Welcome to Apex’s European First Jump Course in Istria, Croatia.
Due to popular request, we are now offering a course in Europe. After careful consideration, we have chosen to offer this course at the The Limska Draga bridge in Istria, Croatia. It is a fantastic first BASE object as far as relative safety, teaching facilities and accommodations.
To this new FBJC venue, we bring the same structure and small-group quality that we have been successfully using for decades to introduce new jumpers to the sport at the Perrine. We’re looking forward to meeting you!
Jimmy & Marta
All students taking the Croatia FBJC course must arrive with at least 200 previous skydives. An emphasis on canopy control and accuracy during the course of your previous skydiving training is very highly recommended. Although we require 200 skydives, we strongly recommend 1,000. There should never be a rush to get into the sport of BASE jumping. You have your whole life to enter the sport, and you cannot prepare enough prior to entering this next step in your jumping career.
About the Bridge
The Croatia bridge is near the village of Kanfanar on Croatia’s beautiful Istrian peninsula.
The owner of the land beneath the bridge has been putting an amazing amount of work into the facility he has built in Kanfanar, which has come to be known as the “BASE House.” The BASE House has several great amenities: a pendulator for exit practice, a comfortable classroom, a hanging harness and a packing area with a padded floor. Students are accommodated in a comfortable nearby guesthouse.
The course includes:
● 5 to 7 BASE jumps (depending on how fast the jumpers pack)
● *BASE-specific, state-of-the-art container and canopy rental
● Supervised packing
● On-site instruction
● Video debriefs of every jump
● All pre-course materials
● An Apex goodie bag (that includes a t-shirt, pull-up cord, stickers, Apex logo matches and BASE postcard)
● First-season continuing education**
● Gear discounts***
Lodging, food and travel expenses are not included.
You should arrive at the course with the necessary equipment for your own safety: a helmet and boots. Knee pads are optional but highly recommended.
*Although rental of a container and canopy is included when you take our FBJC, you are welcome to jump your own container and canopy if you already have them. Please note that there are no discounts if you jump your own gear during the course.
**You are welcome to join us at other scheduled courses during the same season that you took your course, to advance your knowledge at no extra cost to you. After that, a minimal fee will apply. Separate fees apply to all advanced courses.
***Successfully completing our FBJC entitles you to purchase new Apex BASE equipment at 5% off the purchase price. This offer is good for one year following the course. You must place the order directly through the manufacturer — Apex Perris — to receive this discount.
Course Cost Information
Basic FJC Course Costs
The total cost of the first BASE course 1,285€ (cash price). Lodging, food and travel expenses are not included.
Deposit & Balance Payments
A deposit of $400 US is necessary to secure your slot. This deposit is non-refundable and non- transferable, but it remains valid forever (should you have to, or choose to, postpone your scheduled course).
You can pay the remaining balance:
● At the bridge (using cash or Traveler’s Checks)
● Prior to your arrival at the bridge, using PayPal (which incurs a 5% fee)
● Regretfully, we do not accept credit cards.
After completing your Apex FBJC, you are always invited to join us again any time we are at the bridge. If you are joining us after the season in which you took your course and have not been jumping or do not remember how to pack, we charge a $200USD fee.
Scheduling & Preparing For Your Course
To start, check out the course calendar on this website.
If one of the dates works for you, contact us to make sure there is a slot available for you. If none of these dates work, please choose a weekend that will work for you and contact us about it. We then check to see if that date works for us as well.
In case you don’t find a course date that works for you, you are still welcome to pay for the deposit and get the material. This way you will be prepared for whenever you choose to join us, even if it is on short notice.
Once you have found a course date:
Send us a nonrefundable $400US deposit. This is non-refundable and covers required course materials. This deposit counts towards the cost of the course.
You will then receive the required course material. This comprises a BASE Course Manual and instructional BASE Packing video in preparation for your course.
