John Berry

New Zealand’s rock ’n‘ roller of the skies

Portrait of John Berry taken just after jumping off of the edge of a cliff with green mountains in the distance in New Zealand 2009
© Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

Hi, my name is John Berry. My discipline is B.A.S.E. jumping. My friends call me Chuck. I was born on 31 October 1966 in Christchurch, New Zealand. My special talent is adventure sports ranging from snow sports to paragliding. My philosophy of life is live your dreams, make the most of every minute, and live life to the full. My favourite food is any home-cooked meal. My favourite music is Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd.


New Zealand's own John 'Chuck' Berry is, it seems, the embodiment of science, creativity and adventure. He might share the family name with the man who disputably invented rock and roll, but this Chuck is no slouch when it comes to making a big noise either – only this Kiwi does it with wings! To date, John 'Chuck' Berry's biggest stunts have included the world’s first wingsuit skydive across Yokohama Harbour in Japan in 2006, and the utterly crazy but brilliant feat of becoming the first person in the world to skydive using just a tent in 2007.

In 2009, he mastered yet another challenge when he jumped the previously-unbeaten Terror Peak – a 1400m (4600ft) granite pillar in the Southern Alps of his homeland's South Island. Chuck has completed over 4,000 skydives during his tumultuous career, which has included stints as a high altitude camera operator, and a professional stunt man. It’s as though he cannot live without altitude, adrenaline and action!

In February 2014, Berry became the first person to fly over the stunning bubblegum-pink lake in Western Australia.Free falling in a wingsuit from a helicopter hovering above, Chuck soared across the beautiful pink Lake Hillier, located on the remote Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago. "The lake is unique and absolutely mesmerising. I feel incredibly privileged to have been blessed with this once in a lifetime opportunity," he said after touching back down.

An aircraft engineer by profession, Chuck knows all about the science involved in what he does. But he reckons the ultimate kick is being able to be involved in an activity in which “your livelihood rests on faith in yourself, confidence to perform and lightning reflexes to make critical decisions and act accordingly to keep oneself alive”.

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Career Highlights

  1. 2014
    1. Became the first person to fly over Lake Hillier

      Lake Hillier, Western Australia

  2. 2013
    1. Participant: New Zealand International Airshow - Paratenting

      Auckland, New Zealand

    2. Film: Red Bull Airborn

      The remarkable life story of Red Bull's longest serving professional athlete Chuck Berry

  3. 2011
    1. Participant: Good Vibes Skydive Boogie

      Motueka, New Zealand

  4. 2009
    1. Jumped the previously-unbeaten Terror Peak

      A 1400m (4600ft) granite pillar in the Southern Alps of New Zealand

      New Zealand

  5. 2007
    1. Became the first person in the world to skydive using a tent

  6. 2006
    1. Did the world’s first wingsuit jump over Yokohama Harbour

      Yokohama, Japan