Several months ago we went searching for a back up jumper for the Snake River Canyon Jump. We must have someone in place in case something stupid happens to me as we know this gift of life is measured in seconds and know the “SHOW” must go on no matter what.
Paul was elated to share the news, “I’m honored that Ed has the confidence in me to be his back-up driver for this historic event. I‘m behind Ed 110% to complete this jump, but if he needs me, I’m there for him. My childhood hero was Evel Knievel and who could forget the Snake River Canyon Jump. I’m thrilled to have the chance to do this jump.”
Paul Stender is the definition of adrenaline junkie! A native of Big Bend, Wisconsin, Paul grew up in a racing family and started out at a young age racing motorcycles and snowmobiles. Soon after, he made the jump to high horsepower Outlaw Sprint Cars and Midgets. With his strong mechanical skills, Paul was recruited to work on many different Indy Car and NASCAR race teams. As exciting as that sounds, it just wasn’t the same as being behind the wheel. After seeing a jet funny car race at the local drag strip, Paul found his calling. He raced his first jet vehicle in 1995, the Jazz Jet Funny Car at speeds of nearly 300 MPH.
Not long after, he was building his own jet rides. The projects got more and more insane as the years went on. Paul has driven and built over 40 jet vehicles since 1995 including a jet snowmobile, jet motorcycle, numerous jet ATVs, a jet school bus, 400 MPH jet trucks – and the legendary seventy mile per hour Jet Powered Outhouse, which has been on TV shows around the world. Stender and his vehicles have been featured on Discovery Channel, the BBC, CNN, TLC and Speed Network, among others.
As any driver knows, he is only as good as his team. Paul’s crew chief for over six years is his wife, Therese Gabrielle Stender, who has her own need for extreme sports. Therese, a 6’3” former NCAA volleyball player and MCSA sailboat racer, travels the world with Paul to perform, along with their number one groupies, their two Great Danes named Saber and Atlas.
One of Paul’s next goal is beating the land speed record. He is in the process of converting a Cold War era Russian fighter jet into a land speed car that he hopes will reach speeds of close to 1000 MPH.