Sergey Boytsov jumped with a para­chute from the roof of the St. Peters­burg Lakhta Cen­ter sky­scraper and set a Russ­ian record, hav­ing spent only a week learn­ing base jump­ing. Although, if you look at it, he had been prepar­ing for this jump all his life.

Lakhta Cen­ter is a com­plex facil­i­ty. The height is about 400 meters, strong winds often change direc­tion (and are also dif­fer­ent at dif­fer­ent heights), a small spot near the build­ing on which you need to land. But I am not new to sky­div­ing — I have 820 jumps. With such expe­ri­ence it was pos­si­ble to try. How­ev­er, while prepar­ing for the record, unex­pect­ed dif­fi­cul­ties arose that almost put an end to my idea.

I have nev­er done BASE jump­ing — I need­ed train­ing, and the eas­i­est way to do this is to go to Europe, as there are high bridges there that are con­ve­nient for begin­ners to train. And then I had prob­lems obtain­ing Schen­gen. The record was tied to Rus­sia Day — June 12, and I was giv­en a visa only on May 29. Imag­ine, the jump is in less than two weeks, and I’m just going to learn BASE jump­ing.

Okay, I have a visa, that same evening I bought tick­ets and flew away to study. The road to Italy took a day and a half, then 10 hours by car to France, and I imme­di­ate­ly had to make the first BASE jump in my life from a bridge 120 meters high. And then five more — to strength­en my skills in han­dling a para­chute, which I had nev­er used before. It was sewn specif­i­cal­ly for the record.

The next spot is the Mil­lau Viaduct (250 meters). At this point, the free fall skill is trained, which is nec­es­sary in order not to open the para­chute too ear­ly (or too late). After the bridges, the cliff of Monte Brente (600–800 meters) in Italy. This is my exam. I fall down, and there is a stone wall next to me. In St. Peters­burg, in the same way, next to me there will be a glass wall of the Lakhta Cen­ter. If I have poor body con­trol, then when deployed, a cen­trifu­gal force will arise, the para­chute will make a turn (in the lan­guage of basers — “turn”) and I will be flat­tened against the wall (“cliff-strike”).

As a result, I suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed all the exams. The video of the jump from Lakhta Cen­ter will not let you lie — I sep­a­rat­ed clean­ly from the sup­port, con­trolled my body in free fall, opened the para­chute in time and land­ed a few meters from the film crew. How did I man­age to mas­ter BASE jump­ing for a week? The answer is banal — many years of train­ing. I am a can­di­date for mas­ter of sports in artis­tic gym­nas­tics, I have about 100 jumps from a heli­copter and a hot air bal­loon, and a year ago I mas­tered a pre­ci­sion para­chute, which is very sim­i­lar to a para­chute for base jump­ing. And I real­ly want­ed to give us all such a gift for Rus­sia Day.