The Benefits of Being Upside-down
An Interview with Influencer, Jack Payne
Here at DEFY, we love jumping. So much so, in fact, we’ve only found one person so far who rivals the enthusiasm and passion for sharing hang time with others: Jack Payne.
Jack is top-notch. One of the best people we know, he tries to see the world a little upside-down. Literally. When “The Shark” isn’t making videos for young fans, he’s living life on the edge with his girlfriend, friends and family in South Carolina. He’s a 2019 cheerleading world champion and participant in America’s Got Talent.
Another reason we love Jack so much is because we stand for the same thing: DEFYing expectations. We sat down and chatted with him last week so you can get to know him, too.
*Below are excerpts from a full-length interview*
DEFY: Jack, buddy, what are some of your favorite tricks?
Jack: My flipping tricks are three things. Number one, a Double Layout. Another guy who goes to all of the DEFY parks, Dom Lewis, he loves doing that trick, but that is “The Shark’s” trick. Me and him have sunk the trick—we’ve both done it side-by-side. Anyways, that’s my favorite trick—the Double Layout. I call it the Double Shark.
My number two favorite trick is called a Full X Full. Essentially, that’s a backflip-360, open up to make an X-position with your body and then continue the backflip-360 rotation right after that. So, it’s a double spin with an X in-between. It’s more of a tricking move than tumbling, but it’s a really fun trick for me to do.
Then my last favorite trick of the three is the Payne Twist, or a Cartwheel Twist. It’s essentially a cartwheel and after your hands touch the ground, but before your feet hit, you do a 180-spin off of your hands. So, it’s like a twisting cartwheel trick.
DEFY: What are some tips and tricks you can share with kids trying to improve their jumping game at DEFY?
Jack: Some simple tips for anyone looking to work on tumbling skills—I would just say, just conditioning your body. That’s not just physically, but mentally, as well. That can be just as simple and going to the [DEFY] park and practicing and getting the muscle memory.
Air-awareness is also huge. It’s huge when you’re doing anything trampoline-flipping-cheerleading-parkour-related.
The other thing that’s important is mental strength. You have to be confident before you go for any flipping skill. What I mean is, if all of your friends are going, “Oh no way are you going to land that,” that’s kind of demotivating and you’ve already lost the battle in your head before you’ve gotten there. One thing I’d say is to be motivated and keep positive influences. If everyone’s hyping you up, yelling “Go for it!” then hype others up, too.
DEFY: That leads to another question I have. One of the nice things about DEFY is that we can encourage kids and jumpers to DEFY expectations, whether their own or from others. In your experience with cheerleading and tumbling have you been able to DEFY your own expectations?
Jack: All of my flipping, all of cheerleading, all of my practice and pushing to DEFY the limitations in my head has been a thing through all of life, you know? I started really young, learning how to flip. You, as a young person are chasing these achievements—“Oh, I got a double-backflip” or “Oh, I got a double-full”—and as you get older, you’ll also see other ways you can push through other things because that confidence is a mental thing you help build.
If there’s some skill, or trick, or flip in your head you’ve never done before. If you can achieve that, you’ve just proved that doubt in your head wrong and now you’ve done it. That will become apparent in your life. Maybe you get out of high school and go to college, but don’t feel like you can pass a test that well, but if you have that same mentality to just go for it, like a trick, and you do it. Maybe it’s starting a business when you’re older, or a YouTube channel, or whatever you’re doing. Whatever these achievements are that you’re doing physically can also translate mentally into your path of life.
Just because there are other people not doing the caliber of what you’re doing doesn’t mean it’s impossible. What’s crazy is now that I’m older, I’m seeing kids much younger than I was and pulling double standing backflips on the spring floor and I’m like, “Whoa, chill out!” When they grow up and do whatever they do, they’ll just go for it. And there’s no better way to learn that than by turning your body upside-down. If you can conquer a backflip, there’s nothing in life you can’t conquer.
DEFY: How about goal setting?
Jack: You have to over project what you’re going for. It’s not false hope or lying to yourself. It’s setting goals that may be unrealistic to some people, but those are the best goals. If they’re realistic, it’s not fun—you already know what you’re going to get. You want to be projecting and going for the best, whatever that is, and that’ll translate throughout your entire life and in every way.
DEFY: Can you tell us about a goal you recently accomplished?
Jack: So, I had the imagination of making my childhood dreams come true of making a music video. The locations we show are just some of our favorite places. We shot at the trampoline park. We shot at the lake. That’s about all we did last summer because of the pandemic. Because of that, we wanted to capture “the lost summer” and had a great time. I did it just for the straight fun with no intentions to market it, and it showed, and it even trended on YouTube.
DEFY: What do you like most about DEFY parks?
Jack: I love going to DEFY parks. I take my girlfriend there. You can go on a date. It’s just a fun time and you don’t have to be a flipper; you don’t have to be a cheerleader or skateboarder or an athlete. You just have to be a person willing to step outside of your comfort zone and have a fun time.
DEFY: Winter’s coming soon. What are some ways kids can stay active and conditioned during the winter?
Jack: You have to stay active. There is a direct correlation between staying physically active and being mentally happy. I would say, a great thing would to be go to your local DEFY park. There’s heating in there! Air-conditioning. Wherever you’re at, it’s going to be a moderate temperature and you’ll be in a comfortable, safe environment for you to practice tricks and push boundaries.
DEFY: What might you say to parents who are nervous about taking their kids to a trampoline park?
Jack: If you’re a parent and you are nervous about your kids coming to a trampoline park, just know that DEFY is taking every precaution, industry standard or above, for keeping everything sanitary or clean in regard to the pandemic. And they’ve always kept things safe in regard to injury prevention and the rules directly correlating to keeping kids safe. I think DEFY parks are going to be some of the most fun, safest places to go.
Want to see more of our flippin’ awesome friend, Jack? Visit his YouTube channel.
To learn more about how we’re keeping our parks clean and safe, visit here.
For more information on preventative measures, health updates and additional information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC (Center of Disease Control) website.