When we talk to Miles Daisher–the BASE athlete with more jumps than any other on the planet, who seems to run on jet fuel, hugs and high-fives–he’s heading home. He picks up our call on the road to Skydance Skydiving in Davis, California: the dropzone where he learned how to skydive back in 1995. He’s chomping at the bit to camp out at the dropzone with his old friends (and he stayed up late the previous night catching up with his mom and dad), but lack of sleep doesn’t slow down a man who’s been sponsored by Red Bull since 2001. We’re pretty sure that Miles would be perennially bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even without caffeine. In any case, he answered our ten questions with characteristic lovable verve.
Q: What is your desert island food?
Miles: Coconut. Just kidding! It would be a toss-up between sushi and pizza. I wonder if you could make sushi pizza. I don’t think anyone has thought of that yet. I am going to be rich.
Q: What would your superhero costume look like?
Miles: I would be Vince Reffet. I would just make him look more good-looking, like myself. Kidding. I have been following Vince for years. He is a superhero. He is crushing it. He and Fred, the Soul Flyers, are my heroes for sure.
We were in Dubai, doing the Dream Jump, a couple of Aprils ago. And they were, like, “We would like to do a jump with you. Would you like to go head-down off this 1,300-foot building?” They are just so happy and so calm, and I’m, like, freaking out. We are going to go head-down off a building! I am, like, losing my stuff. But sure enough, we did it and it worked perfect, no big deal. All they did was sit there and smile, their mouths touching their ears the whole time, smiling at each other and at me. It was amazing. Those guys are truly fun-loving dudes that are amazingly talented and gifted, and they just love to have a good time. They’re speaking my language right there. So yeah. My superhero costume would be Vince.
Q: What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
Miles: My bicycle. I was in an Air Force family, so we would move every three years. When we would get to a new place, I would take right off on it and go exploring. I would ride everywhere. I’d go find out what is going on in my neighborhood and the ones next to it, and meet new people and check out new things.
My family moved all over the States and to Okinawa, Japan with the Air Force. I loved it there. I would hang out in
the boonies all day with my friends and play with bamboo sticks. We had a little club where we would go pole vaulting over rivers and exploring through caves. We found all kinds of war relics. We made shields and had a little bamboo-spears jousting session on our bikes. Then we moved to Greece for a year near Athens, and then I graduated high school in England.
I learned how to surf there, actually, in Newquay [on the southern Cornwall coast]. It wasn’t warm. It was raining most of the time. You had to pee in your wetsuit if you wanted to get warm. But it was fun. It got overhead, too; we rode some serious waves. We got pounded a few times. We learned how big waves need to get before you don’t go out into the ocean. It was awesome.
I caught my first tube there, a week after I started surfing. Of course, I got slammed so hard and then I was underwater forever. When I came up, I didn’t even chance to get another breath of air before the next wave hit me, and I barely got a breath after that one before the next wave, and then again before the next wave. I made it back up on the beach barely alive. Turns out there were a whole bunch of people there for the Surfmaster’s Championship, and they were all, like, patting me on the back.
After England, we moved back to California, which was good because I was, like, Get me a real cheeseburger, please. I went to Chico State and moved up to Tahoe, and then Twin Falls, Idaho. I still ride my bike around the place.
Dude, I hate that Miles guy. He is so athletically talented and good looking. I just can’t stand that guy.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
Miles: I think it’d have to be a turkey vulture. I seem to communicate with those guys. Ravens and crows, too. I can start talking to those guys and they’ll hang out and chill with me until I am done talking with them. I tell them to have a good day, and they fly away. It’s weird. I love turkey vultures most of all, though, because they can just soar.
Q: What’s your favorite record of all time?
Miles: That’s a tough question. I had the record from Star Wars as a kid and I used to listen to that over and over until I knew every line and every note. But, like, album? Man. I’ve got so many favorites. It ranges from the Beastie Boys to Metallica. Master of Puppets, maybe.
Q: How would your best friend describe you?
