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Claudio Cagnasso is one of the biggest names in skydiving. The 29-year-old Venezuelan has been jumping off planes and free-falling since he was a teenager – totalling over 8,000 jumps.
EDGEsport caught up with the man himself to find out how he prepares for an insane event like the Swoop Freestyle.
TELL US HOW YOU WOULD NORMALLY TRAIN FOR AN EVENT LIKE SWOOP FREESTYLE?
I focus mostly on freefly, which is the free-fall side of skydiving. I don’t do any preparation for competition. I just try to enjoy my landings and mostly train freestyle, doing my landings on the ground with not a lot of training on the water. I also like to stay active and do some other activities like climbing and slack-lining. I may do a little working out – not so much like going to the gym but doing exercise on my own.
DOES YOUR TRAINING DIFFER DEPENDING ON THE SEASON?
My training doesn’t differ so much – I focus on the free fall side of things. I add my canopy training into that as I need to land every time after I go sky diving. It’s been the same for the last few years.
FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT FREEFLYING, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT IT INVOLVES?
There are many different disciplines for freeflying, from wingsuit to formation skydiving. The one I do the most is free-fly, which is more artistic – it looks more like a shape, depending on how you form as part of a group. There’s total freedom to do whatever moves you like, whereas some of the other disciplines you fly solely on the belly.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT PRACTISING YOUR TRICKS?
I have been practicing my tricks every time I skydive, if the landing area is nice enough. If the landing area is rough, I don’t do it so much as the chances of crashing are a bit higher.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COMBINATION TO PERFORM?
My favourite combination is the cowboy miracle man – it looks really cool if performed properly. The wing over is also pretty badass.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR DOWNTIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT COMPETING AT EVENTS?
I try to spend time with family and travel the world with friends, going to some cool places. I try and get outdoors as much as possible – I do a bit of hiking and do some other air sports like speed flying. I do some base jumping here and there. Base jumping is very different from swooping – you basically fly far from the canopy which means you don’t burn up too much altitude. Both disciplines are scary for sure, but base jumping gives me the biggest buzz when I land it.