Weather Hold

Loopity loops with Zak Tessier

Written by Kolla

Watching this video made wish for armrests on my office chair, or something to grab on for support.
I didn’t even know this kind of stuff was an option in a wingsuit BASE jump, but Zak pulls it off. This kind of stuff likely takes a special kind of crazy, but also more than a healthy bit of talent, planning, currency, skills and balls. Balls of considerable size and steel.

In this video Zak is flying the Squirrel Aura. A little bit about the suit from the Squirrel website:

auraThe Aura has rapidly become the most popular wingsuit amongst the world’s leading BASE jumpers. In the past year, more new exits and lines of flight have been opened with the Aura than with any other suit. For 2014, the AURA is the optimum choice for serious wingsuit BASE jumpers.  wingsuit BASE jumpers.

  • Shortest Start
  • Cleanest Pull
  • Widest stable glide and speed range
  • Best glide performance

The Aura offers the best balance of high performance glide and agility that we have ever experienced. Our mission for the Aura was to create a suit that satisfies the needs of the most demanding wingsuit BASE pilots in the world – jumpers who are pushing the limits of short starts and long glides at new cliffs all over the world, from the French Alps to the American Southwest.
After a lengthy development process and extensive testing by Squirrel and our Team Pilots over the past two years, we are happy to say that the result is even better than we’d hoped; not only is this a suit which is undeniably at the top of its class in terms of glide, but it has also retained an incredible level of agility and stability through a wide range of speeds.

The Aura is a highly versatile, high performance wingsuit, with the ability to dive down to steep lines or reach the most distant landing areas. In 2014, the Aura remains the number one choice of expert wingsuit BASE jumpers around the world. Scroll down on this page to learn more about the suit’s design.

5 Comments

  • What do I think? I will tell you what I think, as I always do. FUCKING SICK!! I guess it wont be too long until you have BSBD article for Zak. And then everyone will try what he does in those video’s until there is a BSBD every fucking week, almost like this summer. I never thought when we started swooping in the late 90’s at competitions, that everyone would want to do it. Then the numbers of people ‘hooking it in’ and killing themselves sky rocketed, just as we are now seeing in Wingsuit BASE jumping. I think if we had GoPro’s when we were swooping then, we would have a lot more people killing themselves trying to swoop. I mean I am a little disappointed with BSM for putting this up, honestly. I don’t want to sound old and shit but come on, really. I’m all about progression and pushing the limits but really?! I think after recent deaths, in this particular situation, it’s a little distasteful. Just a little, and trust me I cant believe I’m even writing this, but I felt like it. I guess i’m just getting a little ‘safer’ in my old age. I sort of like that last part, ‘old age’. well and safer ;-)

    • Sonic – I know we can count on you to tell you what is on your mind and I’m glad for that!
      Living on the edge like that certainly carries with it the inherent risk of falling off – as in possibly having a serious accident, perhaps a fatality. Certainly not a huge margin for error.

      But who am I to tell another person how to live his or her life? What is acceptable risk and what is just plain stupid? I believe it is different for every person, and as you pointed out, what is acceptable changes for each individual many times through life, as time ticks on. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I think these videos do have their place – knowing the risks associated with the activities portrayed.

      Back in the day, sitting at my old desk at PD, I could see a picture hanging on the wall by above my boss’s desk. This was when swooping was relatively new on the scene, in a competitive manner especially. The death toll was certainly higher than many were comfortable with and many called for a ban on this deathly activity.

      It was a picture of a slightly heavyset swooper, clad in red, swooping through a tiny gate – with his hair on fire and a look of intense focus on his face. There were no GoPro’s back then, but somehow someone still managed to capture a picture.
      I also remember many off the comments people had about that photo. Here are a few: irresponsible, dumb, death-wish, pushing the envelope, mad-skills, idiot – and more along those lines. And if I recall correctly, some others attempting similar activities (swooping through doors/gates/hangers were injured or died doing it. Ring a bell?

      Anyhow. I still think the picture of that swooper is awesome, and I think this video is too. In exactly the same manner. And I hope we get to see Zak become and old, wise wingsuit BASE jumper, just as we have got to see you become an old, wise swooper.

      Thanks for the comment – and let me know if you ever want to start up a column titled “Back in the day” – I’d love to have it :)

  • Only scary thing in this life is mediocrity. Well done Zak.
    Keep pursuing the limits of your mind and disregard all the freelance advice.
    Including mine. Ha

What do you think?