PWC

The "in the air" side of Christian Elder

Minneapolis native Christian Elder caught the racing bug early, watching his father compete on the Midwest circuit and dreaming of the day he'd get his turn in a racecar. Elder got his wish at 17, entering his first professional race against a...

Minneapolis native Christian Elder caught the racing bug early, watching his father compete on the Midwest circuit and dreaming of the day he'd get his turn in a racecar. Elder got his wish at 17, entering his first professional race against a field that included his father. Christian won that race and would go on to find success in the Goody's Dash, Winston West and ARCA Series before coming to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2001.

After a devastating wreck at Chicagoland Speedway last year, Elder now concentrates his racing time in the SCAA Speed World Challenge Series. At 33, Christian shows no signs of slowing down; when he gets time off from his hectic schedule he fulfills a need for thrills and spills in the drop zone.

LP: Tandem or solo diving?

CE: Usually when I go I still tandem, because you want to practice up a little bit before you go jumping out of a plane!

LP: I'll ask the obvious question, what's it feel like?

CE: It's a serious, serious adrenaline rush. It's kind of like sensory overload, just like being in the racecar. Things are going by extremely fast and you know that you are right on the edge of danger. At the same time, you are in control of your own destiny in what you are doing but you are really pushing your own limits.

LP: Tell us about your first skydiving experience?

CE: It was 1991. A girlfriend and I decided to do it while we were in San Francisco. So, we went out to Hollister, California and they took us up and we tandem dived from 12,500 feet.

LP: How hard is the landing?

CE: Oh, it's not too bad. If you hit right you just about sit down, but if you don't come down just right you can really do a face plant. Luckily, I've never even tumbled coming down.

LP: Have you ever tried sky-surfing or BASE jumping?

CE: I'd like to do BASE jumping, that sounds awesome. I don't know about any of the others types where you have to fool around with stuff in the air. I like being free.

LP: What's the best view you've ever seen from up there?

CE: I'd say it's when you have your feet propped up on the door and your hands are holding on at both sides - you are just about ready to jump with the wind trying to suck you out of the plane and you are just looking down from 12,500 feet. It's pretty amazing.

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Series PWC
Drivers Christian Elder