Forums > Technical Discussion > Fire Breathing - Maximum Distance

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3 posts

Hi everyone

Firstly, I must apologise for my first post being a question. I know it is not customary. However, I am active at quite a few boards, but none that are involved in the specifics of fire, and I need to work on something quite fast.

Basically, I have been asked to perform on a TV show, they want fire breathing, which I do on a regular basis. The slot involves breathing fire over as large a distance as possible. Currently I think I can hit about 15 ft. Does anyone have any tips they would like to share for improving on that?

I normally use paraffin, but have been considering mixing it 50/50 with colemans, however the advantages of the longer burn time, which I imagine I will get, might be outweighed by the added danger of this method.

Any advice or suggestions, for both fuels and methods would be appreciated.

For more information about my shows please see my website. In case you are worried that I am a crazy amateur. I promise, I am not! As well as being a full time professional I also work as a stunt technical advisor and tutor.

Many thanks again

David Straitjacket

EDITED_BY: David_Straitjacket (1131374134)

SethisBRONZE Member
1,762 posts
Location: York University, United Kingdom

Are you actually competing with someone else? Or is it just a "How big a flame can you get"? What TV Show is it?

I'd say that 15ft is plenty big enough! Avoid Colemans like the plague (the plague is also bad for you) because it's not worth the massive increase in risk just to add on a couple of feet/seconds.

I don't have a lot of info on the methods, because I was asking about that not so long ago myself.

Basically, (and you probably know this) don't do anything you're not completely familiar with just for the benefit of the audience. Do what you know best and have done plenty of times before.

Take care, have fun, and play (relatively ubblol ) safe! smile

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

MikeIconGOLD Member
2,109 posts
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

High winds are good for distance... Just make sure you know what youre doing because high wind breathing is a bit different than the normal method.

Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.


onewheeldaveGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,252 posts
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Written by: David_Straitjacket

For more information about my shows please see my website. In case you are worried that I am a crazy amateur. I promise, I am not! As well as being a full time professional I also work as a stunt technical advisor and tutor.

Any chance of a link to your website?

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

3 posts

Written by: onewheeldave

Any chance of a link to your website?

LOL. That would be a good idea smile Sorry, I thought it was in my profile here. The address is:

Do I know you from Greentop by the way? I studied there in 97/98. I have been to a few uni meets too. I used to do a lot of off road and trails uni stuff. So I may have met you at one of those. I certainly know your name from somewhere anyway!

In answer to a couple of questions. Yes, I am competing with three other breathers. How well I do does not affect pay etc, just how much TV time I get, so I am not under a huge amount of pressure, I am not that bothered how much TV time I get, I just want to give it my best.

Icon, I have breathed in high winds before, and understand the techniques. Though my high wind technique largely consists of stopping!

Thanks for the thoughts on Colemans Sethis, I use it a lot for fire eating, retentions, body burns etc, but I have never tried it for breathing.

My main area of expertise is escape stunts, and sideshow. I perform most of the very dangerous sideshow stunts you can think of, and probably a few you can't, I also plan and execute high risk escape stunts, such as suspended escapes, burning rope escapes, underwater stuff, using barbed wire instead of rope, escapes which involve having my air supply cut off, that kind of stuff. I also teach escape and sideshow skills for TV, as well as occasionally teaching the police escape techniques for there own handcuffs, which I have done for several police forces around the world, most recently in China. So I am pretty well versed in safety.



EDITED_BY: David_Straitjacket (1131410031)

mcpPLATINUM Member
Flying Water Muppet
5,276 posts
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Written by: David_Straitjacket

as well as occasionally teaching the police escape techniques for there own handcuffs,

eek eek bounce2 bounce2 bounce2 bounce2 bounce2 clap clap excl hehe

Teach me! Teach me! Teach me!


ps, you're website doesn't really work under firefox. (on linux) Maybe it will work better for ie, or windows firefox.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

TheWibblerGOLD Member
old hand
920 posts
Location: New Zealand

I must admit, fire breathing makes me cringe. Doesn't it make you ill?

Spherculism ~:~ The Act of becoming Spherculish.

AnonymousPLATINUM Member


You didn't email me on how you get that balloon through your nasal passages in your human blockhead routine! spank

Other than changing your fuel and using high wind. The best thing you could do until the show is just to continue building your lungs. Keep practising with water, blow up some balloons, holding your breathe, etc.

3 posts

Hi guys

Sorry I have not been back in a while. Very busy right now!

Anyway, I thought I should fill you in on how the show went.

Well, firstly, no-one broke any fire breathing records, there were 4 of us on the show and the best two were chosen to go forward onto the live broadcast. Me and Bob the fire eater (previous record holder) were neck and neck at about 18 ft straight up. The current record is 17.5 ft, so we were over that.

Anyway, the show was being broadcast from an aircraft hanger, by the time it came to filming it was -2 centigrade, and the wind was blowing through the door, which was fully open. This took about 2 foot each off our breaths, with Bob ultimatly doing the bigger one.

Had conditions been good I think we would both have done it, with Bobs being the bigger breath, with the crap weather, we didn't really have a chance frown

Still, it was a fun day out, and we got paid, what more can you ask for smile

Matthew, have you emailed me a question or something? I haven't gotten anything if you have. Send it again and I will try and help.

Cheers guys

David Straitjacket

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