David Straitjacket - EscapologistWorld Records

Looking for that little bit extra to add something unique to your event? What about booking David to come along and attempt to break a world record!

Apart from the obvious entertainment value of a world record attempt, the publicity possibilities are endless. Local, national and even international press can always be relied upon to attend such events at very short notice, giving you great TV, radio and newspaper coverage, and all for free.

In the last few years David has set and broken 11 world records. Details of some of these can be found below. You can find TV footage, videos and copies of press clippings by going to the photos and videos pages of this site.

David’s world record are listed and published by – The Guinness Book Of Records and the Alternative Book Of Records.

The Worlds Fastest Suspended Straitjacket Escape With Chains

On a live broadcast of one of the UK’s most popular TV shows, The New Paul O’Grady Show. David set a brand new world record for the fastest escape from a straitjacket, while suspended and chained. With two representatives from Guinness on hand David was restrained, and winched high above the studio floor. Escaping in a time of 54 seconds.

The World’s Fastest Underwater Handcuff Escape.

David successfully set a new world record for the fastest underwater handcuff escape at the Clitheroe Street Festival using a set of Hiatt ‘Speedcuffs’ handcuffs brought to the event by a local police officer. After the usual searches and checks by record officials David had 3 attempts at escaping in record time. The clock was started as soon as he vanished under the water, and stopped when he emerged free of the cuffs. The third, and fastest attempt produced a staggering world record time of just 4.25 seconds.

The Big Record

On January 8th 2005 David attempted to break three world records in just one day, at the Arndale Centre, Manchester, UK. This was in aid of Save the Children and the Tsunami appeal. The event was a great success, raising almost £2000 for the charities and giving Save the Children the opportunity to introduce hundreds of people to their campaigns. David’s attempts at all three records were also successful. Details are below.

The World’s Fastest Straitjacket Escape

David Straitjacket currently holds the world record for the fastest ever straitjacket escape. This was completed in a time of 81.24 seconds. Easily beating the target of 90 seconds. The Straitjacket used was a ’Posey’ brand. If the above time seems slow to you, it is because you have never seen anyone escape from a Posey Straitjacket. Unlike the jackets commonly used by magicians and street performers this jacket has a range of security features not found in any other Straitjacket. There are three extra loops holding the arms against the chest, special ‘friction’ buckles which are designed to be inoperable from inside the jacket, and much more. In short, a massive challenge for any escape artist and one of the most devious medical restraints ever devised. Guinness will now only allow Straitjacket records attempted with this jacket, and no other.

The record took two attempts, the first failing to reach the target time of 90 seconds (with a time of 99 seconds), and leading to David dislocating his right shoulder. After a short pause for medical attention, David was given the medics permission for one further attempt, and set a new world record.

The World’s Fastest Escape from Police Handcuffs

This record was broken using a pair of police issue rigid Speedcuffs. At the time of the escape the current record was held by Stuart Burrell (UK) with a time of ten seconds. The cuffs were checked by three independent assessors, and although the rigid nature of the cuffs means that the keyhole cannot be reached by the restrained person, David and the curtain he would stand behind were nonetheless inspected for hidden keys. David successfully broke this record with a time of 7.25 seconds.

The World’s Fastest Straitjacket Escape on Stilts

For this record the same ‘Posey’ Straitjacket was used. But with a major, and potentially very dangerous new twist. He was precariously balanced on stilts at the time! No one else in the world has ever successfully freed themselves from this restraint while balancing on stilts, and the stunt carried with it the danger of falling, head first and unprotected onto the hard floor of the Arndale Centre. David was not wearing any protective padding for the escape, nor were there any crash mats to land on. Falling while restrained in a Straitjacket meant that David would not be able to put his hands out or break his fall in any way. A very risky undertaking indeed!

Apart from the pain in his previously injured shoulder and a very lucky (excuse the pun) escape after a fall on the first attempt, David was successful, and set a new world record of 98.71 seconds.

The Heaviest Person Stood on the Chest While Lying on Broken Glass

At the East Lake Festival, Wuhan, China. David successfully withstood the weight of fellow world record holder, 151 kg strongman John Evans. David lay barebacked on a pile of 100 broken bottles with John stood on his chest, the weight of the 6 ft 2 inch strongman grinding the broken bottles into his bare skin, and threatening to collapse his chest. To set the record David needed to withstand John’s weight for a full ten seconds.

On the first attempt David was forced to ask John to step off after only 6 seconds, John’s weight was simply too much for his chest to take. However, after a short break, a second attempt went ahead. This time David was able to bear John’s weight for the full ten seconds. With his chest bruised, and his back sore but not cut, David had set another Guinness World Record.

The Sword of Swords

David was chosen to be one of 33 people asked to swallow ‘The Worlds Most Swallowed Sword’, the sword of swords. There are only a few living sword swallowers still active today. The formation of the SSAI (Sword Swallower’s Association International, of which David is a member) in 2002 gave some unity to the group and the sword became symbolic of the unusual factor that links these highly individual characters. This feat has now been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

You can download David's full press pack, CV & promo photos by clicking here