Miles: I don’t have, like, a best bestie with the heart necklaces where you get half and I get half. I have a whole bunch of close friends, some of whom aren’t around anymore. They would say I’m all over the place, like a little ADD maybe; just kinda always moving. I agree with that. I would probably get crazy if I stayed in one place for too long.
Q: How would your worst enemy describe you?
Miles: He would just say, ‘Dude, I hate that Miles guy. He is so athletically talented and good looking. I just can’t stand that guy. He’s the nicest dude, and he always wants to be so happy all the time and he’s always having more fun than me.” I think that’s what he would say. But I don’t know.
Q: Describe your ideal day.
Miles: I wake up, high five my kids and my wife, go to the bridge, jump off of it and swoop into a bull’s eye. Then I would put on my jetpack and fly it up to the moon. That’s my next project, I think. I’m going to go to the moon and do a BASE jump without a parachute. I think my body is tough enough to handle an impact from 30,000 feet off a sheer crater in, like, no gravity. I could run really fast and jump 200 feet out from the cliff. Anyway, I’d land, put my jetpack back on, and return to Earth to eat the best sushi in the world for lunch. Then I’d probably do some wakeboarding and some serious downhill mountain biking and play on a hydrofoil. Then I’d paramotor through a bunch of pylons. Then I would see all my good friends and we’d all eat pizza. Then we’d tell stories around a campfire before going to bed and watching shooting stars. That would be it.
Q: What is the very best mistake you ever made?
Miles: Making mistakes is kinda the way I roll–just going for it. Most of the things I do are somewhat calculated, but a lot of times I like to just shoot from the hip and let my survival skills work things out.
When I was a kid, I jumped 12 bicycles with my bicycle. We ran around the neighborhood and asked kids to borrow their bikes for the stunt. They’d say, ‘Okay, only if mine is not at the very end.’ Then we laid them all down and I launched over the whole thing from this steep hill with a ramp. I stuck it.
Q: What do you think nobody should ever worry about? Why?
Miles: Nobody should ever worry what the hell is the president doing, because you have absolutely no control over it. Only worry about the stuff in your own neighborhood. Don’t talk about other stuff that you have absolutely no control over, and don’t dwell on the fact that you can’t change everybody. Watch out for number one so you don’t step in number two. That’s what I always say.
Another way to think about it is like this: Back up and look at yourself from an outsider’s perspective. Kind of like an out-of-body experience. Pretend you’re your own drone, looking at yourself from about 30 feet back behind your head, and look at your surroundings. This is what’s going around you. How can you make it better?
One other thing I have learned in life–that really helped me out a lot–I learned when I was doing this event in China. We were jumping from helicopters and flying wingsuits through Styrofoam targets, punching through targets with our faces. I had wanted to do it forever and I was kinda freaking out because it’s really hard and there was a lot of pressure. Anyway, one of the helicopter pilots gave me this advice: before you jump out of the helicopter, picture yourself in the landing area, high-fiving your friends and laughing. So I did that. And I was totally relaxed; totally calm. I fired right through the bull’s eye with my face, no problem, and finished the rest of the jump, which was gnarly. You had to fly some serious terrain and clear some stuff. But then, when I was in the landing area high fiving dudes and laughing, it was just like the guy told me. Don’t worry, just think of where you want to be, and you’ll be able to get there easier.
Q: How long does it take you to finish a bucket of popcorn in the theater?
Miles: About the first quarter of the movie. I fire it down quickly and then I have to run and get more.
Q: What’s next for you?
Miles: That is always the best question. That’s the question I always ask myself.
As long as I keep learning, I’m happy. The more I learn, the happier I am. These days, I’ve been spending a lot of time training, trying to get super-fit so I can hike out of the canyon a million times on the summer solstice. Do you know about this? This year is going to be the first full moon that happens during the solstice in over fifty years. So, since it’s the longest day of the year and that night will be a full moon, it’s going to be the most illuminated day of our lifetime. That’s the kind of day you’ve gotta make your own. So I’m going to go out and make a world record number of jumps. I’m pretty fired up.
CYPRES is proud to support Miles Daisher in his super-gnarly-awesome pursuits.