EXCLU : en immersion avec les SOUL FLYERS, les MAÎTRES DES AIRS ! (ft Fred Fugen & Vince Reffet)

It was on February 25th at La Clusaz, in Haute-Savoie. The Soul Flyers are ready to go down the ski slopes of the resort, in their own way. Riding Zone was closer to them during this unique performance. To better identify these two rarely identifiable flying objects. The Soul Flyers have been controlling the air sector for 20 years. It must be said, they are more comfortable in the air, than on earth. “Parachutist, 17000 jumps”. “Same, i did close to 16500 … 17000 skydiving jumps”. They tried everything, tested everything, realized everything. Freefly, wingsuit flight, night flight, proximity flight, speed riding, base jump, jetman. Each of their videos fascinates tens of millions viewers. But who are they really? “Together, we are the Soul Flyers”. For us, they come back especially on their way in common, which is nothing banal. Fred Fugen, age 39, and Vince Reffet, age 34, have not always been the Soul Flyers. Before forming their flying duo, they learned the basics of prachuting. They couldn’t escape the free fall virus because both come from practicing families. “We both come from paratroopers families, Fred and me. Me, my father was a paratrooper, he took care of a drop zone in the north of Paris. At the beginning, we have a little differents ways. Because when I was young, I did not want to jump at all. I was more, scared of the fall, a little bit of all from thrills. And then, I found myself making my first jump at the age of 15, I liked it. It turned out rather completely. “Me, first jump at the age of 10, in tandem with my father. My parents were skydivers, and I saw them jumping since I was little. Then, I could not wait to try … So, I did some jumps in tandem, when I was not old enough to be able to jump alone. Then at 16, I started jumping on my own and I never stopped. They met in the early 2000s and have never left each other. “From the moment we teamed together, we never lost a competition.” And the freefly years, were amazing. “We have won 6 World Titles in a raw. Including three World Champion titles, one World Cup, and two World Games “. “Meow, Meow.” During these years, they have also experimented other aerial disciplines. Flight in wingsuit, speed riding, and also base jump. We are in 2002, hair are longer, but the jumps shorter. And if Fred has already experienced the base jump before this jump, for Vince it’s the first time. “Come on, look at the mountain.” “Yeah.” ” Whenever you’re ready. ” ” Let’s go ! ” “Yes!” After ten years of competition, Fred and Vince stop. They decide to give a second wind to their duo, becoming officially the Soul Flyers. “I was a little tired of the competition.” It had been ten years since I was doing it. After, the competition is fantastic, it allows to have great bases. It made us travel, it made us especially reach a very good level. Also, learn the rigor of training and how to structure a training etc. It served us a lot later, when we found ourselves facing our projects. For their first big project, the Soul Flyers went to Norway. Jump from 1000 meters’ cliffs. “At that moment, we wanted to realize the figures that we did in freefly competition. We thought we’d like to try to realize them. But in base jump. It means finding the highest cliffs. Where we could have enough time to fall, to achieve some of our iconic figures. As for example a one-on-one. In para ‘we had an emblematic figure, where we went out of the plane and during the jump we stuck our heads. And we would like to realize it. It was our first trip as a former competitor and the beginning of the Soul Flyers “. This video, very noticed, will be the starting point of their new career. The range of possibilities widens to Dubai and its famous Burj Khalifa. The highest tower in the world, which rises to 830 m. “Between the authorizations, the first tracking and the moment when we were able to jump, it’s been almost three years. ” ” We made six jumps, from the top of the tower. We did 4 jumps in wingsuit and 2 jumps in freefly “. A month after Dubai, heads up to Chamonix for another iconic jump, at 10,000m above sea level this time. “We had to use oxygen. We were at minus 55 ° C up there, and the goal was to do a freefly’s choreography at high altitud. Open the parachutes above Mont Blanc. Get off the entire Italian side of Mont Blanc with fast skydive sails. It was amazing, it was crazy. “Then, what was amazing, was that you’re leaving at 10,000 meters, there is no oxygen, it is completely hostile. You attack the summit of Mont Blanc. It’s