In recent times, Bungee Jumping has become a popular recreational activity, attracting tourists and customers from all over the world. If you don’t have bungee jumping on your bucket list of things to do, then you probably have a friend who has one.
Completing this activity takes a lot of courage and bravery. Although you’re fully aware that your harness is set up and all pieces of equipment are in place, that slight hesitation before you jump is always there, and it is understandable. It is a strong leap of faith.
When you finally use that faith and jump, it is an exhilarating feeling. A feeling of freedom, happiness, weightlessness (you’re literally in the air), and accomplishment are a few of the many sensations.
Most resort centers offer bungee jumping as a fun activity, or as part of a travel package. All in all, Bungee Jumping is slowing becoming the must-do fun activity and learning about its origination is frankly fascinating.
What is Bungee Jumping?
Bungee jumping, also known as bungy jumping, is a sport or fun activity that requires individuals to jump from a high point or hill or platform (depending on the facility) while being held by necessary pieces of equipment (often a tall elastic cord) to ensure their safety.
The thrill of this activity is the feeling of liberation and excitement when freefalling. Most individuals refer to that feeling as second to none and unique.
BUNGEE JUMPED WITH WILL SMITH
History of Bungee Jumping
The history of bungee jumping is one that’s funny and quite amazing. It is a sport that you look at and question what place the inventors were at in their lives when they decided to start this.
This beginning of bungee jumping dates back to the ancient Pentecost Island located in the Southern Pacific. It was a mysterious ritual conducted in that area. Its history is said to have begun when the wife of an abusive husband (Tamalie) decided to run away from him. She decided to climb up a tree, as her husband continued to follow her. Whilst on the tree, she tied vines to her legs (ankles) and jumped from the tree. The vines helped to keep her suspended, but Tamalie not knowing this, jumped down after her and hit the ground and died.
After this happened, the men of the Southern Pacific area decided to start land diving as a ritual to prove their strength and manhood. The land diving ritual is also known as Naghol. This ritual occurred every year at the beginning of their yam harvest season. It required men of a certain age to jump from a tall tower made of wood. Before they jump, a strong elastic vine is tied around their legs to serve as a stronghold. This ritual is said to aid in making sure that they have a bountiful yam harvest that year.
In 1950, a legendary naturalist, David Attenborough, decided to visit the Southern Pacific area with a camera crew. This was how the rest of the world discovered this ritual and land diving for the first time.
After the land diving revelation, the first-ever bungee was witnessed again in 1979, 29 years after David’s discovery. David Kirke jumped off a high spot (Clifton suspension bridge), holding a wine bottle, and dressed in a tuxedo in Bristol. Before he jumped, people passing by thought he was about to commit suicide, but when he didn’t fall into the water and came back up after just before hitting it, they were shocked. His friends also jumped after him and came up bouncing the same way. He and his friends were all members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club.
Onlookers called the police in the beginning, as they thought David was about to commit suicide. The police arrived and found David and his friends suspended upside down, hanging from a rope.
The police arrested the trio and fined them, but that didn’t stop them from becoming popular.
After being fined in Bristol, they continued to jump from different high points in different countries. Some of these locations include the Royal George Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and many more. They became true sensations and popular in the west.
AJ Hackett turned it into an almost proper sport when he began to jump. His first official popular jump was in Auckland, New Zealand from the Greenhithe Bridge in 1986. After the jump in Auckland, he completed other jumps at popular tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower. After he grew in popularity, he decided to open a Bungee Jumping facility in Queenstown, which became a popular commercial bungee jumping site.
After opening the site in New Zealand, he continued and opened other commercial bungee jumping sites around the world.
Other countries have also accepted, but some not as fun as the others. In India, a typical bungee jumping experience would be in the malls or from cranes, which might not hold as much thrill as jumping in the wild. The country regards bungee jumping as a seriously dangerous activity, and not a form of entertainment.
What Types of equipment are used for Bungee Jumping?
The first and most important equipment required for completing a bungee jumping exercise is the elastic cord or rope. This cord is specifically made in a factory, otherwise known as a braided shock strap or cord.
This special factory cord is produced using many latex strands that are then wrapped with a special strong outer sheath. During manufacturing, the latex strands are pre-stressed and stretched before the outer cover is placed on it. This is to make sure that the outer cover’s resistance is significant and can still work perfectly when the latex cord is at its natural length. This also allows for a better, more exciting bounce, and of course, stronger durability.
