World’s Highest Flying Human Cannonball Performs in Dubai

DUBAI—David ‘The Bullet’ Smith Jr, the highest human cannonball in the world today, is in Dubai. He has been performing at Global Village for a month from November 22.

Global Village officials said his shows have been extended till January 4 this year due to their immense popularity. His shows have him being shot hundreds of feet into the air from a 35-foot-long cannon.

An unusual family business, David has been a human cannonball for over 11 years. He has performed more than 5,000 cannon shots around the world.

He is the highest flying human cannonball in the world today with his Guinness world record braking human cannonball shots and his dynamic personality.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, David said he used to watch his father, David Sr., as a human cannonball as a child from a very young age. His father used to travel with his family of nine children and wife all over the US, Canada and in Europe in pursuit of his unusual family business.

“I never dreamed of one day taking up ‘human cannonball’ as a profession. But, at 19, my father’s back got hurt. He asked me if I could work as a shift for him in the family business,” David ‘The Bullet’ said. He talked about scary moments that overtook him in some of his shows when strong winds pulled the strings of the net where he should land after being shot 150 feet high.

“I felt the fears but when I was inside the cannon, I forcefully put them aside and focussed on what I was about to do. These are scary moments and too dangerous.”

He recalled performing scary shots when strong winds hit three lines of the net. “This was the worst I ever encountered on my second year as a human cannonball. But, before getting into the cannon I just made sure what to do and would think of what a cannon could do.”

David ‘The Bullet’ has a family with four kids, Alexa, 10, Chloe, 5, and three-year-old twins Maverick and MacKenzi. “One of the twins will be the next human cannonball. But, in this business, you have to give up a lot. You have to give up family relationship for that is the only way while on tours.”

He said coming to Dubai as a hired entertainer meant lots of expenses. He had to bring from Europe one of his cannons stationed there and two technical assistants.

He has with him French-Canadian Sylvain Begin, a cannon technician, who does all the adjustment of the cannon before it is shot, and Nicolas Soren, a safety technician who ensures that the net is properly fastened and safe for David to land.

His close competitors are his family members as his father trained seven of his children to be next generation human cannonballs.

His sister Stephanie has been in this business for so long. His 67-year-old father is still on it. His sister Rebecca has been a human cannonball for 12 years. But, David ‘The Bullet’ is above them all hitting the world record in the Guinness in his third year as a human cannonball.

David is now 32 years old. But, he is still travelling most of the time to at least eight countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, England, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands and the UAE.

“This is a very challenging job. I foresee myself five years from now as a human cannonball having four or five cannons stationed in different countries for a very proficient show. By then, I will be more on specialised events, big ones like in this Global Village.”

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