Nick Jacobsen jumps off a 60-meter-high ship crane

June 24, 2020 | Kiteboarding
Nick Jacobsen: the Danish kiteboarder jumped off a 60-meter high ship crane in Denmark | Photo: Mystic

Nick Jacobsen has jumped off a 60-meter-high crane mounted on a massive cargo vessel, in Demark.

In 2011, the Danish kiteboarder jumped off the shipwreck in Table View, Cape Town, South Africa.

Nine years later, Jacobsen was finally able to perform his Crane Jump 2.0. It was a longtime dream that saw the light of day aboard "Leap Heart."

Here's how everything went down, in his own words to Kiteworld Magazine.

Getting Ready

"The idea of the Crane Jump 2.0 has always been on my list ever since I jumped off the first crane in Cape Town back in 2012."

"We found out that we actually had a friend who owns a shipping company and who had contact with this boat."

"So, basically, this ship was docked in Copenhagen on a Sunday, and it had to leave on a Tuesday, so we pretty much had like between two to four days to prepare everything."

"We had a window of half-day - like six hours or so - when it was possible, with the right wind conditions and sun, to be there."

"The ship had to leave the dock on Copenhagen and anchor a bit further out, and then we would have to jump on the ship and execute the whole mission."

"So, it was a pretty strict agenda we had that day."

"A lot of different feelings and ideas just fly through your head, waking up in the morning and knowing that I have to jump off this crane."

"I am always trying to calm myself down before this, just to keep focus and try to put myself in the zone."

"I walked around at 7 o'clock in the morning in the harbor just before heading out, and ran through my gear just to make sure that everything was in order, and everything was safe."

"I always like to be a big part of the whole production in terms of filming and storylining. It's kind of a parallel role that I have, which I like."

"I like to know how we're filming this and how we're doing it."

"Me and a few other guys were sitting in the boat on our way to the big ship."

"I'm always super stoked and happy when I'm trying to put myself in the zone because negative thoughts and stuff don't really align with what I'm about to do."

"So, I was really trying to focus on just telling myself that it won't happen. That's a fun different theory that I always use on myself before doing stuff like this."

"If I tell myself that it's not going to happen, then why should I be nervous?"

"So, I was just very happy and super stoked, just sitting on the dinghy with my good mates and all the safety crew."

"As we're approaching the big ship, I realized why we were there - I need to jump off that crane."

Launching the Kite

"Approaching the ship was a pretty intense feeling. There was this rope ladder that they threw out. I have a drone in my hand and all my kiting equipment."

"Climbing up the ladder was definitely one of the scariest things in this jump."

"So, as soon as I put my feet on the ship when I climbed up the ladder, I was pretty chill and comfortable."

"I scouted the whole ship again and made sure that everything was in the right order of the plan that I had."

"I was just walking around for like 20 or 30 minutes just to see what the wind was doing, whether turbulence was and stuff like that, and then I just slowly pumped my kite."

"I measured from one side of the boat to the other side, and it had like 20 meters. I thought to myself that that was enough to be able to launch the kite perpendicular in the wind, and then it turned out that it wasn't."

"I knew that for the window of this mission to go well and execute it in the right order, I had to launch a kite within the next 10 or 12 minutes, so I quickly jumped on that deck."

"So, when I was looking the other way, behind my back, I could just see a drop of 20 or 25 meters straight down the ship. And that was a little scary."

"My friend Jonas was with the kite 20 meters sort of diagonal on the ship, so it was a little bit of a hot launch."

"I was sitting on the rail of the boat, and as soon as I go 3-2-1, he lets go and the kite sort of flies five meters to go into the neutral zone of the wind window."

"That pulled me a little bit, and it was a little bit scary, but I'll always have my hand on the release, so I can release it if things go bad."

"Now, I'm standing with the kite flying above me, and I'm just walking around on the main deck. Looking up on the crane, it wasn't as high as I remembered."

"I think some things change in my mind as soon as I have my kite in the air flying because I feel so comfortable with just flying the kite and feeling the kite."

"As soon as I realize the wind is steady and stable, I feel like I can do pretty much anything with a kite."

"So I was just walking around with the kite at 12 and trying to get the right shots and right angles for the drones and all that, and then I realized that they had mounted the ladder on the wrong side of the crane."

