Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has had quite a time lately, receiving the “Mankind” award at Spike TV’s Guy’s Choice awards in honor of his world-record free-fall space jump of 127,852.4 feet for Red Bull last October. Then he picked up the "Adventurer of the Year" award from National Geographic. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We asked Baumgartner for his best skydiving tips and here’s what he had to say.
“You always have to be aware of the consequences. As soon as your feet lift from the ground, it means you are in danger. But if you have the skills, you’re mentally and physically ready, you’ve listened and learned, and talked to the right people, you should be in good hands. The professionals know what they are doing and are really good at teaching you the right ways. So if all of that is in place, then you should be okay.”
“You can't rush into this. Everything has to be in place for it to go well. Even if you think you've heard what the instructor said many times, make sure you really have a handle on what is being said.”
“It was very difficult to do the Red Bull stunt. We planned for this for five years, there was a lot of ups and downs. We underestimated the scope of the project. When it became bigger and bigger, sometimes it felt overwhelming. But it’s like walking - you just have to put one foot in front of the other. If you walk long enough, you’re going to reach your goal.”
“I’m 44-years-old now, it’s not getting better. I definitely can’t top this one. That means I want to work on my second idea, which is to become a helicopter pilot. When I was a little kid, I always had two dreams—one, to become a skydiver, which I did, and the other to be a pilot. In 2006, I got my license in Los Angeles and I am now a commercial helicopter pilot. In the future, I am going to put my skills into public service, and work as a firefighter and do mountain rescue.”
“There are a lot of adventures out there. You just have to go for it!”