Read the manual carefully, watch the video and practice your pack jobs. The more proficient you are when you arrive, the faster you will pick up the finer points at the course. (This also translates into making more actual jumps during the course.)
Complete our FBJC Questionnaire. In it, you’ll send us detailed information regarding emergency contact, room preference, gear size, etc.
FJC Course Itinerary
You’ll arrive at the hotel. This will give you one night to relax and shake off any tiredness (or jetlag, if you’re coming from far away). The FBJC is very intense. We need you operating at 100%.
● We meet at the BASE House in the morning to fill out paperwork, take care of any remaining balance and receive your gear. We will then begin packing lessons.
● In the afternoon we will begin the ground school and PowerPoint presentation which covers everything you need to know to jump this object safely: exits, possible malfunctions, canopy control, landings, weather conditions, gear checks and much more.
● We will then proceed out to the Limska Draga Bridge to do a live site assessment, describe the landing procedures and options, practice the climb over the railing and more.
● If there is time, we’ll make our first jump of the course: a sunset load.
● The jumping begins in earnest. You’ll start with a pilot chute assisted (PCA) jump before progressing to freefall. A PCA jump will give you maximum canopy time to safely set up for the landing. At this time we will then walk the landing areas and discuss various approach options.
● We pack. Each time we pack, you will be supervised in and instructed on the various packing methods that are used in BASE jumping.
● We will jump all day, weather permitting. If there is bad weather, we will meet in the BASE House classroom for ground-school instruction. You will receive a full video debrief of every jump.
● We start Day 3 with a jump. If the weather is good, regardless of how many jumps we’ve made so far, we always like to start our day with a jump. (It’s better than a cup of coffee.
● You’ll learn different jump types. You’ll learn to correctly Pilot Chute Assist another jumper, set up a static line and correctly configure yourself for handheld jumps.
● We’ll do a succession of basic canopy drills to prepare you for the range of potential situations you’ll encounter in your BASE career.
● We build on our knowledge. Throughout the weekend, we’ll go over what it takes to jump from the other categories of objects in BASE jumping. We’ll discuss jumps from cliffs, antenna towers and buildings. We’ll also cover how to safely conduct static line and pilot chute assisted jumps for lower objects, plus the following topics:
○ The slider-up pack job
○ Running v.s. poised exits
○ How to determine if a site is conducive to jumping
○ How to determine the altitude of a jump
○ Whether to go stowed or handheld
○ BASE ethics
● We’ll also engage in detailed discussions of BASE equipment:
○ The selection of a pilot chute size (and its effect on delay)
○ Choosing a container and canopy (we will go over all the options)
● At approximately 2 p.m. on Day 4, the course is complete. As aforementioned: In case we have some weather problems during the course, we stay until the end of Sunday (at no extra cost to you). You should schedule your flight to depart late on Sunday, if possible. It is also not a bad idea to schedule your trip so that you leave on Monday morning.
● You are welcome to rent gear and stay longer or check to see if we have an Advanced Course Level One beginning the next day. Taking that course would add three days to the schedule, for a total of six days of jumping! (Additional fees would apply.)
Making Travel Arrangements
When you sign up, we’ll be in touch with you about travel arrangements.
We are working hand-in-hand with the owner of the land below the bridge. He has been putting an amazing amount of work into the facility he has built in Kanfanar, which has come to be known as the “BASE House.” The BASE House is a bunkhouse with several great amenities: a pendulator for exit practice, a comfortable classroom, a hanging harness and a packing area with a padded floor. The owner also owns a small hotel in Kanfanar.
Suggested Pre-Course Canopy Drills
Here are some canopy drills you can practice at your drop zone before attending the Apex FBJC.
● These drills should not be executed on a high-performance 9-cell. Drill these using a seven-cell canopy with an appropriate wing loading.
● Do not practice these maneuvers under 2,000 feet AGL while skydiving.
