1.You have done 10,000 skydives and 2,000 BASE jumps , holy shit! Tell me about the first time you did each?
First skydive in 92 and first base in 95, long time ago. Both felt really good but even after so many jumps, i still feel this rush and excitement, you have to keep this in order to push yourself in the sport.
2.Its a pricey past-time, how did you afford them at the start, when you where a youngster?
I didn’t jump that much in the beginning, but I was working hard to pay for it.
3.Your a Red Bull athlete. How did you get involved with Red Bull?
I met the right person on the right moment on the right place I guess…Life is all about pushing your luck and take the opportunities.
4.What is the appeal of reaching a certain speed?
Speed is addictive and even more when you create it just with gravity, no engines, it’s pure human power.
5.When did you get your first wingsuit?
What brand was it?
I think it was a prototype built by a friend back then.
Do you still have it?
Unfortunately no, but I do have my last 7 wing suits since 2004.
6.You’ve dappled in several sports and excelled in them all, skier, surfer and golfer… What made you choose base jumping as the one to pursue as a career?
Way easier than golf 🙂 No seriously, it just came like this, I never calculate or planned anything back then.
7.Where did you get the time to get a degree, become fluent in five languages and perfect that amount of sports?
Having a very well-organized and balanced life and being quick in learning maybe helped me to achieve this. But it never seemed too much at the time, still today i feel the need to learn other things and pursue my passion.
8.How big a part of your life is the coaching aspect ? Explain your role as coach to me?
Right now, my life is like 50/50 basejumping and mental coaching, I like and keep this balance, I also need a more intellectual approach to life. But both activities are linked with my core values, which are freedom and travelling.I really love to fly and jump off stuff, but I have always needed a foot in the real life too, otherwise you just completely leave reality.Being with other pro athletes and sharing ideas is also very inspiring and push me aswell in my sport.
9. The coaching seems like a brilliant idea, I know so many people, myself included, that find it hard to just let go and chase their dreams. There is clearly a market there, but are customers letting go and using it?
For sure, all my “students” are improving or at least learning something. It is such a great satisfaction to see people achieving their goals and dreams and unleash their full potential.It’s a question of making choices and being aware of your talents. It’s finding your element, the crossing between you passion and talent. This is what life is all about I think and this is what will make you happy. Relationships with others is also crucial to be happy, but remember that a happy person will have better relationship. Happiness is something you find within yourself, it’s an emerging process and a state of mind that can be cultivated.
10. What is the average age of going pro and subsequently retirement in a career like this?
Retirement?What is this? Ask Kelly Slater, he is 40 and surfing better than 15 years. He told me that in 10 years from now he will be better than today! If you take care of yourself in all aspects, there is no limit to physical age anymore.I love my life as it is and wouldn’t want to change it!
11.Are you living the life you always dreamed of or had you something else in mind?
Living the life I always dreamed, simple as that!
12.You provide 7 steps that your coaching programme is built around. How did you come up with them?
Lot of learning, reading and working made it possible to build this program.
14.You seem like a spiritual man, is that correct?
Wouldn’t say spiritual but more like “hyper-aware” and full of positive energy.
but maybe this is being spiritual after all…
Have you always been or is it since you started flying?
Always been like this I guess. Flying is only a way of expressing myself, just like an artist.If it was not flying, it would have been something with the same values.
15.Working with/for Redbull is a lot of people’s dream job, mine included. How are they as a company to work for?
It’s more than a company, it’s a family, especially after 12 years, it’s like we have been progressing together and they gave me the opportunity to achieve some of my dreams, what else can I say!
16.You say you are a nomad, would you still consider Belgium home?
Yes for sure, this is where my family and friends are, my roots, my base camp. I have been chasing the ideal place for years when I finally realized 7 years ago that the place is made by the people and not only by the weather or activities.
Where do you live right now?
Based in Belgium at the beach, north sea.
17. You say people inspire you, who and what is it in particular about them?
Kelly Slater as an athlete, my good friend Nicolas Colsaerts who is pro golfer on European tour and ranked 64th in the world, but also some friends in the business world, my parents, everyone with a dream basically.
18. You have jumped from the highest railway bridge in the world (201m), the highest suspended bridge in the world (384m) and jumped from 431m in a BASE wingsuit off of the Jin-Mao tower in Shanghai.
You have competed in the X Games three times, finished third in the skysurfing world cup and won the Brazilian open skysurfing and recorded the lowest BASE-jumps in the world, including a freefall jump from just 35m!
Woah, way to make everyone reading this feel like a underachiever!
No, everyone has different goals and dreams, not everyone is willing to take such risks too and I totally respect it too.
-Do you go out seeking these records or do they just happen?
Nothing just happen in life, you make things happen, same for records or projects.
19.Whats the big plan for the next 10- 20 years, a guy like you surely has a rough plan?
Never had a plan, always had a vision of myself in an ideal situation but never more than 3 to 5 years, we live life’s full of uncertainties.