Nude Nebraska Skydiver Sets World Record After 60 Jumps

Em Unravelling

Rian Kanouff is a keen skydiver from Nebraska and, riffing on the tradition that sees skydivers take their 100th dive in the nude, he recently completed not one, not ten, but sixty skydives wearing nothing but his safety equipment - and in the process, he created a new Guinness world record. Yes, there is now a category for the most naked skydives completed within 24 hours, and I can't imagine there will be many challengers to Kanouff's crown any time soon.

But he says there's a serious side to the challenge, which was designed to attract publicity and assist fundraising. Kanouff, who lives in Omaha, has lost several friends and family members to suicide. In fact, it was the suicide of a fellow skydiver - who was approaching his 100th dive - that inspired Kanouff's fundraising and record-setting idea. He thought that as his friend was so close to doing one naked dive (the traditional nude 100th dive), why not take the idea further and try to use the stunt to fundraise and spread awareness of mental health issues?

[H]e talked about [his 100th dive] all the time, and he didn't get to make it, so I am out here for him and a lot of other people that we lost - Rian Kanouff
So, Kanouff partnered up ahead of his naked dives with the Movember Foundation, a charitable organisation that operates to raise awareness of male issues such as men's mental health struggles. Setting a $10,000 goal, Kanouff opened a GoFundMe page to enable donations to be made which would be used by Movember for "community awareness...of mental health issues".
Rian Kanouff, pictured during a clothed diveNewsweek

The naked dives took place on June 16th (Wednesday), which falls during International Men's Health Week, and on that day Kanouff traveled to Weeping Water Airport with his support crew (including pilots, nurses, fellow skydivers and friends). And then the challenge began. Almost unbelievably, Mr Kanouff averaged about one skydive every 10 minutes for the next 24 hours. And all of them were undertaken entirely nude, bar necessary safety equipment.
Guinness had told Kanouff he only needed to make 25 jumps to set a world record, but he carried on and on. By 9pm he had managed 60 dives, and that - he concluded - would be more than enough, so he stopped at the neat round number and celebrated his achievement with cake.
Probably best not to ponder too deeply about the effect of all that sky time with no clothes on. I can't help but fear it's all a bit, well, flappy.

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A lover of horizons, hills, and words. Likes to write about uncomfortable things because too many people steer round those parts of life.


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