If you’re wondering what angle flying is, there’s a very good chance you’re the proud (and stoked!) possessor of a solo skydiving certification. If not, congratulations: You already know more about sport skydiving than most non-sport-skydivers. After all, angle flying is one of the newest “official” disciplines in our sport–and, due in great part to its wild popularity, it’s gaining more and more ground by the season.
Don’t get us wrong, though: angle flying isn’t all that new. The name has only come into widespread use in the last few years, but the angle “style” of bodyflight has been around since David Bowie was strutting around a world full of puppets in an ostentatious codpiece (Labyrinth. Duh.)
Most folks agree that the first skydives that looked like angle jumps happened when the freefly discipline was picking up steam in the early 90s. Back then, even though their head-down looked like a bunch of upside-down guys delivering pizza to each other, some of them were good enough to introduce some forward and backward movement in that orientation. They’d do “flocking” jumps, angling their bodies enough to catch air on their legs so that they could chase the athlete leading the jump.
In Italy, this kinda stuff really caught on. In 1998, skydiver Marco Tiezzi (with the help of Gigliola Borgnis), started to call this form of horizontal movement “atmonauti,” a conjunction meaning “atmosphere navigators.” (Dramatic, no?) They stretched out the angle of attack to about 45° from the O.G. version of “flocking,” which gave the Italians a considerable boost in horizontal movement.
Nobody seems to know who started to call this style of flight “angle flying,” but it came into more-or-less universal use around 2010. Since angle jumps can scale to fit a wide range of skill levels (and handily bring together practitioners of different disciplines), the discipline found traction really quickly. Today, though it doesn’t have the internet-video sex appeal of, say, wingsuiting, it’s most certainly one of the world’s most popular excuses to get on an airplane.
While angle flying, done right, can certainly scale to skills, there’s something important to know about this discipline: It’s a high-speed discipline that can change direction on a dime, putting different lanes of freefall traffic into opposition really quickly. For that reason, getting a meaningful education in the ways of the angle jump can make the difference between a beautiful jump and a broken arm.
At Skydive Perris, we’re driven to perfect the discipline of angle flying — just like we’re driven to perfect the many other disciplines within our beloved sport of skydiving! If you’re keen to get your angle on, check our Experienced Skydiver Events Page. We’d love to help you navigate that atmosphere with the greatest of ease!
This post was written by Skydive Perris