"They had to change that, and I slowly started to climb the ladder on top of the crane house where they operate the crane."

Nick Jacobsen: crane walking is scary | Photo: Mystic

Crane Walking

"I'm climbing the ladder, and I get on top of the ladder, and I'm standing on what would be the front of the cockpit of the crane."

"I'm standing there, and I'm just sorting out safety and stuff. We had this leash, this wire, that I had to connect myself to as I'm walking out the arm of the crane."

"If anything would go wrong there, I could just release myself and just hang in that wire."

"In this stunt, I really tried to focus on safety because I don't want to be this reckless guy who's tough because it's fun."

"It might not look like, but I really think through the whole thing."

"So, I'm walking out the arm of the crane, which is approximately 20 centimeters wide, and my feet could just walk there."

"My kite is flying at 12, and I had some cables, some wires, behind my lines."

"My kite couldn't stall too much before hitting the wires, so it's a pretty fine balance of fine-tuning the bar, of pushing it away from you, of pulling it in, and the turbulence from the cranes."

"I'm really trying to control the kite steady - as steady as I can.

"As I'm walking out, the whole boat just goes quiet. We had probably like 30, 35, or 40 guys working on the boat, and they were dead quiet as I started to walk out the arm."

"So, I get halfway, and people are just quiet."

"I can just feel the nervous tension, and I was starting to get nervous because of the influence of the other guys, the crew that was on the ship."

"I started a whistling, singing, or something just to focus on something else that wasn't that crazy attention that everyone was building up."

The Tension Before the Jump

"The plan was to pan the crane out and then as soon as it was all panned out, he had to tilt it up."

"So, I'm just going up, up, and up until the crane doesn't go up any further. I think that was probably about 65 or 70 meters - that's at least what the captain said."

And I'm sitting up there, and I had to be there for like 20 or 30 minutes. It was pretty nerve-wracking."

"I was just in my zone and looking around. I was looking at the drones, and I had my walkie-talkie with me, so I'm trying to communicate with everyone."

"I'm just sitting there, and it was a little scary."

"I knew that I could always just release my kite, but if I did that, I would have to climb down and walk back on the same arm of the crane, and that was the scariest part."

"So I thought to myself: 'okay, I got this far. Let me just chill out for a bit, breathe, and then wait for the go-ahead.'"

"I told my friend to give me a countdown of 20 seconds for me to be ready, get my feet locked and tight in the foot straps."

"I did all that, and I was waiting for the drones to come around again."

"I was pretty good at that point because I'm just listening to a voice counting down from 20, and then I'm so focused that I just forget to be scared or nervous or anything, just waiting for that countdown."

Jumping and Landing

"As you can see in the video, it's a pretty mellow jump."

I thought to myself that as soon as he goes 3-2-1, I would jump, and then I would send my kite to the right instead of the left."

"I prefer to send my kite off to the left first because, in that way, you can always send it a bit further than you actually should be doing. And then you would drop pretty radically, and then you can pull a kite to the right, and that's the best most fun thing about it."

"So, this time, I had to do everything goofy."

"I'm sending my kite to the right, and I'm dropping like a rock and waiting for that perfect timing to send my kite the other way around and do a kite loop to the left, which I don't really do."

"I feel way more comfortable looping to the right."

"I'm flying a bit away from the ship, and I had to wait for that perfect moment to do a kite loop to the left because if I do too low of a loop, the kite would most likely hit the boat."

"So, I was just waiting for me to get far enough away from the ship to pull that loop."

"As you can see in the video, I'm flying away from the ship, I'm pulling a kite loop to the left and, as I'm pulling it, I think a gust or something must have hit my kite because I'm just floating in the air at the same altitude for like 10 meters and then I drop a bit more."

"A few seconds later, I land and kite away, and everything was good. That's the point where I get super nervous."

"Twenty seconds after I landed, all of a sudden, I just felt my whole body turn warm - I got super nervous, I got super scared, I was shaking."

"Luckily, it only happened after the jump - not during or before - because if I get nervous leading up to something like this, I definitely wouldn't go ahead and do it."

"So, I get nervous after something big like this is a pretty good thing, I guess."

"It was such a fun day of trying to execute something that I wanted to execute for so many years, just in a different way, with different angles."

SurferToday.com uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.