Julian Boulle

Julian Boulle: “Listen To Your Inner Voice”

Words: Sean Christie
Photography: Siddharth Siva

The South African BASE-jumper and skydiver explains how he became a bona-fide legend in the world of wingsuit flying

After growing up on the semi-rural edge of Johannesburg, Julian Boulle’s wingsuit-flying skills have taken him all around the world and given him a unique perspective on managing risk, staying competitive and being fair to family.


THE RED BULLETIN:​ What need of yours did skydiving fulfill? 

JULIAN BOULLE: 
I really believe that people are drawn to specific elements, so perhaps it was an elemental need. I find air a beautiful fluid to move around in.

What do you think was your first leap of faith?

Deciding to do things that enriched my life instead of following others. Skydiving gave me the space to evolve as a person away from the herd at my own pace.

 

Head-to-head at the Red Bull Aces Wingsuit Racing in 2014

How do the people close to you cope with your job?

I gave my parents grey hair growing up, but my mother now understands that my spirit is kept alive by my experiences. I don’t hide anything, but I don’t push the details of what I do on my family either. I’ve found the more I understand about life and what I do, the more they understand. 

How do you minimise risk?

By relying on technique and skill rather than luck. I try to foresee every possible variable, and if I can still see no solution, I walk away.
 

“I gave my parents grey hair growing up, but my mother now understands that my spiris is kept alive by my experiences”
Julian Boulle

As one of the world’s best wingsuit flyers, how do you keep improving?

I surround myself with the best people, and I know when and how to learn from those who do specific things with exceptional skill. 

What has wingsuit flying taught you?

To adore nature. Mountains look so simple from a distance, but close up they are so complex, so powerful. Many people living in cities are burned out. Mountains restore us. I have also learned to listen to my inner voice. If I don’t feel 100 per cent prepared for something, I call it off. Gravity is an exacting master.

Wingsuit

Julian Boulle together with David Covel, Mickey Nuttall and Rex Pemberton competing at at the Red Bull Aces wingsuit 4 cross race in California in 2014    

© Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

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