So this is what they eat in the heavens?
The sky’s the limit for Matt’s daring snack experiments!
The 25-year-old vagabond skydiving coach from Indiana, Ohio and Florida (he goes where the seasonal work is) was excited to hear about about Pepsi and Frito-Lay’s “Ultimate Match-Up” contest to win a trip to see the New York Giants battle the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
His friend had seen the Pongr-fueled promotion on a bag of Doritos: Take a photo of any Pepsi product matched up with any Frito-Lay product, text/email/upload the pic to PepsiCo, and be randomly chosen to win a slew of prizes, including “Ultimate Access” for two at this year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis, 2012 game tickets for your favorite NFL team, a year’s supply of soda and snacks in a souvenir Pepsi/NFL fridge, Xbox 360 game consoles and NFL merchandise.
Even though the contest only required pics of the brand logos together, Matt wanted to bring his game to the next level.
Tapping into his passion of parachuting, he decided he wanted to explore some of life’s unanswered mysteries:
1. What does Mountain Dew taste like at 10,000 feet?
2. Can one Dorito, carefully placed between your teeth, withstand the stress test of a free fall?
3. How many Doritos can you catch in your mouth while they are being whisked away by powerful gusts of wind?
4. How does it feel to make Doritos fall from the sky like snowflakes?
Snacks in the Cessna: The anticipation builds for playing Pongr with parachutes!
“I figured I got the whole country to compete with. I had better get creative,” says Matt, who photographed his snack-themed jump with the help of a GoPro Hero 2 camera attached to his sneaker. “I love the pictures of the chips flying in my face. Some bird, somewhere, was eating well that day!”
Think it's easy to catch free-falling Doritos in your mouth? YOU try it!
Matt makes his living by packing parachutes, one of those jobs where the anti-drowsiness formula of Mountain Dew is most helpful. He personally jumps between 100 and 250 times a year, though this is first experience skydiving with products.
“One of the things I really wanted to see was if a single Dorito could handle the wind in my face. It didn’t break!”
Asked if his experiment has any practical applications, such as trying to use the chips as wind-resistant shingles on a home, Matt shrugged: “I wouldn’t go that far.”
Durable Doritos: The wind has finally met its match.
A devoted Dew drinker “for as long as I can remember,” Matt says his favorite beverage tastes no different while he’s floating in the wind than it does on the ground. Gravity is gravity and the mechanics involved from getting liquid from one’s mouth to stomach remains the same. He does imagine, however, that drinking Dew during a straight free fall would be far more complicated.
“It’s certainly possible,” he says. “The wind likes to shake everything up and at that speed, everything becomes a rudder. Everything moves harder, faster. But I would definitely try it.”
Speaking of shaking, everyone knows what happens when you shake a bottle of soda. To ensure that he could actually enjoy the Dew without it spraying all over the place, Matt wisely pre-opened his bottle before takeoff. Ditto for opening up the Doritos so the bag didn’t pop from the altitude.
The skydiving coach has been in the sport for two and a half years and calls it a “lifestyle” more than a hobby or job.
“When I first tried this, it was all about the adrenaline rush. Now I want to figure out how to fly my body, control the angles and adjust my fall rate as I speed toward earth,” he says. “No matter how hard I work at it, I know I could never be an NBA superstar. But in this sport, there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you’re dedicated. Skydiving is accessible to everyone.”
As is the pastime of Pongr, which Matt only found out about through the Pepsi and Frito-Lay promotion. Other brands he feels equally passionate about are Nike (which can’t be seen in the skydiving pictures because his sneaks held the camera) and Apple.
“I’m very loyal to Apple. I believe that they go above and beyond the competition with pretty much everything they do. They are constantly thinking how they can make things better and that’s the skydiving mindset, too,” he says. “What do we know right now? What can we learn? How can we improve on it?”
Now that he’s been introduced to Pongr, Matt says he plans on dreaming up other wild stunts taking his favorite brands (and earned Pongr Bucks) to new heights!
See how Matt turned his Nike sneakers into an airborne photo studio.