dan dupuis wingsuit flying at PerrisWhen, where, why and how did you make your first skydive? 

My first jump was at Skydive New England in July of 2009.  I was bored and wanted to do a skydive for a long time, so just went and did one. 

How did your first jump change your life?

Immediately after landing from that first tandem I signed up for AFF and never left the dropzone.  The sport gave me a reason to pick my camera up again and introduced me to a group of people who became like a family.  Eventually, I found myself quitting my job and moving to Perris.

How many total jumps do you have, and how many of these are wing suit jumps?

About 1,600 total – 1,200 in a Wingsuit.

dan dupuis wingsuiting with two other flyersWhat is it you love about wing suiting?

I like to think of wingsuiting as not so much falling, but flying a terrible glider.  You can cover so much ground, certain suits can climb for a brief period of time, and they handle great.  Just the glide ratio is so bad we need a parachute to do it a second time!

What is it about Skydive Perris that makes you want to jump here?

Perris has a very well maintained fleet, great lift capacity, and manifest is super easy.

Who are your skydiving mentors?

I was fortunate enough to meet Jeff Nebelkopf my first day on the dropzone, and eventually learned to wingsuit from him.

What advice do you have for newer jumpers who are eager to start wing suiting?

Go jump with people.  Solo tracking won’t do you any good.   Do belly, free fly, CRW… just don’t bang out endless solo tracking jumps. 

You’re a wing suit LO at Perris, what do you enjoy about this and how would someone go about jumping with you, or another wing suit LO at Perris?

Through organizing, I’ve been able to meet so many new people who I wouldn’t have met any other way.  Either I or another LO are on the dropzone on a daily basis pretty consistently.  Otherwise, Facebook message does the trick pretty well. 

img_3571_miniYou were one of the photographers on the largest wing suit formation at Perris in 2015, a 61-person formation, which was a new FAI world record! Tell us about that! How challenging was this to film? Are there any plans to try to break this record in the near future?

The 61 way was a blast to film.  I was fortunate enough to do video at all of the smaller camps leading up to it, so by the time we got to the final formation the whole process just seemed to evolve little by little.  My slot was a grid slot, so pretty straight forward.  Thankfully I had the first 30 or so seconds of each jump to get some fun shots before needing to get the judged shot.  The biggest challenge was that I had a pinched nerve that affected my left arm.  Towards the end, it was becoming very difficult to hold on to the camera step, and most jumps I couldn’t even pick up my helmet with my left hand after the jump.  I’m not sure what the plan is in the future, but the shots from the last one came out pretty cool and I’d love to give the next one a go. 

XRW is a new and exciting discipline in skydiving, what is this and what would be your advice to people wanting to try this? 

XRW is when we fly our wing suits relative to a very small highly loaded canopy.  It’s a trip being in free fall with someone under canopy.  We’re just now starting to see what kinds of fun you can have with this mixed discipline.  Best advice… be current, don’t hit the canopy. 

When you’re not wing suiting what other types of jumping do you like to do?

I really like canopy flight.  High pulls are some of my favorite non-wingsuit jumps.  Though occasionally I can be spotted free-flying.

Do you have a ‘dream jump’ you have yet to do??

Don’t really have a “dream jump” but I’d love to exit a C-130/5/17 someday.

file-feb-08-12-55-29_miniWhat canopies do you jump and why?

I jump a squirrel epicene.  It has the best openings of any canopy I’ve flown, and it has way more flare than you’d expect from low bulk f-111. 

When you’re not at the DZ, how do you like to spend your time?

I’m usually either editing photos, or out taking more photos.

Tell us something that is little known about your yourself?

Huuuuge nerd.  Been building computers since I was 12 and was an avid gamer up until skydiving and photography absorbed all my time.

What are your future goals in skydiving?

Suck less one jump at a time.