Yesterday was a groundbreaking day for the action sports world, and mankind itself.
Felix Baumgartner became the first man ever to break the sound barrier, AND consecutively break the world record for longest free fall. This daring pioneer piloted a helium filled balloon 128,100 feet (24 miles) into the air, effectively putting him on the literal “edge” of space. This extreme feat put him well into the stratosphere of Earth, where he had to wear a NASA issued space suit just to stay alive. The insane drop took him 4 and a half death defying minutes, in which the wind pushed and pulled his body as he struggled to stay on course. After opening his parachute, he floated effortlessly back to Earth, even stylishly landing on 2 feet to the roar of a worldwide audience. Felix, you have done something that defined a generation, and for that, we thank you.
Red Bull has always been known to push the limits of what we consider, “humanly possible.” What started as a small energy drink company quickly rose in popularity to become the economic and social powerhouse that we know today. After a year or so of gimmicky commercials featuring cartoons and such, they changed their marketing campaign to feature some of the world’s top athletes. Now this may come with a bit of confusion, as we look at the comparison between the athletes themselves and the overpriced sugary soft drink.
Athletes like Jordy Smith and Travis Rice are proudly sponsored by Red Bull. What was once thought of as a quick 7-11 source of energy has now become the worldwide symbol of pushing the limits. I personally find their campaign of pushing the envelope to be a great source of inspiration for the athletes of my generation. BUT, I’m jaded when it comes to the drink itself. It’s almost like Red Bull wants you to look the other way, and focus on their athlete’s accomplishments, as opposed to the overpriced 10 oz. can of sugar and Taurine. There’s just no way in my opinion that these finely tuned human specimens drink Red Bull on a daily basis, if at all. It has very little nutritional value, and is actually very bad for your heart in the long run. Travis Rice has made it widely known that he works with trainers every day, and tries to eat healthy. Jordy Smith, who is also sponsored by O’neill, practices yoga every day and wins surf competitions to prove his hard work and determination. There’s no room for the sugars and empty carbs in their hectic lives. THAT is my little health rant, for which I apologize.
All told, Red Bull has dedicated the last 5 years of their marketing campaign to raising the bar in the action sports world. Without them we wouldn’t have half of the amazing accomplishments that have happened in the last 5 years. World record shattering leaps like Felix’s are now commonplace for the company. And WE NEED teams and organizations like these to keep progress alive in our sports like surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and now even skydiving. So cheers to you Felix, and also to you Red Bull. May you keep blowing our minds with insane stunts, death defying jumps, and astronomical feats. Like it or not, this is now the world of Red Bull.