The Adrenalist

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Tandem Skydive Record Shattered At 20,000 Feet



While it might not sound like much when compared to Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space last year, 20,000 feet is still a really high distance to jump out of a plane from. Typical skydiving jumps occur anywhere between 3,000 and 13,000 feet (1000-3000 meters). 20,000 feet is even more extraordinary when you consider that it’s a tandem skydive jump.

Recently, in Franz Josef, New Zealand, a small island in the west coast region of the country, a tandem skydive record was set for the tiny country to the southeast of Australia. The jump came about as part of the Gravity Gives Project to raise funds for Save the Children NZ.

Skydive Franz took the top three fundraisers: Lorrayn Dash, Jeynelle Brian and Duncan Shand up for jumps as part of their prize. The trio raised more than $4000 towards the cause. Dash told New Zealand’s Stuff periodical, after she’d jumped from 12,000 feet and 14,000 feet, that the record-breaking tandem jump “put them to shame.” She continues, “Everyone should do it, it’s the biggest adrenaline rush.” We agree.

For comparison’s sake, Dash’s 12,000 foot jump included a 45 second free fall—barely enough time to contemplate your descent. For Dash’s record-breaking 20,000 foot jump, she and her partner, tandem master, Rhys Kempen, free called for double that time: 90 seconds. All three donors jumped from 20,000 feet to share the New Zealand record. For an extreme sports country like New Zealand, the record is a big deal, but for the children who benefited from the donations, it was an even bigger deal. That’s a pretty righteous use of adrenaline, if you ask us.

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