I set world ‘death diving’ record plunging 132ft into sea – one mistake would have killed me but I was prepared to die

I set world ‘death diving’ record plunging 132ft into sea – one mistake would have killed me but I was prepared to die

A MAN dubbed “the last viking on earth” cheated death when he smashed the world record by plunging 40 metres off a cliff into freezing water.

In a video viewed over 20million times, Ken Stornes threw himself off a platform above a deep Norwegian river – arms and legs flailing – and disappeared into the depths below.

InstagramKen Stornes recently broke the world record for the highest death dive[/caption]

InstagramKen pictured on one of his jumps[/caption]

InstagramKen always has his trusted canine companion Ronja by his side[/caption]

Ken delights his Instagram followers with thrilling clips

Ken told The Sun what it took to pull of this incredible feat and revealed that he “expected to almost die”, knowing if he messed up “everything would go dark”.

Built like an Ox, the Norwegian daredevil is no stranger to physical challenges and previously served in the army before he became an MMA fighter.

The 35-year-old social worker now regularly ventures out into the bitter cold armed with nothing but an axe and a pair of swim shorts before he hacks a hole in the ice and plunges in.

But he doesn’t tackle the cold alone as he likes to bring his best friend Ronja – a Norweigan Elkhound – with him.

December death dive

Ken broke the record for the highest ever Death Dive on December 3.

Despite being scared in the lead up to the jump, in the moments just before Ken said: “There was no room for fear.”

He explained: “I feel literally nothing. I did all the thinking in the months beforehand.

“There’s no thoughts, just pure instinct not a single thought.

“It’s not because I’m tough for anything like that, it’s just because it’s so dangerous that you’re running on survival instinct. If you start thinking about stupid s**t, you’re gonna die.”

Ken had to ensure he adopted a tuck position just before he broke the surface so he could reduce that damage as the water pelted his body.

Timing was crucial to surviving the drop as taking up this position just a split second too late could be catastrophic.

Although going into a tuck shape doesn’t stop the pain from the impact and it does still “hurt” it serves to protect the organs from damage.

Ken appreciates how important this is as he has twice before experienced internal bleeding from jumps only half the height – which left him “coughing up blood for hours.”

The muscleman said although these experiences were “scary” he believes that “just because something is dangerous it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it just means you should get better at it”.

He explained that while making a mistake during a 20 metre jump would mean broken bones and maybe internal bleeding, from 40 metres “you would definitely die.”

The first thought I had was underwater and was ‘Oh, s**t, I’m conscious’. I expected to almost die

Ken Stornes

Ken said when messing up at this height “you’re not gonna feel anything. It’s gonna go dark.”

He likened the impact of hitting the water to a “car crash” and explained “you go from 100kph to zero in two and a half metres.”

He said of the record attempt: “The first thought I had was underwater and was ‘Oh, s**t, I’m conscious. I expected to almost die.”

Once the initial shock of being alive had subsided the thrill-seeker then realised the incredible accomplishment.

 “It was amazing. There’s more relief than anything.

“People ask if I felt adrenaline or euphoria and stuff like that. It was actually more just relief that I’m done with it.”

He often jumps into fjords, a long narrow sea inlet with steep cliffs on either sides that are created by glaciers – like the one in his most recent death dive.

Future plans

But, although Ken is taking a break from record breaking for now, he hasn’t ruled out going even higher in the future.

When quizzed if he would go even further he said: “I don’t know. 

“First I said no, and the more I think about I think if I had way more training then maybe.

“But I don’t know. We’ll see. Time will tell.”

Ken came across the monstrous cliff “completely randomly” while he was on a road trip and said it “felt like destiny.” 

And, after months of planning and with a safety team in place, his dream of leaping off it finally came true.

Just days before the record attempt the area where Ken would enter the water was frozen solid and plans were being put in place to remove the ice.

People ask if I felt adrenaline or euphoria and stuff like that. It was actually more just relief that I’m done with it

Ken Stornes

But, when the time came for the jump, only thin sheets of ice remained and the spot where he would land was clear.

In the seconds before the terrifying plunge Ken throws a rock off the edge of the platform – and it seems to take forever to fall.

He explained he does this to “get a feel of the way down, like where you’re gonna land and how far it is.”

This can also make the impact less severe and break the water tension, although from this height Ken said it “doesn’t help that much.”

When the dare-devil hits the water, a huge splashing sound can be heard as water shoots up into the air and ripples spread through the Fjord.

The man mountain also credits his workout routine for allowing him to survive the formidable death dives.

Gruelling fitness regime

He said:  “I’m kinda robust for a cliff diver. I do all the weight stuff and that helps a lot. 

“The stronger you are, and the more muscle mass you can have on your body, the more impact you can take.”

He added: “I actually think that if you are not robust enough from that height, you’re definitely gonna break something or something is gonna tear, or you would definitely get worse.”

The Norwegian not only pushes himself to his limits physically, but also mentally when he submerges himself into icy water daily.

He said: “You never want to go in. You kinda just do it, anyway. But when you’re done, you feel amazing. 

“I just know what I want. And I know that if you’re gonna be the person you say you are, or the person you think you are, it’s not enough to think you are the person you have to do the things.

“So if I’m gonna stay true to myself, I just have to go through with it, or else I’m not the man I think I am.”

Although Ken has been through “rough patches” in his life, and death diving has offered an escape, it has now evolved into something more than a coping mechanism.

He said: “Nowadays. I’ve gotten so old, though I’ve lived so long, I feel that it’s no longer about difficult feelings it’s more just about life and living as best as I can.

“When you feel you can do something you should do it. If I I don’t do these things, if I go to work and then go home to my couch, that’s just not a life for me.

“To me that is kind of depressing, so I just need to live and this is the way I do it.”

Go work out, go just destroy the body in some way

Ken Stornes

Ken has lived in Norway all his life and has always been a keen gymnast.

His love for physical activity is what lead him to try his hand at death diving.

Following the the incredible plunge Ken has racked up nearly 800k Instagram followers who he regularly delights with videos of sub-zero adventures.

These include a clip of him hurtling through the air after being fired out of a catapult and cartwheeling off towering cliffs into swirling waterfalls.

To add to the drama Ken also makes some of his jumps holding axes for the ultimate viking aesthetic, but hastens to add these are just props and not real.

He says his cure for depression has always been to “go work out, go just destroy the body in some way.” 

He added: “I’m not sure that’s how other people can do it or do it. But me, that’s how it works.”

He also recommends “doing anything that’s that’s difficult to do to get you out of your comfort zone.” 

He said: “Maybe it’s hard. And you need some skills to do it but don’t just sit on the couch watching Netflix.

“Just get out there in the world and live while you can.”

Ken must adopt a tuck position before he hits the water to protect his internal organs

He makes some of his jumps clutching axes but these are just props and not real

One of Ken’s stunts included being fired out of a catapult

He flies into the air carrying a fake axe

InstagramKen grew up in Norway and is used to the freezing conditions[/caption]

InstagramKen regularly makes a hole in the ice and jumps in to take a bath[/caption]

InstagramThe Norwegian daredevil is also a keen gymnast[/caption]

InstagramHere Ken enjoys a hot drink while he takes a dip in a freezing fjord[/caption]

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *