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Profile

Up Close & Personal

name: Niklas Hemlin

email: niklas@airspeed.org

age: 42

education: PHD in the School of Life

family & marital staus: Girlfriend and four children

number of jumps: 19,500

years in Sport: 25

teams: Projekt 4, Velox, PD Blue, Fastrax, Arizona Airspeed

slot(s): Point, Outside Center, Inside Center

favorite competition: Mondial Dubai 2012

funniest moment in skydiving: Headup world record in 2015. Something completely out of my comfort zone, and I made it.

skydiving mentor(s): Coaches and team mates in my career.

hobbies: Freeflying, Health and Fitness

favorite music: Anything on the Radio

favorite movie(s): Science Fiction

favorite place: In the Sky

Where will you be ten years from now? Doing what I am doing today, and more freeflying.

Niklas Hemlin Niklas Hemlin
Niklas Hemlin has been a true competitive athlete for all of his life. He has tried all kind of different sports (swimming, soccer, archery, hockey, short-distance running, table tennis) when he grew up in Sweden and before he eventually arrived at skydiving competition, and he was good with every sport that he took on. In fact, he says that he was actually much better in athletics than in academics when he went to school.

He was also well prepared for the sport that he would eventually get addicted to and do for his living. The different athletic experiences educated his body coordination very well, and the team sports prepared him for the challenging group dynamics that 4-way and 8-way Formation Skydiving teams have to master.

Projekt 4 with coach Craig Girard Projekt 4 with coach Craig Girard
His last sport before he got lost in skydiving was in martial arts, which also connected him with skydiving. He had joined a kick-boxing club in Sweden, and his coach Sigge was jumping from planes. Niklas Hemlin saw a photo with a skydiver hanging from a small Cessna one day, and he knew that this was something that he wanted to do.

He made his first jump at the skydiving club of Goteborg in 1994 and had a total of 500 jumps at the end of the next year. His competitive nature brought him quickly to Formation Skydiving competition, and he started his own 4-way team in 1995. His kick-boxing coach Sigge was one of his first team mates.

Velox with Mattias Nord Velox with Mattias Nord
One of the most talented and experienced Swedish skydivers at that time, Lukas Knutson, had launched an advanced team project while Niklas Hemlin trained with his own team. He had tried out for the project's 8-way team and did not make it in 1994. However, he was eventually selected for the 4-way team in 1996, which soon became the Swedish national team.

The lineup changed a year later, and the new team trained and competed under Velox. One of his first team mates with Projekt 4 and Velox was Mattias Nord, who has been coaching and competing with the Swedish national team in 4-way Open, Echochamber.

Velox won the national championships in Sweden and represented the country at international events between 1997 and 1999. Niklas Hemlin and Mattias Nord competed together at the FAI World Meet 1997 in Turkey, where they placed 11th of 38 nations with a 14.8 average. They continued with the same lineup and posted a 16.2 average in 8th place at the FAI World Cup 1998 in Portugal.

PD Blue at SkyQuest 2001 PD Blue at SkyQuest 2001
That was the end of Niklas Hemlin's 4-way career in Sweden. He had decided that he wanted to become a professional skydiver and competitor and planned to move to the United States. Velox did not compete in Australia 1999 any longer, as Niklas Hemlin was trying out for a slot with Team FX in Florida, the FAI World Cup winner of 1998 (Dawn English, Joey Jones, Christopher Irwin, Doug Park).

He did not get the slot, and he still moved to DeLand in January 1999, where he saw the best opportunities to join a team on world class level. Team FX and Genesis/PD Blue had their homes in Florida, together with the British national team Sebastian XL and South Africa's DeLand Equanimity.

The next opportunity came soon when Genesis/PD Blue had to replace original member Kyle Collins. Niklas Hemlin was available at the right time and the right place and joined the team without hesitation.

Team Fastrax lineup of 2007 Team Fastrax lineup of 2007
His time with PD Blue also prepared him for the next step. Shannon Pilcher asked him one day to help with a coaching job. A group of skydivers from Ohio came to SkyVenture Orlando for a tunnel camp. It was the beginning of Team Fastrax, and Niklas Hemlin became the team's coach in 2003.

A year later, Team Fastrax hired Niklas Hemlin for a full-time player-coach position at the team's headquarters, Start Skydiving in Ohio. There he staid for four years, and Fastrax became one of the best 4-way teams in the world. The 2nd place at the USPA Nationals 2007 was the last Fastrax meet for Niklas Hemlin.

His Fastrax team mate of 2006, Mark Kirkby, brought him back into the 4-way team business in 2011. Mark Kirkby had left Fastrax to re-join Arizona Airspeed's Odyssey lineup in 2007 and won the FAI gold medals in Maubeuge 2008, then silver in Menzelinsk 2010. Odyssey was done, and Mark Kirkby was recruiting a new Airspeed lineup.

Niklas Hemlin had also connected with Thomas Hughes when Team Fastrax hired him for the 2007 season. Mark Kirkby contacted Niklas Hemlin and Thomas Hughes both at the end of 2010 for his new Airspeed lineup, which was the beginning of Niklas Hemlin's most successful time period as a 4-way competitor.

Airspeed 4-way world champion in Dubai 2012 Airspeed 4-way world champion in Dubai 2012
He had taken a year off in 2008 and staid in Ohio continuing his work for Start Skydiving for two more years. He did not have any serious team commitments at that time, except for a few player-coaching engagements and a lot of coaching work at Paraclete XP. His personal life with a family and four children kept him busy enough.

However, Mark Kirkby's Airspeed offer for the 2011 and 2012 season sparked his plugs again. Josh Hall completed the lineup, and this Airspeed lineup became the highest scoring team in the history of Formation Skydiving competition at the FAI Mondial 2012 in Dubai. The 27.9 average is still the highest meet average today. Only NMP PCH HayaBusa has been able to tie it once at the FAI World Meet 2018 in Australia.

Niklas Hemlin took a break again after becoming a 4-way world champion in 2012, while Mark Kirkby and Thomas Hughes continued with a new lineup.

Niklas Hemlin and Michelle Karamon Niklas Hemlin and Michelle Karamon
He met his future soul-mate Michelle Karamon for the first time in Chicago 2014 and then re-connected with her at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2015.

It was the same time when he also re-joined Arizona Airspeed with the new lineup of 2015 - 2016. He won FAI silver medals with the Airspeed lineups of 2016 and 2018 and added several USPA gold medals to his collection. Then Michelle Karamon moved to Arizona in 2018, and his life was complete again.

Niklas Hemlin has now been Arizona Airspeed's team captain for several years and plans to continue on the same path for many years. He is now in the middle of the final preparations for the USPA Nationals 2019, where the current Airspeed lineup will be facing the U.S. challenger of the past years, SDC Rhythm XP, and the Belgian 4-way world champions of NMP PCH HayaBusa at the same time.

There is no doubt that Niklas Hemlin's NSL Profile will need updates on a regular basis...