Women's Vertical Skydiving World Record
Hi! My name is Jennifer Sensenbaugh and I'm a GoPro family member, adventure lover, & skydiver! I've been jumping for 9 years and there's never a dull moment. Today I'm sharing the story of my 3rd skydiving world record.
Over Thanksgiving week, nearly 100 of the best female skydiving athletes in the world met in Eloy, Arizona to set a new world record. It took 4 days and 16 skydive attempts to achieve a 65 way women only conjoined skydive. This is the view from my journey.
The goal was to build an all female formation, flying vertically, or 'head down'. Flying in this discipline is a challenging position, with the capability of reaching speeds upwards of 180 MPH. It takes most skydivers years of training to get to this advanced level. Every participant needs to be in a designated spot, holding hands with the people next to them to complete the pre-drawn pattern. For the record to be successful, each woman would need to have a perfect skydive.
Day 1: Mocking it up. We walk the skydive on the ground before to get a good sight picture of what the jump will look like. We focus on things like jumpsuit colors and helmets to find our sector in the sky.
The exit altitude was between 18,000ft-19,000ft. We use supplemental oxygen above 12,000ft to avoid hypoxia; oxygen depravation that occurs when the pressure drops as the airplanes climb to higher altitude. We were jumping from 4 airplanes, between 15-20 girls in each one.
Jump 1 weather in our favor! Sunny and light winds
Getting the shots
I switched back and forth between video & multi shot time lapse for jumps. When it's bright & sunny I was mostly shooting video in 1080 60 frames wide.
5 jumps later, ending with a beautiful sunset over the desert and hopes of a world record tomorrow. My GoPro is curve mounted to the top of my helmet. This shot is on time-lapse photo mode.
Shayni Couch flew in from Dubai for the record. We were holding hands every day in the sky, so we instantly became friends. 👯 My favorite part about skydiving events is getting to meet amazing people from all over the world!
Day 3: Cloud layers can mean getting out of the plane at a lower altitude. We have less time to attempt to complete the formation, this jump was 45 seconds-normally around 70 seconds. As I exit, I spend a split second on my back and can get sweet shots like this of the planes.
Nearly building the record while exiting low at 14,500 ft; way less time than normal! Only a few girls didn't make it on the formation. This was a great jump given the circumstances. Getting close!
This is break-off. We fly away from each other in 3 sections at different altitudes to avoid canopy collisions.
Ending day 3 on a positive note despite mostly bad weather. Skydiving with inspiring females does not suck, and who doesn't love a good GoPro selfie? You get everyone in the shot! A quick single photo mode.
Day 4, jump 1. Another extremely cold airplane ride. At 18,000ft, the outside temperature was -7 Fahrenheit. The plane ride is a time to calm your mind and visualize the upcoming skydive.
Moment of despair after landing and realizing we still didn't achieve the record after 15 jumps. At this point, I'm cold and physically/mentally exhausted, and most of the other girls are feeling the same.
Be confident. In that moment when you step in the door, there is no one better in the world to do your job than YOU. "
Luke Aikins-RedBull Airforce
Jump # 16. My view from inside. I can see all girls on the other side built in their section, and everything feels really solid! You can feel a strong connection when everyone is flying well. One of the organizers is shaking her head 'YES!'
Two thumbs up for feeling like we got a World Record!
So much happiness and high fives! The energy after achieving a World Record together is incredible.
The 65 way female formation from below. By Steve Curtis. #GoPro