glaciers, snow, attacks on the high mountains. You come to rest at the end, on solid ground, in the grass, where there are small butterflies flying. The sound of birds, when you just hit 7 min flight. ” “It was 20 ° C.” “You just hit 7 min of tricks series, you can not stand it any longer and you’re standing there, and it’s all clean.” When Yves Rossy, the inventor of the Jetman looked for the best paratroopers to fly these carbon wings, he naturally turned to them. At first, it was Vince who donned the suit with four reactors. “When I started flying Jetman, it was unthinkable that Fred did not fly with this system. When we got there, I told them: We’ll start Jetman … ” “We have to bring my friend” “Otherwise me, I’m not happy.” It’s so much the perfect evolution of our sport. As paratroopers, we always try to stay the longest in the sky, flying. Then we are caught up by gravity. With this Jetman system, we have a wing, which is an extension of our body. It allows us to make jumps as we did in freefly. But by adding a vector, which is the one to go up. We can realize choreographies similar to fighter jets or acrobatic aircrafts. We have this accelerator which is on thumb, and when we put full gas, it sends strong “. Thanks to Jetman they flew next to an A380 in Dubai. A flight of a new kind that has very much marked the spirits. And what about the one made with the Alphas Jet of the Patrouille de France Certainly one of their best aerial memories. “It was just amazing when they were in a diamond patern and they tipped the corner. You see all the planes in formation. I was following Fred, I saw a tiny guy, flying naked under a wing. It was just amazing. One of the most beautiful moments is when we put ourselves above them. We asked them if, because we have white smoke, we could put oursleves above them. It would be really cool … for us to let them fire the blue, white, red smoke out of their jets. We went above and they sent the flag. We were in the middle, with the white, it was a moment full of emotions “. And if they manage to fly next to planes, they even manage to get in while they are flighing. “That’s my Vince, here we are, big day! Look at this ! ” ” Lets’ go ! ” ” Let’s go ! ” “To tell you everything, we really thought it was going to be easy. It didn’t seem complicated when we were flying next to the plane. Except that, as long as you do not really do it, you can not know what’s going to happen. “YOUHOUHOUUUU, YES!” “YOUHOUHOU!” “OHOOOO!” But with all these thrills, how does it feel once on the ground, when the adrenaline goes down ? “Do you ever do more down-to-earth sports?” “Yes we know one, but we will not quote it.” Joking… “No more quiet, we do paragliding, hiking, kitesurfing.” “Yeah, kite and paragliding is really cushy.” “Quiet …” “Easy peasy… (laught)” Their last big blow, they did it last February, at home, at La Clusaz. For the occasion, Riding Zone was in the game. In the heart of the Balme massif. “It’s exactly 11:55.” “So a priori, we have about 1:30 minutes before the helicopter arrives.” It gives us time to climb, make a small descent along these cliffs. ” “A quarter of an hour uphill.” “A little bit of tracking.” “And we’ll be ready to send it strong !” “We’re impatient, because it’s been a while since we’ve got that thing in our heads. And here today, we have ideal conditions. There no wind, a great sun, so it’ll be beautiful. ” First of all, they must find one last time the lines, and the trajectories of their flights. “Basically, this is our playground for the day.” It is while skiing, rather relaxed, that they tracked their line one last time. And the sticks, which rise in the sky, trace naturally their line. Four wingsuit flights are planned. For all, the same point of departure and arrival, but not the same trajectory. To accompany them during their jumps, their friend Seb ‘Collomb-Gros is present. He organized the whole logistics part. “Vince, you go out in 2nd, you go behind.” “Yeah.” “And then Fred first in front.” “Yeah.” “And we fire the smoke bomb after, once we’re here. So we close the door to the first, we agree? ” For special effects, smoke bombs are attached to the feet. They know exactly what they have to do. They have more than 10,000 thousand jumps in common. “Go Riding Zone, let’s go.” “They come to us.” *Applauding crowd*. “Extraordinary, extraordinary!” “It was rad, thank you La Clusaz!” Of course, Soul Flyers are not going to stop there. In the near future, they will remake talk about them, with two very big projects which are for the moment, top secret.

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