavish things that really should not belong to anyone or really exist at all.  Thrill seeking is great for those who can do it, but maybe they should just join the army or something and put that need to push the envelope to good use. 

All that being said, the sport of ground launching does sound really cool.  I mean, if I could afford to do it and had the ability to I totally would.  It would be a pretty darn close facsimile to actually flying as a bird does in real life.  Close to the ground, very much in control, and completely independent.  It really does sound like a thrill.

Swedish GL event Cancelled

Just received a note from www.canopypiloting.com 

The Swedish ground Launch Boogie has been canceled for 2008 and will be rescheduled for 2009 due to construction of more chair lifts in the area.