Jesse pulls off a BARREL ROLL

Visit Us

We were amazed at this recent Instagram photo of Jesse Weyher doing a barrel roll, on his Peregrine 71

Momentous stuff! We had to ask Jesse how he made this happen…

Selfie by Jesse Wehyer, touching down after a barrel roll on his Peregrine 71

How long have you been dreaming of the barrel roll stunt and what made you think of it? 

Jesse Weyher

I began paragliding and speedflying about seven years ago. In that time I became naturally interested in barrel rolls – specifically, when speedflying. Several years went by of me doing barrel rolls regularly with a speedflying wing. But, it wasn’t until I arrived in France, in the speedriding (speedflying with skis) arena, that I came to the sobering realization I was doing them incorrectly.

With the help of Mike Wittenberg amongst others, I learned the way of gaining altitude while doing barrel rolls, which gives you range and options, as well as a major safety margin.

One winter later I was doing flatland barrel rolls, which means you do a big turn, similar to skydiving, touch your skis on the ground, boost up and roll the wing. It’s important to note that I spent every day for nearly two months practicing this with up to 30 repetitions a day. I recall seeing the PD Factory Team trying the barrel roll with a skydiving wing in Dubai over water, with some epic crashes ultimately shutting the project down. What better of a stunt for me to chase, given what I was doing on skis for the last couple of years?! So, to cut a long story short, I have been dreaming of it for a couple of years now. 

How did you make it happen between then and now?  

Two long winters of Speedriding every day and getting nearly 30 reps a day, practicing on a Level Wings Fury 9 meter. In 2020 I acquired a UPT Mutant harness and, with the help of a Performance Designs Peregrine 71, I got to work. Every hop-and-pop I did for conventional CP training, I would do a practice turn up high, do the roll and debrief my Flysight Data. Eventually I felt comfortable with bringing the barrel roll to the water when I was regularly averaging 14-17 feet altitude gain before the roll. 

What are the ideal conditions you’d want? 

In the speedriding environment, I want just a breath of a headwind. It significantly helps the altitude gain before the roll. I’ve done them with a slight tailwind, but the margin of safety is thinner, it’s hard to achieve as much “up” before the roll and the roll itself tends to lose altitude. 

Tell us about the jump itself

It was a great day. I was working a military contract in North Carolina and a bunch of my work colleagues/friends were in town. Greg Windmiller surprised me at work with a US Parachute Team slot/patch for freestyle CP at the Mondial, so it was already a good day. I was monitoring the winds and noticed the slightest headwind out of the correct direction. I asked Greg Windmiller if he had his boat ready (safety boat/recovery) and he said yes. All of the stars were aligning!

I sent the GPS pin of where I would be landing to my friends, and they headed that way. As I set up for the turn, I could see familiar cars waiting in the parking lot of the lake. When I rolled out of the turn, I thought ‘this is going to be the only chance I get for a while so I absolutely need to touch water before the roll’. I was hyper-fixated on that, so the water touch was a bit stiffer than I originally intended, but I was able to boost up and get the roll.

How did it feel to pull it off?

When Greg Windmiller and Aaron Stocum delivered me to shore where my friends awaited, I was on cloud nine. The support and excitement were absolutely unparalleled. This was a moment that I won’t forget for some time to come, if ever.

How did it feel at the top of the roll? 

It’s pretty wild looking up at the water while you’re upside-down on a skydiving wing! It’s strangely quiet.

And.. what’s next?!!

I think the only reasonable thing to do is bring the barrel roll to the land and stand it up! I don’t quite feel as though I have really accomplished this until it’s actually landed.

Back to work… 

Jesse’s Barrel Roll

Visit Us

Meet: admin

Contact Me

    Scroll to Top