Alex Aimard is legendary among skydivers. His is dedication to the sport is unparalleled and while in the air, his movements appear instinctive. A quick Google search of his name yields over 8,000 results with titles such as Skydivers Set Fire to Parachutes during Jump, Acrobatic Paragliding and his video project titled Freefall, winner of Vimeo Staff Pick. Here at Die Epic we’re obvious adrenaline activity enthusiasts but since we haven’t had the opportunity to try them all (yet…) we go to the extreme sports experts when we need to know details. Alex was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule and tell us about his favorite skydiving moments, teaching technique, and the importance of taking everything one step or jump at a time.
What is your biggest goal in skydiving?
My goals are constantly evolving, so right now I’m super stoked by wingsuit flying. Tomorrow it might be different but the development of big Freefly suit such as the FREAK from Squirrel opens a whole new world of possibility. I’m amazed at the power those suit can develop, you can feel a solid G force in turn and flare which is really, really fun.
Obviously there are many differences between filming on the ground verses when you’re filming in the air, what’s the most important thing to remember for someone who’s a beginner at skydive filming?
Filming skydiving is some kind of hybrid activity. You are not really filming because you can't look at a screen to frame or change the setup of your camera during the action yet you are not really skydiving because you’re focus is on different things in addition to the performer in the jump.
So my advice is to work on your skydiving skill and filming skill individually. Once you’re comfortable with your filming technique and skydiving technique, seek guidance about the gear and safety aspect of filming skydiving. Then find someone with experience to walk you through all the hazard of skydiving filming.
What do you love more, seeing your students nail a new technique or when you accomplish a new move you’ve been working on?
This is not the kind of thing you can compare, such as comparing a chocolate cake with a pizza... I love both!!!
What’s your favorite DZ or BASE jumping place?
Hands down, Voss, Norway.
How would you rank these in order of your most to least favorite: BASE, Wingsuit, Helicopter, Wind Tunnel, and Under Water Free Diving?
Hmmm... I guess I can't answer this one because what I love is diversity. I love the process of learning something and sharing the experience. If I’m able to accomplish those things then it doesn't really matter which sport am doing, the only thing that really matter is the happiness the present moment gives.
How to get sponsored in skydiving?
Be passionate and act professional.
Is there a skydiving charity you support?
I really like the project http://www.projectbase.eu/ and I hope I will be able to run such a thing in the future
What’s the biggest obstacle you overcame in your skydiving career?
The biggest obstacle I have to constantly overcome is myself. Whatever we do in life, we need to go out of our comfort zone to reach solid goal/ground. Which means that you’re gonna have to deal with lot of low days, you gonna hurt yourself both physically and mentally.
The people that have the most success are the ones who use their resilience and put in plenty of work to overcome those challenges.
What is the one most satisfying moment in your career?
That is a tricky one ... if I need to pick one I would say the filming of FREEFALL https://vimeo.com/138645198 was really rewarding. It turns a lot of the things I love like skydiving, tunnel, freediving, wild landscape, film making, and friendship into a nice story I can share. On top of that it was chosen as a Vimeo Staff Pick, which is held with high recognition in the skydiving community and one of the best showings of admiration I could expect.
What place do you most want to skydive but haven’t yet?
Excerp Image Citation
Alex Aimard and His Pal Petter Jonsson Leapt from a Plane over Eloy, Arizona, USA, during the Daring Stunt. Digital image. Dramatic Moment Skydivers Set Fire to Their Parachute Canopies during Jump. Caters News Agency, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.