An 18-year-old in New York broke the world record for the highest catch of a tennis ball this summer, nabbing a ball dropped from 469 feet and 6.2 inches in the air.
Guinness World Records announced Cameron Heinig’s feat on Friday. The catch, which broke the previous record by over 75 feet, took place on Aug. 16.
Mr. Heinig had worried about the catch hurting his hands but said it was worth it.
“I was a little worried that it would hurt, but I figured it was worth it for a Guinness World Records title,” Mr. Heinig told Guinness, adding that it “didn’t hurt any more than a really hard high-five.”
Mr. Heinig was aided in his endeavor by a friend, Julian, who 3D printed a dropping apparatus to attach to a drone for use in the record-breaking catch.
The pair spent two summers practicing to get the feat down right, including using a baseball glove to help Mr. Heinig learn to catch the ball barehanded eventually.
Mr. Heinig also attributed his experience playing tennis for his success, allowing him to keep a visual bead on the falling ball.
“Many of my friends who watched the attempt said they couldn’t see the ball while it was falling,” he explained to Guinness.
On the day of the catch, the pair only had a few tries available to break the record. Due to the drone’s small size, a reflector had to be added, which weighed down the craft.
The smaller craft was pushed to its technical limits on repeated high drops, draining its battery.
Luckily for Mr. Heinig, the third drop proved to be the charm, netting him the world record.