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Ever Wonder What It Takes to Be a BASE Jumper? We Talked to One and Here's His Advice

"It's probably the most surreal and most fun thing I've ever done." Plus: Trying to figure out what "BASE" stands for? We found out

TheBlaze has brought its readers a wealth of videos showing BASE jumpers leaping from an ungodly high precipice and gliding safely (sometimes) to the ground with stunning views in a wingsuit. But you don't just wake up one day, don a wingsuit that makes you look like a sugar glider squirrel and jump off a mountain.

As our interview with Erik Roner revealed, being a BASE (Buildings, Antennas, Spans, Earth) jumper takes some serious training.

Image: Erik Roner/Instagram

Roner told us in an email that it's best to start with skydiving before getting into BASE jumping. He says this helps jumpers to "gain awareness and canopy control." He also suggests having a mentor to guide you on BASE jumping ins and outs.

"There is a lot you can learn from history and others experience. Going at it on your own increases your chance for injury or death for sure. When you're BASE jumping there's just not much time and you really rely and your skill and muscle memory."

As for jumping in a wingsuit, this adds another element. Roner suggests starting to jump from planes while wearing the suit before taking on a BASE. This allows you to get to know your suit and how to control it if something goes wrong.

Roner showed us, in a rather satirical way, what "getting to know" your suit can mean.

In a new video, Roner tries to spend as much time as possible in his wingsuit. Image: Erik Roner/Instagram

In this video, he goes about his daily life in his wingsuit, and, of course, it still includes stunning footage over the Swiss valley (Note: Some strong language):

Through his Web series -- Roner Vision -- he says he's trying to show the lighter side of the extreme stunts he takes on.

"There's a lot of humor in everything and we try to focus on that over the intense activities I'm involved in," Roner said.

Roner, who is also a professional skier, started BASE jumping in 2001 and jumping in a custom-fit wingsuit in 2006. He said he was scared at first -- "I didn't want to die!" -- but within a short time he was hooked and has now completed more than 1,000 jumps.

"When you put that small parachute on your back, you step into this irrational world where you can run off buildings, antennas, bridges, cliffs, and fly through air. It's probably the most surreal and most fun thing I've ever done.

"Before you jump you're only focused on your gear and what you need to do," Roner said. "During the jump you are only caught up in that moment of falling through the air. Landing successfully is the true reward and brings on amazing feelings, which is usually 'let's go do that again!'"

Image: Erik Roner/Instagram

There is a very real danger with such an extreme sport though. TheBlaze brought you the harrowing footage from a BASE jumper's headcam showing him crashing on the mountain. Roner said he has lost friends and had some close calls himself.

"For me it goes in waves where I feel the right energy, confidence and desire to jump. In those times I will jump lots," he said. "Other times I'll feel uneasy or a different type of fear and I tend to not jump very much. These periods can be weeks or months and I try to listen to my gut and ride that wave."

Roner shattered my heal bone during a jump in France in 2005.

"Injury is part of it for sure," he said. "If you jump long enough accidents are going to happen."

For more information on Roner, check out his Facebook page or website.

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