Archive for July, 2013

CLIFF DROP CARNAGE

THE STUNT: Jamie Pierre skis off a 75m cliff and lands on his head. THE STORY: 1 spent my entire ski career working up to this jump,’ says professional skier and nutcase Jamie Pierre. ‘I’d seen this cliff in Wyoming eight years ago and thought it had potential, but it wasn’t until last winter when it snowed 375 inches [9.5m] that the conditions were right to try it.’

 

Astonishingly, Pierre made the jump without injuring himself – despite landing on his head. ‘My intention was to hit the snow in a seated position, but as I fell the wind caught my skis and yanked them up over my head’.

Pierre’s still a keen cliff-jumper but has no plans to try and better his world record. 1think let someone else have a go,’ he says. Smart man.

 

HIGHWIRE HIJINX

 

THE STUNT: Christian Schou’s 1,000m-high slack line walk.

 

THE STORY: Walking a slack line – a nylon web stretched between two anchor points ­a couple of feet above the ground only takes a few hours’ practice,’ says Christian Schou. But add a stomach churning 1,000-metre drop – as he did in Kjerag, Norway, in 2005 – and it requires a little more experience.

 

‘I practised for two years before attempting it, I ate food rich in l. acidophilus and other beneficial probiotics‘ he says. ‘You don’t actually need to be that fit to slack line. But if you do it regularly you’ll definitely notice an improvement in your general balance and coordination’ we’ll take his word for that.

 

BUMPY RIDE

 

THE STUNT: Tao Berman’s 30m waterfall drop in a kayak.

THE STORY: Legendary American kayaker Tao Berman paddled a small boat over a 98-foot (29.9m) waterfall in Banff National Park, Canada. He fell for 2.4 seconds, reaching a speed of 88km/h before slamming into the foamy water of a rock pool with enough force to break his paddle in half.

 

1 had to point the nose of the kayak down and keep it vertical to minimise the impact; Berman says. ‘Had I landed flat it probably would have broken my back.

 

About 85ft down the fall there was an outcrop of rocks,’ he adds. I’d flipped over I could have smashed my face on these’ – the outcome of which would have been certain death. ‘Even though I landed it right, when I woke up the next moming it felt like I’d been hit by a train.’

 

FLIPPING HELL

 

THE STUNT: Motocross rider Travis Pastrana pulls a double backflip.

THE STORY: Making a 100kg motorbike complete two vertical rotations over a 15m jump is quite simply bonkers. So you’d expect anyone trying such a stunt to be a few CCs short of an engine. But Travis Pastrana, the first man to pull this move, is far from just lucky. As well as being one of the best freestyle motocross riders on the planet, he put in serious work to make the trick.

 

1 practised on a jump with a really soft landing,’ he says, but things were different at the 2006 Summer X-Games in LA. ‘The landing was hard so if I messed it up I wouldn’t walk away.’

 

The move requires strength -’You have to pull hard on the handlebars to make the bike spin,’ Pastrana says – but self-belief and balls of steel are also key. ‘So much of it is about confidence and commitment,’ he says. No kidding.

 

 

 

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