What is Nik Wallenda’s Net Worth and Salary?
Nik Wallenda is an American acrobat, aerialist, and daredevil who has a net worth of $4 million. Nik Wallenda has become known for his high wire performances without a safety net. He holds 11 Guinness World Records for his various feats. He is a member of the famed “Flying Wallendas” family.
Nik’s great-grandfather Karl died on March 22, 1978 while attempting to walk between two towers in Puerto Rico. Karl was 73 years old at the time. After briefly considering becoming a doctor, Nik ultimately chose to join the family business, and has set multiple records since then. He set the Guinness World Record for longest and highest bike ride in 2010, and another Guinness World Record the following year performing on the Wheel of Death 23 stories up. He also hung from a helicopter, 250 feet off the ground, by his teeth.
He is the first person to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope, and the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon on a high wire. On November 2, 2014, Nik set two world records when he crossed back and forth between skyscrapers in Chicago on a tightrope, once while wearing a blindfold.
Nik currently is signed to a 5 year contract with the Discovery Channel that gives them exclusive broadcast rights to his stunts. Nik’s stunts make him very difficult to insure. For every stunt, he carries a $20 million public liability policy that covers exposure in the event other people get hurt because of a stunt.
Wallenda was born on January 24, 1979 in Sarasota, Florida. He was born into a family of aerialists who go by the name The Flying Wallendas. The family became known for their work in the aerial arts in the 1920s when Karl Wallenda, of whom Nik is a direct descendent, began performing the balancing acts without safety nets. Several members of the family have died during their students over the years, including one of Wallenda’s uncles and his great-grandfather.
Wallenda was born to parents Delilah and Terry, who were also part of the family circus act. From the age of two, he started practicing walking on wires and spent most of his youth living in mobile homes traveling across the United States. As a child, he performed in the act as a clown, juggler, and then developed a dog act. He made his debut as a tightrope walker at the age of 13.
After graduating from high school, his parents encouraged him to go to college as public interest in circuses was dwindling and they were unsure he would be able to have a viable career as a performer. He was accepted into college but then changed his plans to pursue performing after having participated in a seven-person pyramid on a high-wire in Detroit along with other family members. The experience was so thrilling to him that he decided to devote his life to aerial arts.
Wallenda continued performing with his family throughout much of his early career. From 2002 to 2005, he performed with his wife and children and other family members at Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe in Greensboro, North Carolina. They also toured across the United States. In 2007, he became a featured performer in the Ringling Brothers production, “Bellobration,” which also featured performer Bello Nock. The two of them had grown up in Florida together and invented the double Wheel of Steel, a performance device that was featured in the show.
In 2009, Wallenda began his Walk Across America Tour in which he visited ten amusement parks across the country. He set a new Guinness World Record in 2010 at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas when he took the longest bike ride on a high wire, completing a 100-foot-long ride. Over the next couple of years, he continued setting records at various resorts for his tight rope walks.
In 2012, he received official approval from the Niagara Parks Commission to walk a tight rope across Niagara Falls, a dream he had had since he was a child. The approved plan was the result of lobbying governments in both the U.S. and Canada for two years, which required extensive planning, approvals, and obtaining of permits. Tens of thousands of people gathered on June 15, 2012 to watch the walk. He completed the 1,800 foot-long walk in 25 minutes and in challenging conditions, as it was quite misty and breezy and the wire sagged significantly in the middle as it lacked proper support. The event was broadcast around the world and was ABC’s highest-rated Friday night non-sports program in five years.
Following the walk, a reality show called, “Nik Wallenda: Beyond Niagara,” aired on The Science Channel, though it was put on hold a few weeks later due to low viewership. Wallenda continued performing over the next few years and released a memoir in June of 2013 called, “Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line.” In it, he discusses his family, career, and his faith.
Some of Wallanda’s next major stunts include walking across the Little Colorado River Gorge in the Grand Canyon geological area in 2013, walking between the Willis Tower in Chicago and another nearby tower, and walking across the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua in 2020. For his skyscraper walk in Chicago, he broke two additional world records for walking the steepest tightrope incline and for highest tightrope walk while blindfolded. He has discussed doing events at the Inca Ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru, the Egyptian Pyramids, and the Eiffel Tower, depending on whether he can obtain the appropriate permits and permissions.
In 1999, Wallenda got engaged to Erendira Vasquez, who was from a famous Mexican circus family. He proposed to her on a wire 30 feet high during a performance in Montreal, Quebec in front of 25,000 people after having performed the famous seven-man pyramid act with members of his family. They were married a week later. Both have discussed how they cannot imagine being married to someone who was not a performer. The couple operates Wallendas Inc. and like their families before them, have turned performing into a family affair. They have three children: Yanni, Amandaos, and Evita. All of the children have been encouraged to explore their own career paths but have performed with their parents at various times. His daughter, Evita, has expressed the greatest interest in following in her father’s footsteps.
Wallenda is a religious man and describes himself as a born-again Christian. He credits God with much of his success and ability to walk on the high wires. He always wears a cross when he performs and begins each performance with a family prayer.