After he saw a YouTube video of “the world’s largest rope swing,” 22-year-old Kyle Stocking set off for Moab, Utah last Sunday, with five friends to try it himself.
But he hit the ground after a miscalculation of how much rope he would need to swing through the arch, and died from his injuries. Known as “pendulum swinging,” the activity is relatively new — but quickly growing in popularity due to viral videos.
Corona Arch, where the accident took place, sits on Utah state trust lands. The administration of those lands had banned commercial jumping this year, told The Associated Press it couldn’t prevent people from doing it on their own. A sign warned of “severe injury or death even if your equipment works.”
The Bureau of Land Management, which will take over the site that includes Corona Arch, is “taking a closer look at appropriate ways to balance and manage these activities on public lands,” BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall told The AP.
Stocking’s parents spoke to The Deseret News on Tuesday, asking other adventurers to think of their family before going tackling risky thrills.
“Think about your parents, your family, your friends before you do things like this, because you might lose your life, and it’s going to absolutely devastate your family,” Kyle’s mom, Linda Stocking, said.
Although Kyle was an experienced rock climber, he was not trained for this specific jump, according to The Deseret News.
“Before he left, I was standing at the bottom of the stairs, and he was standing at the top (waving) and saying, ‘Goodbye, Mom,’” Linda Stocking said. “I said, ‘OK, please be careful and take care of each other.’”
Image: Screengrab from the YouTube video: “The world’s largest rope swing.” Credit: YouTube