You know those disclaimers the “Jackass” guys include at the beginning and end of their movies? The ones urging people not to try the stunts they’ve seen at home? Yeah, well, Svein Torp must have missed those in the Norwegian dubbed versions.
To be fair, the video he made documenting the design and construction of a massive human slingshot seems no less “professional” than what Johnny Knoxville and company do. Plus, it looks like he set it up solely for the sake of a backyard party. We have to respect it.
And when we say professional, we mean whiteboards covered in schematics and mathematical formulas. Now, the engineering math is beyond us, so it could be nonsense for all we know, but what matters is the final product. And with a proven track record after designing and using a water slide with a 360-degree loop, these Norwegians were completely undeterred.
After designing and workshopping the giant mechanism, Svein Torp and his colleagues took it to a lake for testing. They launched a bag of rocks into the water first. Success.
The Only Thing Left to Do Was Strap a Human Into the Machine
Finally, they were ready for the first human trial. After a few suspenseful moments, the slingshot pilot pulled the lever and took flight.
Success. They tested the slingshot a few more times, finding that they were getting roughly 30 meters of flight each time. So, naturally, the next step was to set it up in the backyard, build a pool approximately 30 meters in front of the machine, and invite 100 of their closest friends to a slingshot party.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like there were any issues with crashes. One has to wonder how much weight factors into things, though. The pool they’re aiming for is a small target. The difference of a few pounds could mean a big difference in terms of flight distance. The responsible thing to do would be limiting participation to those weighing the same as the initial testers. Then again, responsibility sort of went out the window when Svein Torp resolved to build a human slingshot.
Why a Human Slingshot?
Why not? Terrifying a prospect as actually sitting down in this thing would be, it turned out pretty awesome. Beyond that, Svein Torp lays out his philosophy at the end of the video.
“The ultimate life for me is to develop myself to new levels and to help others do the same. To experience a new energy, think smarter, visualize new things, and feel feelings you’ve never felt before. That’s the magic. That’s the sweet spot you need to make the impossible possible. I call it human upgrades,” Torp narrates as the video comes to an end.
That’s why a human slingshot. Bravo, Torp. Keep the upgrades coming.