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A Playboy BASE Jump

by Andrew Karnowski and Tom Lundergan
Photo Credit: Gary Ventura/Running Roots Production

Now people have another reason to visit Playboy, besides the articles. The company that started the first and classiest men’s magazine is now showing a BASE video on their Web site.

Andrew Karnowski and Tom Lundergan were offered an amazing opportunity to participate in a building jump in the city of Miami for Playboy magazine’s Web site. The video can be seen here: www.playboy.com/articles/dossier-miami-base-jumping/index.html.

The planning phase of this jump began long before Andrew or Tom knew about it. A filmmaker in Miami who owns and runs Running Roots Productions was moving out of his condo. Towards the end of the moving process his friend—a skydiver—mentioned that the height of his condo was sufficient for a BASE jump. The idea was born and grew into a project. It was then pitched to Playboy and they gave Running Roots Productions the green light.

Running Roots then posted an advertisement on BASEjumper.com looking for potential participants for their documentary. After some e-mail communication and submission of applications, Andrew and Tom were selected.

Varying experience levels were represented by the two chosen. Andrew at that time had approximately 300 BASE jumps, 240 skydives, and 5 building jumps. Tom at that time had 50 BASE jumps and 2600+ skydives but no building jumps.

Date picked, flights booked, and the excitement increased as the weekend approached. Andrew’s flight was a red eye with two layovers, Tom’s first flight was canceled and his second flight delayed, however none of that put a damper their mood.

Once both jumpers were in Miami, Running Roots Productions went to work picking them up, getting shots of them at the airport, taking them to their hotel to drop off gear and then to the business at hand.

The crew followed them as they surveyed exit points, considered logistics and evaluated potential landing areas, followed by interviews in a park and a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

The Saturday morning wake-up call came early. The crew picked up the jumpers in a white, unmarked van and delivered them to the object. They immediately went to the exit point picked out the previous night.

Running Roots was there to film a jump, Tom was there for his first building and Andrew for the experience. The slight crosswind posed a complication and the safety of the jump was discussed. Neither of the jumpers in the past had ever been in a situation where there was a timeline or pressure to jump and this added a mental complexity.

Tom jumped first and despite a slightly awkward freefall had a good jump with quick reaction time to an off-heading opening and a spot-on landing. Now it was Andrew’s turn; all the cameras disappeared from his awareness as it was go time! Again, another off-heading opening, but corrected and managed to land inches from Tom!

Next was to quickly stuff their gear into stash bags and sprint to the running van waiting to make their getaway. The rendezvous point was an undisclosed location where all met up to watch the many different videos while enjoying coffee and donuts. With their work complete, the jumpers spent Saturday enjoying Miami: two skydives, an art walk and plenty of partying at various bars and clubs.

To answer the most common questions: no, they did not get paid, no, they did not get laid, no, there were no bunnies, no, they did not get invited to the mansion, and no they did not meet Hugh Hefner.

Both jumpers thoroughly enjoyed working with Running Roots Productions and jumping from a building. The final product was polished and professional beyond their expectations and they got to share an experience they will never forget!

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