Introducing wingsuit flying, perhaps the most daring, adrenaline-inducing extreme sport ever to be performed on this planet.

“Wait, that kind of thing actually exists? Where can I join in the fun?” is what some of our more adventurous readers may be thinking right now. Well, we can confidently say that the sport exists – and already has quite the following, for that matter – though we’re not so sure about the fun part. Either way, you may want to check out just how crazy the competition is before you sign up for next year’s world event…

The English-language version of Chinese site That’s recently shared a video from the 2014 Wingsuit World Flying Contest, which was held from October 13-14 in Zhangjiajie, China. Zhangjiajie is a prefecture-level city in the northwestern area of Hunan Province, and boasts no end of scenic forests, mountains, and rock formations.

Administering the competition was none other than the World Wingsuit League, an organization founded in 2o12 to organize invitational wingsuit flying competition events around the world. But hold on a moment–let’s back up a bit. Just what exactly is the daring, adventurous sport known as “wingsuit flying”? The World Wingsuit League’s official website offers an intriguing explanation:

“Wingsuit parachuting has been around since the early 1900s but until the end of the century it was a very dangerous stunt performed by parachuting pioneers, about 70 percent of whom died while flying their experimental contraptions.

In the mid-1990s, however, parachuting innovator Patrick de Gayardon invented a safe-to-fly wingsuit with arm and leg wings that were ram-air-inflated like the proven ‘square’ parachutes that had been flown safely for decades–and a new sport was born.

Since then, wingsuit pilots have pushed to the edges of the human flight envelope, first from aircraft, then from vertical cliffs and, now, from mountaintops, where they ‘proximity fly’ through valleys and gorges as they pursue the most daring and breathtaking sport so far known to man.”

In other words, you can think of wingsuit gliding a little like a “Formula One racing in the sky.”

Let’s take a look at the video now. Just be warned that you may want to watch it sitting down and buckled in tight if you have extreme acrophobia.

▼Look, up there in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a pack of abnormally large flying squirrels?


▼Do those mountains look familiar? Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountains in James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar were partly inspired by the Chinese peaks in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.


▼Why do I get the feeling that this is the closest you can get in real life to the sensation of flying in Dragon Ball?


While it’s certainly awe-inspiring to watch, you won’t catch us trying out this sport anytime soon. We’re more than content sticking with extreme shaving, thank you very much.

Source: That’s
Images: YouTube (That’s Online)