Extreme Sports Week 2023: Voss, Norway

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

It is not easy to predict where things are going. Looking backward at your particular corner of culture, it can feel somewhat foolish to have not seen the logical road ahead. Every year in skydiving we still score more, go faster, and are able to aim higher. Of course, we did this or that thing because we were always going to. No, we didn’t burn out all the possibilities – despite the conversations we had. 

Cypres athlete Julian Barthel flying past a giant Norwegian flag as part of the opening night demo team. Old and new school skill sets combined. Image: Julian Barthel

Things change where there is conflict, in the places where different energies rub against each other. A mixture of hot and cold ocean currents results in an explosion of life. Neighboring tribes with two different languages meet in the middle to create a third. Human diaspora forms new art and music, performance, and potential.

Cypres athlete Rich Madeley mountain swooping using a supine harness and sport parachute. The ‘Mutant’ harness was brought into the skydiving environment following advancements in Speed Flying (no skis) and Speed Riding (with skis). Image: Rich Madeley

Dedicated, passionate people within skydiving achieve new performance standards in disciplines we have been pursuing for many years, but outside of the rewards of purism innovation is happening in the places where the edges bleed, and air sports become influenced by each other, merge together, or outright beg, borrow and steal.

Cypres athlete Ally Milne leading a freefly group over Skydive Voss. Along with all the additional adventures, Veko is a fully represented skydiving boogie. Image: Joel Strickland

Many skydivers are also paraglider pilots, BASE jumpers, speed flyers and such – and Ekstreme Sport Veko (just ‘Veko’ if you are cool enough to wear it) is perhaps unique in its ability to demonstrate in a group setting what we do and how we behave as a group. Dropzone activity spills out over the edges and into the world, driven by the evolution of technology and ability, informed as much by what can be brought in from the periphery. Mountain swooping from a plane is pretty much speed flying, and direct deploying a paraglider from a helicopter is definitionally a skydive. Do helicopter jumps onto a golf course count as a demo if there is no immediate crowd to consider but the whole town can see you? How much validation does a new move earn when performed by multiple athletes in a very public way?  

Cypres athlete Jesse Weyher executes a barrel roll over the lake with his Mutant harness and sport parachute. Building the skill and experience for this move has as much to do with foot or ski launch flying as it does with skydiving experience. Image: Jesse Weyher

Maybe the remote nature of dropzones fuels our enthusiasm for the esoteric and unusual. Skydiving is both fun and cool, but most often is conducted from a fairly isolated patch of flat grass. An event like Veko allows us to play in and around the unique terrain of Norway, but also over the town of Voss itself – where we blur the edges with our aerial siblings, rub shoulders on the ground and all get very excited about where we can go from here. 

A big and complex event in a location like Voss makes the guidance and education that the road tour offers extra important. Image: Joel Strickland

Extreme Sports Week is a well-established event that has grown year upon year into a grand affair. The amazing experiences on offer here contribute to the desire for adventure skydiving and destination events around the world. Our sport grows bigger and more complex with every passing season, and Cypres is dedicated to the appropriate level of support and sharing of knowledge that helps our community succeed in every situation and environment.     

See you next year Norway.                    




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