FeeloSoFly VDO Contest

Feel oSo Fly guys are running a VDO Contest Video Contest for 2008


The Rules:

Amatures ONLY...
Your video needs to show reference to "Air Sports"
One video entry per Candidate or Team
Maxuimum length of video 10 minutes
Upload your video to YouTube and send a link to the guys at FeeloSoFly
Best video will be chosen at the end of 2008...

for full details and up todate information
visit: http://feelosofly.fr/dotclear

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The video that I just watched

The video that I just watched showed one of the most unique types of sports or activities that you are ever likely to see. While I am not one that is ordinarily taken in by so called extreme or adventure sports, this one looked really wild to me. These folks were using what I assume to be some type of parachute along with skis. Then, they would basically track going down a mountain. After further investigation, I believe this is called something like mountain swooping or speed riding. At first inspection, it seemed to me that these folks have more courage than brains. Then I learned this has actually been going on for quite some time. In fact, people have been doing this or something like it since the mid to late 1990s. I would also like to make it clear that most of the people engaged in this type of sport are actually quite talented. These are not your typical teen ager who is just looking for a rush or finding the next thing that they think is cool. No, many of them are actually world class sky divers or parachutists or even skiers. The bottom line is that they did not just all of a sudden decide it would be a good idea to strap on a canopy (that is what they call that parachute like contraption) and go down the side of a mountain! These people have training and more importantly, talent! If anyone looks at this video and then decides that they want to get involved in this, they should make sure that they thoroughly investigate this activity and then get the proper training. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure where or how someone would go about getting this training. Having said that, there is a closely related discipline called ground launching which may be a good place to get started. There is actually a school for this out in California. I would also imagine that something like this can lead to a lot of injuries. Even the man who started and runs that school in California has admitted to almost dying several times. This is a huge revelation considering his background. First, he was one of the pioneers in this sport. Second, he has world class abilities in several different areas, including sky diving. Third, the activity he performs now (and where he has had those several near death accidents) is much less extreme than what you saw in that video. Personally, I cannot even ski, so something like this is really off limits to me. I just see the lift and I will fall down! Maybe others of you out there will have an opposite reaction and want to try this. Again, I would urge caution and learn what you need to do to really get trained properly so that this can be done with the proper level of skill. It will also mean using the best protective equipment that you can afford and find.

After looking at this video,

After looking at this video, I was very motivated to learn more about the techniques that these gentleman were demonstrating. Apparently, going down the side of a mountain with skis attached and a parachute like canopy is called speed flying. Personally, it does not look like a whole lot of fun to me, although I did enjoy the video quite a bit. To me, it looks like this could lead to a lot of pain and many broken bones. There were even points in the video where it looked as if they had a rather hard landing.

This led me to the question of whether or not this is a skill that could be learned or even taught. At first glance I just figured that that the men in this video were very highly skilled and had more courage than they knew what to do with! But after thinking about it a bit, I realized that potentially there might be a way to learn how to do some of this stuff.

It turns out that I was right. There is a school in France that attempts to teach people these techniques. This speed riding school is based in Les Arcs, a popular resort in the French Alps. They claim to have already taught over 500 people these techniques. I wonder how many of those 500 would be really qualified to do the stuff that we saw in the video.

The instructors at this school all have state certifications to teach this and they have a very safe area on this mountain used solely for instruction. This area is shielded from high, strong winds, making it calm enough to allow for proper technique to be demonstrated. They do caution that in order to take up such lessons, you should be a fairly proficient skier. This means being able to handle red slopes in any type of snow. Since I am not a skier personally, I do not know what level of expertise this entails, but I do know that it is not for me!

Nevertheless, I think this could be an excellent option for someone who enjoys skiing and is interested in maybe taking up one of the more unique types of extreme sports. I imagine that if this training is any good (and it does seem to be a good opportunity) it will benefit people who have the proper background.

To be honest, I am a bit sorry now that I am not qualified to take this training! After all, they say they are able to train you to use the paraglide and that they have a variety of classes and programs which range from the most beginning level to something more suited for an advanced pilot. Actually, the prices also seem pretty reasonable.

One last thing which piqued my interest is that I discovered another method for this is to be dropped out of a plane! Indeed, go from the plane right onto the mountain and start literally flying downhill. How exhilarating something like that must be!

Feelosofly winning VDOs

The winning videos have been selected...

FeelosoFly VDO contest results