The Fear of Falling or The Thrill of Risk?
In 1953 the NACA RML52D10 Research Memorandum was the first to hint on the idea of a Jetpack attachment that would thrust the pilot in to the air. As with all ideas, it has been remixed thousands of times to blossom in to what we have today. Alright, so it’s not a Jetpack that you can fly thousands of feet in the air and fulfill your dreams of flying like a bird, but it’s damn close.
The maximum height of the water flying Jetpack will get you to around 40-50 feet, and can reach speeds of 20 MPH (that’s fast on the water). Not only that, but there’s a plethora of amazing tricks you can do. You can dive underwater, do corkscrews, backflips, spins, and even take off and land on the ground. I’m no rookie at the sport, I’ve had roughly 500 flights and I can tell you that it’s never felt old. It’s a sport where it doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it for 20 years, you still get the jitters every time. It’s the overcoming of the fear of heights. It’s the heart punching, stomach squeezing addiction that only risk can bring – it happens every time I tighten that last safety strap – I love it.
Imagine for a second, being 50 feet in the air with 1,000 gallons of water spilling out of the aluminum thrust elbows on the outside of your shoulders. It’s quiet up there, much more quiet than you’d ever expect. You can hear kids yelling; pointing as their head turns back and forth repeatedly staring at their friends, then back to you – they need confirmation of what they’re seeing. Now lean back, relax, and let go of the handles. The sky fills your vision.
The feeling of falling has every cell in your body screaming mayday – but you’re smirking. Embracing the feeling of falling, anticipating that pit in your stomach and confidently taking a risk because you’ve done this before and you’ve chased those feelings ever since the first time you felt it. Keep falling. Every millisecond that passes is one step closer to that fear of hitting the water. The jackpot sirens of risk are loud now, telling you to keep falling. At the last moment, you reach out, grab the handles and twist until your feet gently kiss the water’s surface, and you, with a belly full of accomplishment, feel that satisfaction that only risk takers know.
That’s the feeling I get when I do this trick, The Deathdrop 9000 – named by yours truly, Nate Sinisgalli.