While there have been jumpers who have recorded much greater speeds than the forementioned list, these were special projects and stunts performed for the purpose of research and entertainment. These required helium balloons to carry the jumpers into the stratosphere – as high as 135,890 feet (41.42 km). Doing so allowed them to take advantage of an incredible thin atmosphere, becoming the first humans to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle.
(2012) Felix Baumgartner – 1,357.64 km/h (843.6 mph)
Over the course of two days, the competitors completed 8 jumps to attempt their fastest terminal velocity. This is measured by a Speed Measuring Device (SMD) worn on their helmets. This device records GPS positioning and the judges use the data to view the speeds reached on each jump. The fastest 3 consecutive seconds recorded during a jump determines the final score. The competitor with the highest accumulative score at the end of the meet wins. For more information about speed skydiving, check out the USPA Skydiving Competition Manual (SCM Chapter 15).
Nik took first place with a total of 4,043.62kmh (2512.59mph), averaging 505.5kmh (314.10mph). He is only the second person, after Marco Hepp during the German Nationals 10Sep22, to consistently break the 500kmh barrier in all 8 rounds. 2021 World Champion Kyle Lobpries reached a total of 4,021.04 (avg 502.6kmh) for second place, and TJ Landgren got third with a total of 3,865.45kmh (avg 483.2kmh).
In addition, Brianne and Nik set two Illinois state records with their highest scoring rounds in the female and open categories respectively:
Brianne – 395.20kmh / 245.57mph
Nik – 509.45kmh / 316.56mph
Both Nik and Brianne secured their slots on the USA Speed Team for the 2023 World Cup in Prostejov, Czech Republic.