There’s a reason why major brands attach themselves to skydiving – our sport captures attention! When a skydiving stunt is paired with a major brand or added to a movie, click rates and engagement goes up! Because the term ‘skydiving stunts’ is researched so much online, we thought it would be a good idea to write a comprehensive piece on the greatest skydiving stunts ever produced.
For advertisers wishing to raise brand awareness, no ordinary skydive will do – it’s got to push the limits! These limits are usually attached to a unique world record or pushing the boundaries of what people think is possible. In this section, we highlight the professional skydivers who have taken skydiving tricks to a whole new level.
1 – Skydiving Without a Parachute
On July 30, 2016, Red Bull Air Force athlete Luke Aikins did the unthinkable – he jumped from an aircraft at an altitude of 25,000 feet with no parachute and landed in a net below. It must be said, that many skydiving stunts don’t get the attention of skydivers as they’re often considered “hackey” made for public consumption. That wasn’t the case with this skydiving stunt. Aikins is a highly respected skydiver and everyone knew this was the real deal because his safety wasn’t guaranteed. Stride gum knew this particular skydive was going to capture the attention of millions of people and they signed on as the major sponsor of this, the greatest skydiving stunt ever made!
Spoiler Alert: Aikins survived this incredible stunt and went on to talk about it on the GeekWire stage. As you’ll see Aikins isn’t a crazy nut job, but rather an intelligent guy who put a lot of thought into pulling this stunt off.
2 – The Highest Skydive
The highest. The fastest. The craziest. These are the labels often associated with stunts and, of course, the highest skydive ever made is bound to capture attention. In 1960, Colonel Joe Kittinger set the record for the highest skydive ever made from 102,800 feet. Of course, Kittinger’s jump wasn’t a stunt, but instead research to to test the Beaupre multi-stage parachute system intended to be used by pilots ejecting from high altitude.
Kittinger’s jump set world records for the highest jump ever made and the highest speed of any human within the Earth’s atmosphere. The record for highest jump stood for over 50 years until, in 2012, Felix Baumgartner set the new record as a member of the Red Bull Stratos Project. The world stopped to watch Baumgartner step out from the well-branded Red Bull capsule and into the record books. This makes our list for the second most incredible skydiving stunt.
What many people don’t know is that Baumgartner’s record was bested in 2014 by a Google executive, Alan Eustace. Few people know this because it wasn’t attached to any commercial enterprise. The project was self-funded and no media were invited. Eustace’s jump was well-documented and is the current world record holder for highest free-fall jump and total free-fall distance of 123,414 feet.
3 – Landing in a Wingsuit
In 2012, before Aikins landed in a net, British Skydiver Gary Connery landed into a massive pile of boxes while flying in his wingsuit. Once again, this incredible stunt captured the attention of skydivers everywhere as we all thought Connery was off his rocker. Sure enough he pulled it off!
4- The London Olympics
Connery’s incredible feat would open up another stunt that would be seen by the entire world … a skydiving entrance into the 2012 Olympics in London dressed as the Queen of England!
5 – From a Cliff Into a Plane!
One of the most extraordinary stunts was made by Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet in 2017 when they wingsuited off the top of a mountain and each flew into a moving plane. This idea is so radical it’s hard to be believe that they even attempted this madness, but attempt it they did and they were remarkably successful! The skydiving community was thrilled, as was their sponsor – Red Bull – no doubt.
6 – Jumping from the Highest Building in the World
Fugen and Reffet did some amazing things together before Reffet’s passing in 2020. One of the more awe-inspiring jumps they made was in 2014 from the Burj Khalifa – the tallest structure in the entire world!
7 – Night Wingsuit from the Burj Khalifa
The reaction to Reffet and Fugen’s incredible jump from the Burj Khalifa brought about a lot of attention and so advertisers undoubtedly wanted to get some time in the spotlight. Fast forward to 2021 when PlayStation sponsored Matt Munting and Nicholas Scalabrino to wingsuit off the top of the same building at night!
8 – The Seoul Olympics
Imagine making a live skydive when the entire world is watching! Such was the case during the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. A team of elite performing skydivers were assembled to build the Olympic Rings in free fall during the opening ceremonies.
9 – Skydivers Fly Over New York City
You had to know Red Bull would be showing up at least one more time on this list. Here’s a stunning video of the Red Bull Air Force flying above New York City. We happen to be friends with a few of these folks and as we later learned the red tape was thick to get permissions to make this jump happen:
An amazing skydiving scene only enhances a movie, and when it comes to stunts, few actors in the world do it better than Tom Cruise! Cruise is not new to skydiving; he got involved with the sport during the production of Thunder Road in 1990. With a little less than 200 jumps he helped create one of the most amazing skydiving stunts in the history of film in the 2018 movie Mission Impossible – Fallout.
10 – Mission Impossible: Fallout
Here’s a great video of how the scene was filmed. Skydiving videographer and friend of Skydive Orange, Craig O’Brien, filmed the entire sequence and is scene in this video often:
11 – Point Break (2015)
We all agree, the 2015 version of Point Break didn’t come remotely close to the original, but there was one particular scene that got everyone’s attention – a wingsuit BASE jump. Many of our friends were in this scene and we remember when it was shot. We were all hoping the movie would be as good as the scene they filmed.
12 – Point Break (1991)
We can’t have a list of skydiving stunts without referencing the OG of them all Point Break. Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves inspired more of today’s skydivers than any other film in history. The USPA membership numbers within a year of the movie’s release spiked.
Jeb Corliss is a well-known skydiver and BASE jumper who has his own share of extraordinary stunts on his resumé. Corliss gives his own narrative about why some of these stunts are so amazing. He chats about Point Break and Mission Impossible: Fallout.
13 – Honeymoon in Vegas
This skydiving scene is often overlooked because this 1992 movie didn’t have major blockbuster pull like a Mission Impossible or James Bond film. Though it doesn’t involved death-defying footage, it’s an amazing scene that would inspire many Elvis-clad skydivers!
Few movie franchises have more impressive stunts (skydiving or otherwise) than James Bond through the decades. We’ll round out our list of top stunts with various Bonds – either flying under canopy himself or pulling off stunts that would be impossible without behind-the-scenes skydivers!
14 – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
15 – Moonraker (1979)
This scene had movie goers squirming in their seats as Bond plummeted to the round without a parachute … but, of course, not for long!
Here’s a great overview of how this scene was actually shot:
16 – Octopussy (1983)
You don’t see any skydivers in this sky-high fight scene …
… but they’re most definitely there! Here’s some great insight of how this sequence was shot:
17 – A View To Kill (1985)
This is classic Bond at its best! BASE jump off the Eiffel Tower, dynamic car chase, bewildered bystanders – even a smashed wedding cake!
18 – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
A comical lead up to an epic HALO jump into enemy territory, immediately followed by SCUBA. Amazing.
You’ve got to crawl before you can walk, right? If you’re straight up inspired by these incredible stunts, get yourself a taste of the action – come jump with us!
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