When was the last time you saw something that truly blew your mind? Whether it was something you saw online or on TV, it was an image that changed your perception about something, or changed your life forever. I had my moment yesterday afternoon while watching Fuel TV, the home of extreme sports and mediocre bands, aimed at teens and young adults.
I wasn’t even really watching. My husband had it on in the background. I randomly walked by the TV and heard the phrase, “Skydiving without a parachute” and was instantly sucked into a total, “Psssh, ya right” moment.
Travis Pastrana Is The Guy
Sure enough, this young guy, Travis Pastrana, probably in his mid 20s was in a small airplane wearing only board shorts and socks, drinking a Red Bull. He sat up, lined up at the door and mouthed, “I hope this works!” to the camera. I’m not sure if he was joking and referencing Red Bull’s tagline, “It gives you wings,” or if he was hoping he wouldn’t be the next recipient of a Darwin Award.
This guy jumped out of the plane like it was nothing. I’m sure he wasn’t the slightest bit scared. I don’t think I would have been either. Obviously you can’t pull off a stunt like this unless you have the highest USPA skydiving rating. I had no idea who this guy was at the time, but I could tell he was good. He was steady, did perfect back flips, and totally ruled the air. This guy was skydiving without a parachute, but he looked so free and it looked like he was having the time of his life.
He was able to freefall close to a minute before two other skydivers flew up to him. One guy leveled off in front of Travis, face-to-face with him. Both extended their arms and grabbed onto each other to keep Travis level and steady. The other skydiver flew over the top of him, and mounted him like a horse. I’m not sure exactly what happened next. The guy leaned down onto his back and adjusted his straps. I don’t know what he was hooking them to, if anything, because the first guy didn’t have a shirt on. Normally when skydivers drop without a parachute, they are wearing a suit with the regular hooks on it so it can turn into a more traditional tandem flight in the end.
Loosen Chest Strap
When the third skydiver finished adjusting himself he sat upright on Travis and spanked him like he was using a riding crop on a horse (Another reason I don’t think he was hooked. Maybe he loosened his chest strap so Travis could have something to hold onto?). The scene was hilarious. Then the guy on top wrapped his legs around Travis’s thighs, wrapped one of his arms around his chest and deployed his parachute. I don’t know how the parachutist held on to him. Those parachutes violently jerk you upwards right when it opens, catching that first bit of air.
The guys landed on a beach intact and their buddies on the ground were totally stoked. I think my jaw was open the entire time. I thought I had seen everything. I’ve seen videos of guys jumping with parachutes hidden under their shirts, guys jumping without a parachute and then someone flies up with a parachute, hands it off, and then the guy deploys it while hanging on with one hand, etc., but this looked like the Travis had only his buddy’s ridiculously-strong thighs to thank!
I found a grainy version of this video on YouTube. At the end it looks like they land in the water, but they don’t. In fact, after he stands up he runs into the ocean. You can watch the video below: