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David Tejeiro doing a jump in a wingsuit. @david_tejeiro
David Tejeiro: Life on the edge for a world-renowned Malaga pilot
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David Tejeiro: Life on the edge for a world-renowned Malaga pilot

Content creator for Red Bull and a certified acrobatic paragliding pilot, he practises base jumping and pilots helicopters.

Marina Rivas

Malaga

Thursday, 28 March 2024, 16:08

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Few will understand why you might risk your life to experience an adrenaline rush, but this addiction is extremely difficult to stop. Only those who share a passion for it understand its madness. Without even wanting it, driven by a thrill-seeking father, he learned to fly at just eight years old, and at 10, he paraglided alone for the first time. By then he had already felt the emotion that would lead him to dedicate a lifetime to it - to living on the edge, valuing the present moment and not what might happen tomorrow.

David Tejeiro, posing for SUR in Torre del Mar.
David Tejeiro, posing for SUR in Torre del Mar. M. Rivas

David Tejeiro, 30, is originally from Cómpeta and was raised, alongside his two older brothers, among car engines. As soon as school finished, he would go to his dad's garage, Tejauto, which still exists today. Their father instilled in them a certain philosophy: he always told them to keep up with their schoolwork, but that if a life of action was what they wanted, they should launch into adventure as soon as they could. And that is what happened: the three men are currently paraglider pilots, two of them in Doha, Qatar, but the third, the only one who stayed in Malaga, was more non conformist.

A several-times Spanish champion of acrobatic paragliding, David went further, exploring many extreme sports, always tied to the air, where he was in his element. Today, he is an expert in paragliding, skydiving, base jumping with parachutes and wingsuits, and he is even a helicopter pilot.

World record

But not only this - in 2012 he set the world record for having executed 202 consecutive paramotor loops in 5 minutes and 10 seconds. He was left with a desire to make history once more, which he achieved eight years later (2020), when he became the first person in the world to combine acrobatics with paragliding and the wingsuit, catapulting from a plane at over 200 km/h.

David set the world record for 202 paramotor loops in 5 minutes and 10 seconds.
David set the world record for 202 paramotor loops in 5 minutes and 10 seconds. @david_tejeiro

He has undertaken extreme challenges that have led him to travel around the word, hired to put on dangerous shows, especially in the US and China. In fact, this Malaga pilot is one of the few in the world who can be considered an expert in all these extreme disciplines. "In acrobatic paragliding alone, there are about 50 of us in the whole world, and two of those are in Spain. Both my brothers and I are known worldwide for being pioneers in the field of paramotor acrobatics," he says.

These are expensive disciplines which he has always financed himself - as well as owning a paragliding company in Nerja, he has never stopped working in his family's garage. "Everything that we've bought has been through work; no one's ever gifted me anything. If I had to spend twice as many hours there to buy materials or to travel to learn, I did it," he explains. And he continues to do it, although his worldwide fame has already meant that he has huge sponsors behind him, such as Mercedes Benz or Red Bell, for which he works as an extreme sports content creator.

And no, it has not all been easy . Tejeiro has cheated death on more than one occasion, but even so, fear does not get the better of him; he is made of sterner stuff. "I've had a few big scares. For one of them, I got a little distracted during the jump and got within five metres of a house. It didn't give me time to open the parachute well enough and I ended up falling into a tree. For another, my brother and I wanted to do an extreme stunt with a tandem paraglider at 1,500 metres, and all the ropes snapped. We had to take out the emergency parachute and fell about 20 metres from a high-voltage power line," he recalls.

But he has never considered taking a step back to live a calmer life. "It can be scary, but I enjoy living and learning so much that nothing can stop me. That's the beautiful thing about life." In fact, his ambition and willingness to take risks were reinforced five years ago when he had to confront the worst moment of his life: the death of his father, who was 58, caused by a heart issue related to cholesterol.

Impact of father's death

"My father was doing well and from one day to the next, he died. When that happened I started to see that the number of people dying from heart issues in Spain was increasing, so it changed my perspective on things. I carried on doing extreme sports, and I'm aware that if I had an accident here, I would be asking for it, but regarding health, I started looking after myself as much as possible," he says.

He was his greatest role model, his best friend, the one who opened up doors to a world once unknown to him and which ended up becoming his passion; he was his pillar in each of his aerial adventures. His father's death marked his way of understanding life: "We don't stop to think about health; tomorrow we have an illness and it's the end of everything. That's when we regret the things we don't get round to doing. I don't want to get to that point; I want to learn from everything and live life to the fullest each day."

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