Kyle Lobpries is quite the well-known skydiver, having set world records in the past. Lobpries was given the title of the fastest man in the speed skydiving event at the 2017 United States Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships, which were held in southern California at Skydive Perris. He earned a gold medal for his speed.
Lobpries is a pilot in the Marine Corps and took his skydiving training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Lobpries reached a speed record of 293 miles per hour. Typical free fall speeds are around 120 miles per hour.
Lobpries spoke about his love for speed and the sport. “I’ve always been someone who likes to push limits,” he said.
His gold medal earned him a spot on the national team. He will be a member of the United States Parachute Team at the 2017 World Parachuting Championships to be held in Australia.
According to Lobpries, he has been falling through the skies for seven years and started competing five years ago. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and is planning on becoming an instructor pilot. He skydives mostly at Skydive Spaceland, which is located in Rosharon by Houston, Texas.
This will not be the first visit to Australia for Lobpries; he said he has traveled to the country before for the military but he is looking forward to seeing the country’s sights.
Lobpries father, Kurt Lobpries, has even got in on the action and talked about his “frightening” experience jumping with his son. “I jumped with him one time,” Kurt said. “It was the most exhilarating and most frightening thing I’ve ever done.”
Lizette Lobpries, Kyle’s mother, admits that it is scary to watch her son skydive, but said that she is glad he is doing something that makes him happy.
While Lizette said she is not ready to go skydiving with her son, she has spent time with him at the drop zones. “I’ve been trying to learn more about it so it’s not so scary,” she said. “Education chases away fear. I spent a lot of time with him at his drop zone getting used to the idea.”
In addition, Lobpries is a certified tandem skydive instructor, so he has meaning a person strapped to him at four points while skydiving. He also skydives while wearing a wingsuit, also known as a squirrel suit, which helps him glide longer distances for speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. He is currently on the United States Wingsuit Flying Team.
Describing the feeling of wearing a wingsuit, Lobpries said, “You control your movements in your descent with very subtle shifts in your weight and arm and leg position. Soaring in a wingsuit truly feels like flying. The wind is in your face and the ground rushes below you.”