● Step One:
○ As soon as you open, practice turning your canopy around 180 degrees instantly with your rear risers, both to the right and left, on different jumps. Do this immediately, before un-stowing your brakes.
○ Then — still without un-stowing your brakes — practice backing your canopy up with your rear risers. You are not backing your canopy up until your pilot chute is in front of your canopy. This maneuver is scary at first, but you must become comfortable with this flight characteristic.
○ Next, unstow one brake and try to counteract the turn with the opposite riser. This is simply an exercise to familiarize yourself with the flight characteristics of your canopy in this configuration (for instance: if you should experience a jammed control line).
● Step Two:
○ You should now un-stow both toggles and stick them on their Velcro.
○ Practice flying your canopy around with your rear risers. Fly forward in full flight and simulate that it is time to land. See how little riser input is required on both rear risers to flatten the canopy out to land. (A little riser input equals a lot of toggle.)
○ Watch that stall. It should be noticed at this time that the canopy goes from a flat glide to a stall configuration very quickly. If you are near the ground, this could have very serious consequences. This is the biggest problem with landing on rear risers: you can only flatten the glide slope out with the rear risers; you really can’t do a nice flared landing, so always expect to run out your landing or do a good PLF. It is better to just practice this up high and find the stall point. Save the actual landing for occasions if and when you need it, as we try to never endanger ourselves for the sake of the drill.
○ Practice your flat turns. Oftentimes in BASE, we need to turn but don’t have enough altitude to do a normal toggle turn. In this case, we do what is called a “flat turn.” To do a flat turn, simply give just a bit of counter toggle input. If you want to do a right-hand flat turn, pull down the right toggle as much as needed while pulling the left-hand toggle down just a little bit. This left toggle is preventing the left side of the canopy from flying at full flight, thus preventing the steeper diving turn associated with a single-toggle (normal) turn.
○ Work on getting the balance right for the flat turn. The trick is just to pull down the opposite toggle a couple inches, not a foot or more. If you pull down too much on the opposite toggle, the canopy either won’t turn at all or it will turn so slowly that you will waste all of the altitude you are trying to save in the first place.
Optimize Your Experience
Arrive with a working knowledge of the BASE pack job.
We can not emphasise this enough. Watch the video that we’ve sent you and practice, practice, practice. What you see in the video is exactly what we will be teaching you. If you arrive with a working knowledge of packing, you will save a lot of time throughout the weekend, resulting in more head space and a much better understanding of a BASE pack job. We will simply be fine-tuning your pack job (as opposed to starting from scratch). Jumpers arriving with absolutely no idea of how to pack spend most of their time struggling with the pack job instead of being able to focus on the jumping.
Watch your local rigger pack a reserve, if possible.
Most riggers pack almost identically to a BASE pack job up until it starts getting S-folded for the free bag. You can also ask any local BASE jumpers in your area to let you watch them pack.
Read and re-read the manual you will be sent.
We will be giving you a LOT of information during your on-site course, all packed into a 3-day weekend. Having familiarized yourself with this information prior to arriving will make it much easier for you to digest. The manual covers all of the basics. During the course, we expand on this information with real-world situations and a lot of stories to reinforce each section.
Get some seven-cell canopy time under your belt.
Doing Canopy Relative Work (CReW) is a great method. CReW is great practice for BASE jumping, because you are using your risers a lot and also seeing how your canopy reacts to toggle inputs. Landing a seven-cell is best practiced on a nice grass lawn at the local DZ that you are familiar with. The bridge has an excellent landing area, but in the event of a problem, you may have to land in one of the alternate landing areas (which are good, but not great). Be prepared.
Please note that our jumping schedule depends entirely upon weather conditions. Croatia’s weather is generally mild, but–for your safety as well as ours–we will not make jumps when the weather does not safely permit it.
To get started, fill out the form to the right. We’ll contact you to arrange payment of your deposit and send your instructional materials.
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)