ROSHARON — Jason David Frank punched his way into the Guinness Book of World Records on Thursday.
The former “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” children’s television show star shattered seven pine boards, punching each one during a 14,000-foot skydive at Skydive Spaceland. The 39-year-old Kingwood resident is a mixed martial artist and a frequent skydiver.
“I thought it would be cool to put the two things I love together,” Frank said. “I thought it’d be fun.”
A Guinness official was on hand to review and confirm the video Frank and his team shot as he attempted to break the record. The previous record of “most pine boards broken in freefall” was two, set by Travis Donley of Plymouth, Mich., in 2011.
“He blew the first one out of the water,” said Jason Hyder, Skydive Spaceland drop zone manager.
Hyder believes Thursday’s record will not be broken anytime soon. Many records have been set at the Rosharon location, but Hyder didn’t believe any of them were Guinness records.
“It’s very difficult,” Hyder said. “Skydive Spaceland is really proud of that record. It took a lot of talent and timing just to succeed in this jump.”
Eight other skydivers jumped with Frank, each carrying a 1-inch thick wooden board. The group plummeted to the earth at more than 120 mph, Frank said. But before any of them could deploy their parachutes, they each had to approach Frank, flying parallel to him so he could break their boards.
“It’s like racing two Ferraris down the road,” Frank said.
Frank had taken two practice runs before attempting to break the record. Each punch was an impressive feat because unlike a normal punch in which a person can generate power by pushing off the ground, Frank did not have anything to push off against, Hyder said. He likened it to trying to punch something while sticking your arm out of a moving car on the highway. Core strength and accuracy was key to every hit, Frank said.
“It was like this Superman punch I do,” Frank said.
Frank lost count of how many boards he demolished during the jump. Even though he smashed one fewer board than he intended, he felt like a winner as he floated down to a group of cheering fans.
“All of the ‘Power Rangers’ fans look at me as a hero,” he said. “Coming down was like winning a fight.”
Frank played Tommy Oliver, who turned into the Green and White Rangers on the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” show, which aired during the 1990s. Today, he holds a seventh-degree black belt in American karate and owns karate and mixed martial arts schools in Texas and California. He also sells a Christian-based line of mixed martial arts clothing and gear.
“I’ve lived and breathed martial arts since I was 4 years old,” Frank said. “It’s an exciting life.”
Michael Freeman is a reporter for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0154.