Uncertainty: that’s why jumping a gap is so terrifying. No matter how long you prep (mentally and physically), how big your audience is or how many people tell you, “you got this,” it all comes down to chance. More times than not, the seasoned Adrenalist is the successful Adrenalist, but sometimes beginners get lucky and pros fall short. There’s a lot more on the line than bragging rights or world records. For the kinds of jumps we’re talking about, the kind we’ve featured below, an unlucky run could mean a life-altering disaster.
Here are five ways to jump a gap.
We’re featuring the video of pro BMX’er Dane Searls for two reasons. First, his stunt is labor-intensive and absolutely insane. Searls’ sponsor, Unit Clothing, reportedly worked with The Giants of Dirt to build some of the largest jumps in BMX history. After nearly a year of construction in Queensland, Australia, Searls bravely took on each one, sailing through the air for distances of up to 60 feet in some cases. The second reason we’re including Searls’ fine work is that, just days after completing these record-setting jumps, he had an accident and sustained fatal head injuries. Searls’ legacy lives on through his unwavering commitment to excellence and his unsurpassed fearlessness. For his skill and his character, he is a model Adrenalist.
We’re not sure what is more impressive about this video: the fact that Kazuhiro Kokubo successfully pulls off a 900 or the amount of airborne time he had to accomplish said stunt. We’re used to seeing snowboarders jump gaps, but not like this. On a slope in Hemsedal, Norway, Kokubo launched over 187 feet from point of origin to site of landing. If not for the video that demonstrates plain proof of this mind-bending feat, we’d say those jump stats were unbelievable.
Here comes some of our skateboard jumping favorites, featured in our Best Skateboard Jumps article. In our minds, the definitive skateboard gap jump took place on two separate occasions, but were carried out by the same epic boarder, Danny Way. The first is Way’s Guinness World Record-setting, 79-foot gap clearance on the Mega Ramp at X Games X, a trick he accomplished while doing a 360. That video is above. The second is, of course, Way’s pioneering jump over the Great Wall of China.
Sometimes, it’s nice to jump in the open air. Other times, it’s nice to be tucked safely away inside of a car… even if that car is a corkscrew-jumping Hot Wheels car. In reality, we’re sure stunt driving vet Brent Fletcher felt anything but safe when he put pedal to metal and took off across a 92-foot gap at speeds exceeding 50 mph. Then again, it must have felt pretty incredible to perfectly land the now-infamous corkscrew twist, not to mention the World Record he nabbed for shattering the previous jump record of 74 feet. Scary as it was, we’re betting those little resume additions were worth the momentary stress.
Bikes and boards and cars are great, but what about jumping a gap using your good, old-fashioned limbs? Work with what you have, right? True, if what you have gave you is the genetic ability to become a Parkour expert. If that’s the case, then go for it. If not, sit back, relax and enjoy watching this video featuring esteemed traceurs like Livewire, Phil Doyle, Daniel Arroyo, Pedro Salgado and many others doing what they do best.