What is Bungee Jumping?
Bungee Jumping is an adventure sport where individuals jump from a high platform, typically from a dam, bridge, tower, or even helicopter. The sport requires individuals to wear a harness and ensure that their feet are attached to a thick elastic bungee cord, which is connected to the high platform. In order to participate in this recreational sport/activity, individuals do not need prior experience but must be at least 14 years old with parental consent or over 18.
It was April 1, 1979 when the first modern bungee jump was used. David Kirke and two of his friends at Oxford University jumped off the 80-meter high Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England. Soon after, in 1989, A.J. Hackett made his first jump in Greenhithe Bridge in New Zealand which led to the first bungee site he started in Queenstown, New Zealand. Hackett was the individual to yield the world-wide acknowledgment of this sport, and became famous for making it renowned.
Bungee Jumping doesn't have a common playing surface, as the sport involves jumping off of different high platforms while being attached to a bungee cord. Some platforms include bridges, buildings, towers, dams, cranes, cliffs, helicopters, aircrafts, and hot-air balloons. The individuals then jump off their chosen surface and free-fall, before they rebound as the cord stretches and recoils.
Bungee Jumping Equipment
When Bungee Jumping, there is necessary equipment required to ensure the safety of the individual participating. Participants need to come with a pair of close-toed shoes, and the rest is provided to them. The site will supply the jumpers with a helmet and a strong elastic shock cord connected to the leg and body harness worn around the thighs, waist, chest, and shoulders.
Here is the essential bungee jumping equipment you should have:
- Bungee Cord
- Leg or Body Harness
Bungee Jumping doesn't necessarily have clear objectives for participants to follow. The jumpers fall from a high platform with an elastic bungee cord attached to them from the jump site. The jumper bounces up and down as the cord continues to rebound. Since this is not a competitive sport, individuals can perform however they like, but should consider the amount of time they take to leave the ledge, and their body movements during the jump.
Rules and Regulations
Bungee jumpers should ensure they have a doctor's advice before participating if they have any severe health conditions or medical issues such as a heart condition, brain condition, abnormal blood pressure, or are pregnant. All participants must be at least 14 years old and be wearing no accessories that can fall or cause injury. Additionally, no loose clothing should be worn.
Here are the most important Bungee Jumping rules you should know:
- Jumpers must be at least 14 years old with parental consent or 18 years old without parental consent
- No severe medical issues unless a doctor says it is ok to participate
- No loose clothing or accessories that can cause injury or fall off
Tricks and Types of Jumps
There are several types of jumps and tricks that bungee jumpers can use to make the most out of their experience. Firstly, the swallow dive is known as the most favoured way to jump; it requires both arms stretched out wide while pointing straight down. A trickier move is the back dive, which requires jumpers to fall feet first while learning back slightly to face upward, pointing towards the ground at the bottom of the fall. The bat drop is when a jumper hangs upside down from the platform and drops like a rock straight down. Lastly, tandem is a great option if you want 2 jumpers to go at the same time. This could be a dangerous option because of the risk of heavier weights and chance of being tangled up or banging heads, but with the proper equipment and instructors, this is a fun type of jump to try out.
Types of jumps or tricks to try:
- Swallow Dive
- Back Dive
- Bat Drop
- Railing Jump
- Top of Cage
Is Bungee Jumping safe?
Bungee Jumping has some risks involved such as neck, spinal, and eye injuries. These occur due to strain on the spinal cord and neck from the force of jumping, and being pulled and pushed from the elastic cord. However, the fatality rate is 1 in 500,000 and there is a higher chance of an individual being struck by lightning than dying from this sport.
How high up do we jump from?
Most bungee jumpers take off from a bridge, crane, tower, helicopter, or any high platform. The average height of a bungee jump is about 450 feet but ranges from 400-700 feet, and normally depends on where participants go and what platform they are jumping from.
What was the highest bungee jump?
At 233 meters or 764 feet, the highest jump ever made was at the Macau Tower in Macau, China. The individual who made this jump was A.J. Hacker, which earned himself the Guinness world record for the "highest commercial bungee jump".
What medical concerns should be addressed to see if I should bungee jump or not?
It is advised that if an individual suffers from heart conditions, has high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes, a neurological disorder, is pregnant, or has a severe underlying medical issue, that they should not attempt bungee jumping. If an individual is eager to try this and may have one of these issues, their doctor must allow them to participate.