When you attend an event boogie at Skydive Spain drop zone near Seville, you pretty much know what you're going to get: Fun in the sun with a bunch of bad ass load organizers ready to make your wickedest skydiving dreams come true. This is how lucky we got participating BIGSHINE Big Way Camp in May this year. Following the famous FunShine Boogie this double experience was for many a pretty much perfect kick-start for the upcoming summer season.
With the help of a couple fast Dornier G92s, 15.000 feet of altitude and two load organizers, all the 30+ BIGSHINE participants got to make in total 30 big-way head-down jumps over 5 days. The man behind the boogie, Mike Carpenter (Volare), took every day care of organizing the two planeloads of people together with his wingman Jasper Van Der Meer (ToraTora).
The basic idea of the event was to increase individual group flying skills with a strong emphasis on safety issues and this way make people better prepared to fly different kind of bigger formations. The minimum requirements for the participants were to be able to do a proper free fly break off with 180 degrees turn and a smooth transition to tracking.
The camp was planned in a way that the participants were gently guided through different parts of big way flying step by step. The week started off with polishing existing diving and floating skills and continued with training to fly different slots in bigger and bigger formations.
Flyers changed places almost after every second jump and everybody got a chance to try out everything from being in the base to approaching the formation as the first or second stinger or sealing the deal as a pod closer. Adding to this all the variable exits and breakups participants were for sure gaining precious experience for future challenges like possible record jumps.
All skydives were thoroughly briefed and debriefed so to maximize learning and safety of the others. The two last days of the boogie were dedicated for jumping 30-something-way head-down jumps from 2 planes with break offs done in two waves.
Despite all the important safety lessons the atmosphere at the boogie wasn’t too serious and the general vibes were rather easy-going and positive. The daily average of 6 jumps was finished usually before 5 pm to leave plenty of time for some after-flying drinks, socialising and maybe a common dinner at one of the local restaurants. (If you ask Mikey everyone should definitely try out the Big Wok!). Among all the fun the group gathered to make a memorial 'missing man' jump for Belgian fellow flyer Nicolas Decock, who was supposed to attend the boogie, but was killed in a skydiving accident just a few days before the start of the event.
You can check out all the smiley faces and freshly learned new skills by yourself from the official boogie video. The videography and the edit itself is another skillful work done by Finnish camera flyer Mauri Väistö. This dude was not flying as a conventional big way outside camera but rather zooming around and moving through the groups of flyers to get nice shots from different angles. Now Mauri's video is a nice memory of the awesome week and a learning experience to remember!