Bungee Jumping Information


Insider Info

dot"It's the mix of excitement and fear. The speed of your blood running through your veins. Your heart beating as fast as it can. The feeling of letting go. Of putting yourself 100 percent in God's hands. Of giving it all. Feeling so vulnerable. And as you're falling, asking yourself why you did it."

This person is jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge in southern Africa.
Courtesy of: Laura A Rosensteel

That's how Barbara Hang describes why she likes bungee jumping.

dotBungee jumping is basically the art of throwing yourself off a very high platform, with only a rubber cord strapped to your ankles to keep you from hitting the ground.

Those who do it jump from various locations, like bridges or towers. It's an extreme sport that is definitely not for the fainthearted. Those who jump say there's absolutely nothing like it.

dotBungee jumping is usually done outdoors. Many bungee jumping companies set up their operations under high bridges, some over canyons and rivers, and some over roads. Often, traveling fairs will have portable bungee jumping towers.

dotThose who operate major bungee jumping facilities swear that this activity is safe. And they all have track records to prove it.

"Contrary to popular belief, bungee jumping is statistically safer than driving to work, riding a roller-coaster or showering at home," says Paul Adamo. He's president of Adrenalin Dreams Adventures Inc.

Usually, the biggest fear jumpers have is that the rubber bungee cord will snap. But operators say this is impossible if the equipment is well maintained and not abused. The biggest safety factor lies in the experience of the crew. Before you strap in, always check a company's safety record.

dotIt's difficult to say how many people do bungee jumping, since no one keeps records. But it's safe to say that there are more people trying it all the time.

"I believe that the number of jumpers here in the U.S. may increase rapidly from mere thousands per year today to tens of thousands within the next few years," says Adamo.

dotThe most obvious trend in bungee jumping these days is the bungee cord itself. Design is always improving, making the cords both safer and smoother. Smoothness is important because no one wants a severe jerk when they jump.

Getting Started

dotLocation, location, location! Like real estate, the cost of bungee jumping mostly depends on where the operation is located. The cost also depends on the actual height of the jump and who the operator is.

Prices can range from around $35 (to get you into the fair grounds with unlimited jumps on a small bungee) to $600 for a daring jump off a bridge. Often, the expensive-sounding bridge jumps are split between a group of friends (say five, six or seven people) with unlimited jumps.

dotJust about anyone can bungee jump. You don't need any special skills. You don't even need to be in shape! All you need to do is somehow conquer your fear of death.

dotBelieve it or not, injuries are rare in bungee jumping. These days, the bungee cords give you such a smooth ride that you don't have to worry about a sore neck or back. The only real danger in bungee jumping is the cord snapping. But this is extremely rare. Equipment failure is almost unheard of. The key to safety is to jump with a reputable operator.

dotBungee jumping is a recreation that can also be enjoyed by people with physical challenges. Some operations are even set up to handle people in wheelchairs. If ankle harnesses can't be used, some are simply put in a body harness and off they go! Bungee jumping is also enjoyed by the hearing impaired and the blind.

dotSome people turn their love of bungee jumping into careers. They set up their own bungee jumping operations. Others take it further by combining bungee jumping with other thrilling rides, like catapulting, rappelling or white water adventures. Another way to earn money from bungee jumping is to become part of a crew.

dotAll it takes to get started bungee jumping is a lot of nerve. You may want to go with a few friends so you can spur each other on. Once you've decided to do it, look up an operator near you. When you find one, be sure to check their track record and ask about the crew. How experienced are they? Always follow instructions!

Publications

Bungee Jumping,
by  Jason Glaser Capstone
1999
Bungee Jumping and Other Science Questions,
by  Brenda Naylor, Ged Mitchell and Stuart Naylor
Published by  Hodder and Stoughton
2000

Links

U.S. and Canadian Bungee Clubs
Find a club near you

Steve Fettke Bungee Jumping
A site full of interesting facts and information

JoJaffa Goes Bungee Jumping
Another site full of bungee jumping info

Bungee Jumping in Cyprus
See how they do it Down Under