After more than 11 years and 1,000 jumps, Norwegian BASE jumper Espen Fadnes has had plenty of time to think about motivation. That's because most of his time has not been spent flying through the air in a squirrel suit at speeds of more than 100mph, but rather, prepping. Fadnes estimates that 99.9 percent of his time is spent traveling, planning, and checking his equipment. Of course, he’s also zipped through a gorge in Stryn, Norway, at 155mph, nearly drowned after jumping solo off a building in Europe and landing in the 30-degree Fahrenheit waters of the local harbor, and broken his back and tailbone after jumping off a building in Norway. Those two latter moments likely left him with plenty of time to contemplate the risk of his calling as well.
“I feel bad because I know my mom and dad worry—that at some point, it will all go wrong,” says Fadnes in the film Split of a Second. “I know a lot of my friends are concerned. It’s a choice I’ve made, making people who care about me worry.”
Fadnes teamed up with the production crew at Goovinn to make an adventure short about zipping down the cliff faces, through the canyons, and over the forests of Chamonix. It’s a film of highlights, yes, but also a chance for Fadnes to explain his motivation. There is the ground blurring, rackety footage filmed from helmet cams, but also his story. Stay tuned through the credits to see the best remarks from surprised onlookers.
Fadnes won the ProBASE Worldcup in 2012 for racking up the most points in a series of varied BASE-jumping competitions. In October, he will join Jeb Corliss, J.T. Holmes, and others in China for the first professional proximity race for wingsuit pilots, held by the World Wingsuit League.
For more on that race, check out the World Wingsuit League on Facebook.
For more from Fadnes and Goovinn, check out Sense of Flying.