This August, 2017 Team ILL Vision finally got to BASE jump Greece! We finally made it out to Zakynthos Island wearing our Asylum Designs branded gear, covered in Safeish apparel, at an Apex event! Love this sport.

TIV BASE Jump Greece

Team members Avery Badenhop, Ed Trick, Cliff Ryder, and Harry Parker made it for the event. I believe this was the 6th or 7th annual event. Long have many of us seen the photos of shipwreck beach and the jumpers with their pimpin photos. I’ve wanted to go BASE jump Greece for years.This year we finally made the cut!

The Organizers

The Greece BASE Games are held by Legends Jimmy & Marta, from Apex BASE gear. On island logistics by an amazing couple themselves and poster people for good health, Stratos and Liana. And, Apollo Energy Gum sponsoring the event. This is a wining combination. The gum really gives a kick and is worth trying. I used it every day to pull me to the top for the last jump, and to make last call.

The Travel

Getting their is half the fun. From trains, plane, autos, and ferries it takes a while from the states and it’s worth it. Greece was way more chill than I imagined. From the time we landed we met some super nice people.

This time of year Athens is super hot, so all the locals leave for the islands. Zakynthos Island is one of those islands. So our trip was during peak tourist time, which, actually made it a little more fun. Stuff is busy, restaurants are serving, bars are open late. Perfect.

This also allows one to pack super light. All you need is a couple of shorts, shoes, t-shirts a few costumes and you are set! Oh, and your rig. Don’t forget your rig. You will need that.

BASE Blind

If you go to BASE Jump Greece during the BASE Games, be careful concentrating on just the jumps. This year was four days of jumping. Two jumps per day. We had weather one and half days. I walked with five jumps and made every load.

But, who cares! This is definitely an adulating champagne kinda trip. It costs money and if you get hyper focused on the jumps you miss a lot. We got scooters, and traveled all over the island. We went to some amazing spots, swam, partied, ate, and best of all spent some serious quality time with old and new friends. I cannot say enough about the vibe and overall experience. These guys, this event, ROCKS.

The Grecian Formula

As a team, we provided “The Grecian Formula” delivering air superiority and airspace dominance. We usually hold these jumps for only our toughest and closest peeps. These are extremely dangerous maneuvers, require the best in equipment, and should only be attempted by self proclaimed PRO’s.

Our first jump together was our trademark “Train.” This is jumping, flying, and using up the entire airspace while landing anything but dead center, as a team. Timed and executed perfectly to trance, a nice way to start the day.

Cliff Kiss Fakey

Later Mr. “Trick” pulled off an amazing “Cliff Kiss Fakey” that wowed the crowd and the exit patrol. The cliff is made of limestone and is like velcro to parachutes and is quite sharp. Your canopy even touches it, it rips, sticks, and requires rescue. This only entices core team members and Mr “Trick” is no exception.

With one call, one jump, Ed managed a 100 degree left off heading and used it to “Kiss the Face” using multiple control points, surfaces, all requiring ambidextrous efforts. These well practiced reach, tug and pull maneuvers produce a floating drifting type effect that can only be achieved with strict practice protocols. This allows the canopy to reach a defying gravity lift point that only lasts a few seconds providing control and finesse for a perfect “Cliff Kiss Fakey.”

Ed landed, took one look at Mr. Ryder, smiled, threw his canopy over his shoulder with a smirk. Trick, thought for sure the coffin was nailed.

Kolopter Bump-n-Grind

For years Mr. “Trick” and the “Ryder” have always been competitive and this trip Ryder had to pull out all the stops if he was going to beat the Trick and win the invisible crown. Jump three Ryder blew us away.

Called it, jumped it. A “Kolopter Bump-n-Grind with twists.”

This highly skilled and practiced maneuver starts with a finely executed 110 degree off center left using pack job and a hip quick shoulder dip allowing exactly one line twist. And, leaving plenty of room for a front riser check and a full control 180 degree left off center facing directly at the wall.

Just when the crowd thinks they know what they are looking at and with nothing but an inch to spare The Ryder executes a rear riser 360 degree left Kolopter while in the twist adding another twist, a maneuver only he has been able to duplicate, coupled with a smooth rub-n-wall-tug and narrowly escaping the razor blades of death.

With another shock of visual technicolor splendor, Ryder then sticks a 360 left center point turn back to the wall. He finishes with a “Dead Man’s Stop N Shop” resting his entire body on the wall for just a microsecond allowing visible slack in the lines to show the judges commitment and canopy authority.

By the time everyone is breathless. The Ryder confidently pulls her off the wall and flies to the target area landing in line twists. Unknown organizers declared the winners early for the face off event, leaving Ryder and Trick, competitors, friends, and teammates. Both vowed to split the boatload of prize money.

Me? I carried cameras, a kitten, one carton of eggs, four team beers, beef jerky, a radio, tobacco. My job is to simply demonstrate flawless subterminal body positions with intentional on-heading performance objectives coupled with anything but dead center accuracy for the sake of balance. Sometimes, you just gotta take one for the team.

As always, a big heartfelt thank you to Marty from Asylum designs for always believing, befriending, and taking care of the entire team for over two decades. There is nothing more freeing than trusting your gear. Asylum, producing true BASE Craft.

Damn, it’s good to be back!

THP

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