The Story of BIG AIR Sportz
Founded by Brian Germain in 1998, BIG AIR Sportz is a company built upon a single principle: “Believe in what you do, and it will succeed”. Every item that displays the Big Air logo has meaning and integrity. While many companies stand for nothing but the almighty dollar, we strive to be more.
We don’t just sell seminars, books and parachute designs, we sell our ideals. Our parachutes are designed and tested to the very highest standards conceivable. We do this not to dodge liability, but because we honestly care about the people who use them. We too, are pilots, and we want nothing but the best tools innovation can provide. From the inception of our company, parachute stability has been the central focus of our work. Our pride as a company comes from our conviction that we are doing the right thing; we are improving the safety of the sport.
Even the ultimate parachute must be in skilled hands if the primary goal of the company is safety. BIG AIR therefore chose to expand beyond skydiving equipment, and into skydiving education. This has led to the creation of our canopy flight training course, numerous training manuals and aids, as well as Brian Germain's world wide speaking tour on the topic of parachuting safety and adrenalin management
Brief Skydiving Biography of Company Founder Brian Germain
Brian made his first skydive in 1986 at the age of eighteen, in order to bolster his resume to NASA, because he wanted, and continues to want to be an astronaut. He quickly attained all the available ratings, and managed to graduate from the University of Vermont with a degree in Psychology, and over 1000 jumps.
Brian spent a few years traveling and working as an instructor and parachute rigger. He eventually opened Vermont Skydiving Adventures in Swanton, Vermont at the age of twenty-five. Working out of a small office at the Franklin County Airport on the Canadian border, Brian taught hundreds of students in his unusual, holistic manner.
Brian’s career as a drop-zone owner was cut short in 1993, however, by a tragic accident that occurred in the rolling hills of Milton, Vermont. While paragliding on a windy March day, Brian’s wing collapsed, sending him hurling to the earth from over a hundred feet in the air. Due to the extent of his injuries, Brian was confined to a wheelchair for months, and spent the balance 1993 on the ground.
Downtime can be fertile ground for new ideas and new directions, and Brian went to work. Fumbling though some old notebook scribblings, Brian found his idea of a one-way valve for ram-air canopies. Working in the dimly lit basement of his good friend Dave Smith, Brian constructed the first prototypes. Despite his debilitated condition, Brian managed to crutch his way to the highest fire-escape platform at the University of Vermont and drop the miniature prototype parachutes over and over again. The Airlock was born.
The Air Time Years
By the fall of 1993, Brian was healed enough to move to Zephyrhills, Florida for the winter, carrying with him the latest prototype design of an airlocked elliptical nine-cell canopy. During the Thanksgiving feast thrown by Air Time Designs, Brian took the company’s President Tony Uragallo outside and showed him the design. Tony loved the idea, and hired Brian on the spot as the Head of Research and Development. Brian Patented his idea, one of the most extensive patents ever awarded for a Parachute Design: US Patent #5,573,207 Valve Apparatus for Ram-Air Wing.
Task number one: Learn how to build a parachute. The next several weeks were filled with sewing and unpicking, slightly more sewing, but just barely. Eventually the first Jedei prototype was completed, in all blackberry fabric. Nicknamed the “Grape Ape", the canopy flew beautifully, and the airlock age had begun...
Few parachute designs have ever had such a loyal following as the Jedei. In fact, after Air Time closed its doors, the Jedei became the first canopy to actually appreciate in value. People continue to hoard their extra Jedei parachutes in closets. The canopy became a true legend, the world's first airlock wing parachute. BIG AIR continued on the manufacturing path for many years, producing several well-loved parachute designs including the Samurai, the Lotus, the Sensei and others. Thousands of Airlock and advanced Germain Airfoils continue to fill the world's skies.
During the testing of the new designs, Brian and Tony began playing with sit flying, a new form of high speed formation skydiving. Wearing Tony’s latest invention, the sit-suit, they helped develop and refine a new dimension in freefall: "Vertical Skydiving". Brian and Tony competed in several ESPN X-Games competitions, and won a number of medals together. Brian continued on with Robert Mahaffey and Adrian Nicholas and went on to win the coveted Gold Medal in Monterrey Bay, California. Brian traveled the world teaching the new art of speed skydiving, and authored the instructional text: Vertical Journey, later releasing a video of the same title.
Now it was time to get back to work. First and foremost a teacher, Brian Germain realized that there was more to the success or failure of the skydiving experience than GEAR and KNOWLEDGE. There was a human element at work that must be examined: EMOTION. Psychology was calling him back. So Brian returned to school for a graduate degree in Psychotherapy, focusing on fear, seeking its antidotes and its opposites. Brian's continuing work on the subject has led to several more books on the topics of Transcending Fear and Mental Limitations, including the celebrated best seller Transcending Fear, and the new inspirational book about "Go Time" entitled Green Light Your Life. Click here to view Brian Germain's books!
So, what is Brian doing now?
Exciting and profound Adrenalin Management Seminars!
Brian is presenting his conclusions about fear abatement to the business world to help spur the global economy into further abundance. It is Brian's goal to inspire corporate decision makers to use their bravery to choose eco-friendly and humanistic technologies, not only for the greater good of our species, but for the benefit the Earth on which we live as well.
True Heroic behavior transcends brave acts of a physical nature, and is best demonstrated through choices of a compassionate nature, even when conventional business acumen would suggest a colder, more numerical approach. The bravery of such business wisdom is, and will continue to be the basis of the new economy. The more we think with our whole brains, the more we will feel compelled do what is right. Click here to learn more about Brian's Keynote Speaking. Here is a link to Brian's Informational Onesheet.
The desire to help people push back their fear led to the creation of our Experiential Programs: "Transcending Fear Adventures". We have also branched out our education division in our creation of Adventure Wisdom, LLC, providing ONLINE adventure training. This revolutionary model for extreme sports training connects great teachers to great students, all over the world. For more information on Adventure Wisdom programs, go to: http:///www.adventurewisdom.com