When we’re younger, jumping is an organic way of coming to understand our limits as a grounded species. Inevitably, we’re hurt on these little excursions into the sky once we learn that we can’t really fly.
The people below never really learned this lesson, but rather than hindering their development, their decision not to accept reality actually led to some of the most awe-inspiring jumps of all time.
The biggest jumps include a couple appearances from Travis Pastrana, two of Robbie Maddison’s motorcycle jumps, Felix Baumgarten, who is attempting to set the skydiving record this October 8, and the man he’s hoping to supplant for the highest skydive of all time, Joseph Kittinger.
The next time you’re dreaming of flight, remember some men have made those dreams a reality.
Simon Dumont’s World Record Quarter-Pipe Jump
Simon Dumont is a professional skier from Dumont, Maine. His world record quarter-pipe jump was a corked 900 tail grab 35.5 feet in the air.
The really nice thing, for Dumont and his fans is that he achieved the feat in his hometown of Bethel at Sunday River Mountain. After his jump, he was even invited on the Ellen show.
Travis Pastrana’s Chute-less Jump
We’re familiar with Travis already, but if you aren’t, he’s a motor sports competitor (as you’ll see further down) and a stunt performer. One of those stunts was jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.
Yep, you heard that correctly. He eventually found a cohort mid-flight and they latched together in time to pull the cord and avoid splattering on the ground. For a man that’s made a lot of jumps, this was one he won’t forget.
Robbie Maddison Jumps Arc de Triomphe
Robbie Maddison is a continuation of the Evel Knievel aesthetic. If you build it, he will jump it. His most famous jumps include an entire football field (seriously, from one goalpost to the other) and a New Year’s Eve jump to the top of the Paris Las Vegas hotel, as you can see above.
After jumping on to the top of the Paris, he then decided to jump down, proving that danger simply breeds even more danger.
Felix Baumgartner Marmet Cave Jump In Velebit National Park
Maybe you’ve heard of this guy, Felix Baumgartner. He’s been in the news quite a bit this year. He set the highest and longest recorded skydive and has performed a supersonic free fall without the comfortable confines of a cockpit.
Felix, however, isn’t limited to just jumping from a balloon (not that attempting to jump from space is anything to scoff at). He made our Craziest BASE Jumps article by making the decision to jump from the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The statue is only 95 feet in the air and, for BASE jumpers, lower is more dangerous. He followed that up by jumping into the 623-foot Marmet Cave in Croatia’s Velebit National Park. I wouldn’t bet against him breaking the speed of sound on October 8.
Erik Mukhametshin Jumps To Another Building
Parkour’s Erik Mukhametshin is no stranger to world record feats of jumping brillianace. He holds the record for the furthest backflip off a wall. The Uzbekistan native isn’t limited to just backflips though.
He shows absolutely no fear by jumping from the top of one 8-story building to the top of a 5-story building. Oh yeah, the buildings in question are also separated by a road.
Jim Rippey BASE Jumps From Television Antenna
Jim Rippey is a world reknowned snowboarder that’s won World and American championships and is a three-time Vans Triple-Crown winner. He also did the first backflip on a snowmobile, which lead to an ESPN “Feat of the Year” award.
With all those distinctions, what could have possibly led him to climb this television antenna in California and jump off? Oh right, he’s an Adrenalist.
Travis Pastrana Double Backflip
Travis is the only athlete included twice in this list, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more deserving athlete and daredevil. You already watched him jump out of a plane sans chute, but that’s only a part of his narrative.
He’s been atop the X-Games medal stand since 1999, winning ten golds, and in 2000 he was the first motocross competitor to attempt a back flip in competition.
Fast-forward to 2006 and he lands the first double back flip in the best trick competition. He’s also got a couple AMA Motocross titles for 125cc bikes and these days he’s racing cars. There’s nothing Travis Pastrana can’t do.
Dana Kunze World Record High Dive
Dana Kunze is a world record-setting, champion high-diver. He started competing professionally in 1973 when he was just 13 and won his first world championship just four years later. He continued winning world championships for the next seven years.
This jump from 172 feet was the world record until Randy Dickison jumped from 174 feet, 8 inches and fractured his foot in the process. In 1987, Olivia Favre set the current world record of 177 feet. Regardless of the current record, Dana Kunze knows how to jump and stay healthy.
Espen Fadnes Wingsuit Jump Near Road
Adrenalist readers might be familiar with this one. We’ve got a whole section on wingsuiting and the the high risks involved in the sport (it’s now banned in Chamonix, France) are very apparent.
So what the Norwegian Espen Fadnes does in this clip isn’t particularly new, especially when you watch humans flying all the time. The real “whoa” moment happens when you realize how close he comes to hitting a road on his trek down.
Wingsuiting is crazy no matter who does it or where it’s done, but when your flight line brings you as close to slamming into the ground at 100 mph, you’re pushing an already extreme sport even closer to death’s door.
Joseph Kittinger Jumps From The Edge Of Space
On August 16, 1960, Joseph Kittiner left the Excelsior III balloon as part of the U.S. Air Force’s experimental flight testing. He jumped from the balloon at a height of 102,800 feet, or around 20 miles up. It was high enough in the stratosphere as to be almost entirely devoid of air and right on the precipice of outer space.
He said about the initial moment of descent, ”I had no ripple to the suit; it was a very weird sensation. I had no visual reference of things, and I really thought I was suspended in space.” That wasn’t a figure of speech, either; he was so high up when he made his jump that he very well could have been suspended in space.
Once he hit the troposphere, the crackling sound of the wind whipping by was a welcome relief from the abyss he’d initially jumped into. The jump set records for highest parachute jump, highest balloon ascent and the fastest speed achieved by a human.
Felix Baumgartner Jumps From SPACE!
Just watch the video!
That is jumping the Adventurer way.