Click image to see the stunt
It may sound funny, but this was not a stunt at all for me. I do this crap all the time. The section on BASE jumping talks all about it. What was really cool about this particular jump for me was that it was in a spot where I had never jumped before - the Grand Canyon. New spots are always a blast, and the fact that this one would be legal made it even better. Most of the time you have to sneak around at night to do BASE jumps because it is against the law. The one other thing that was special about this jump for me was that it would be my first true BASE jump with my instructor, Todd Shoebotham. Todd had taught me the fundamentals of BASE out of a hot air balloon (when I was scared to death of it), but we had never actually gone to a site together before.
The weather was perfect the morning of the jump. Todd and I were ready to go at sunrise, but when you are working with a TV show, it is not that simple. There were so many cameras on this shoot that it took about three hours to get set up. We had cameras on the cliff edge, at the bottom of the canyon, and even one camera on the rock wall, operated by a rock climber on a rope. Todd and I were getting really antsy, and we were noticing that the wind was starting to pick up. When the camera crew was finally ready, the wind conditions were a bit sketchy, but Todd and I still felt it was safe. But now we still had to wait for the camera helicopter to get into position. It was during this time that the winds started howling. Todd and I both knew that there was no way we could jump now. We were both bummed, but at least the decision was made easy at that point. We would have to wait for the next day.
The next day the weather was great and everybody got set up in half the time. Todd and I jumped and it was awesome. I had a camera on my wrist that we all knew would be the "money shot." So right as I left the cliff edge, I started smack talking into the camera. It made for great video, but it threw my body position completely off and I basically flailed down the rock face. That isn't a good thing in BASE jumping. I ended up lower than I should have been and when I pulled, my parachute opened 120 degrees to the left. This also is not a good thing in BASE jumping. I just about smacked the wall, but I survived. It all made for a great piece, and to this day my BASE jumping friends still give me crap about my sloppy form.