SA man skips his way to Guinness World Record book

Testing his limits by doing more than 71 000 skips in eight hours, a Pretoria man has set new world record for rope skipping.

SD Heijns, who started skipping aged 12 years old as part of his kickboxing training and now skips for up to eight hours a week, made the successful Guinness world record attempt at Sun International’s Maslow Time Square Hotel in Pretoria.

After completing the attempt, the 21-year-old was ecstatic and was congratulated with cheers from supporters and high-fives and hugs from family and sponsors. “There are no words for how I felt, I wanted to show that South Africa has talent too and bring this record here.”

“The longest I had skipped prior to this attempt was six hours, and this was the hardest part of today’s record attempt. My best hour was my last hour, when I did more skips than the first hour,” Heijns said. He averaged around 9 000 skips per hour.

A pressure plate system mat counted the number of skips – 71 185 in total. There was also a system to ensure that the skipping rope made a complete revolution. Two skipping ropes were used during the attempt.

Heijns said he started out too fast but soon found a better pace that saw him smash the previous record of 70 031 by 1 154 skips.

“Skipping formed an integral part of my personal training regime to stay fit during the Covid-19 lockdown and this is when I started toying with the idea of breaking the Guinness World Record,” Heijns said.

The record attempt was registered with the Guinness World record body and monitored by the Sports Science Lab for verification purposes.

Time Square General Manager Ruben Gooranah said many guests and visitors had enjoyed watching as Heijns skipped while the minutes ticked past. “It truly was an incredible feat of fitness – not one I would personally wish to attempt. Time Square congratulates Heijns on his world record,” Gooranah said.

The previous Guinness World record was held by Sella Rosa Rega from Boiceville, New York, in the United States. There are also 12 and 24-hour records, which Heijns intends to break in the future – after a rest. “The eight-hour record was a good training run,” he said.

Guinness must still declare it an official record.