Although most bungee jumping facilities use the braided cord for its durability, other operators use unbraided cords. Oftentimes, this unbraided cord has the latex strands exposed. The mechanism and idea behind this are that the unbraided cord allows for a softer and longer bounce.
A body harness was introduced after some time of just using the latex cords, as operators realized that more and more people became detached mid-air or before they’re about to jump. This led to unfavorable circumstances. The body harness serves as a backup and stands as an extra safety measure for customers during their jump.
Why Are People Interested In Bungee Jumping?
Bungee Jumping, as mentioned in the beginning, is a thrilling activity. Most people take part in the sport because they’ve been dared to take that leap of faith or are just trying something new. Some others are trying to mark it off their bucket list, like sky diving, while others are looking for an arena to scream and be free and express themselves.
This fun activity is made for that adrenaline junkie, who is looking for an experience that will be memorable. Bungee jumping is an unforgettable experience, even though it is an activity most people engage in only once in their lifetime. Other reasons why people go bungee jumping include:
- It helps them to forget about their fear of heights and falling from a high distance.
- Jumping from such a high point will make you feel like a bird and also weightless. It is said to be a great feeling.
- Everything looks small when you’re high up in the air. When you’re high up in the air, the view is amazing and unmistakably one to never forget. You see trees, rivers, and mountains.
- Bungee jumping can be done as a couple, and both of you strapped with thick ropes.
- Completing this activity allows you to have a sense of accomplishment. This accomplishment can act as an inspiration and the kick you need to start that a new phase in your life.
Pros and Cons of Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is considered an astonishingly dangerous and unsafe sport, but you’d be surprised to know that it is relatively safe. Like everything in life, bungee jumping has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Bungee Jumping
- The process of jumping is considered to be relatively safe. Individuals have to be a certain age before they can jump and must be aware of the dangers of the sport they’re about to embark on.
- All customers are required to wear a harness, which is then attached to the latex cord and smartly secured.
- Although it looks like the jolt when the latex cord recoil is scary and a little intense, it is quite safe and not as harsh as it seems.
Cons of Bungee Jumping
- Hanging upside down can often cause dizziness and nausea, and as such, some customers experience these symptoms while mid-air.
- Compared to other fun activities, bungee jumping is quite pricey and customers must be willing to spend their money to experience this adrenaline rush.
- It is quite easy to get injured when bungee jumping, as there is a tendency that you will hit a branch or scrape your knees or leg.
The Cost of Bungee Jumping
Compared to most activities like visiting funfairs, theme parks or go-karts, bungee jumping is relatively more expensive. Of course, it’s not as expensive as mountain climbing or skydiving, but it is an activity you have to think about before spending your money on it. On average, a bungee jumping exercise can cost anywhere between $100 and $200 per jumper. If you’re going as a group, you can expect to spend a good amount of money for each jumper. You will also have to factor in the price for transportation, feeding, accommodation, and more which could quickly become something else.
You can pay for your photos at a good price, and you don’t have to pay for the bungee equipment you use at the facility. To save some money, you can consider visiting travel websites that offer great travel and tour packages. These packages offer great discounts for individuals going in groups or couples.
Fun Facts about Bungee Jumping
There are so many facts about bungee jumping that are surprising and fun to learn about. Interestingly there is a strong argument on the spelling of Bungee jumping itself. Some say its spelt “Bungy” and others say the proper spelling is “Bungee”. It is spelt as Bungy in New Zealand and Bungee in the west and the rest of the world. Any way you want to spell it, we believe they’re both correct. Other fun facts include:
- David Kirke and his friends paid 100 pounds as fine when they were arrested.
- Currently, the highest ever commercial bungee jump was in china off the Macau Tower. It was 233m.
- The oldest jump was done because he wanted to take away fear and for the thrill of it by Mohr Keet at 96 years old.
- Kawarau Bridge which is 43 meters high is the first commercial location for individuals to come and experience bungee jumping. AJ Hackett started the business at the bungee jumping business at this location.
- Bungee jumping is named after the elastic cord that is used for engaging in the activity.
- Prince William and his friend completed a tandem bungee jump in Uganda in 2003.
- Even though Bungee jumping is seen as a dangerous activity, only a few deaths have been recorded.
- Although bungee jumping is often done from a very tall horizontal or vertical standpoint, it can also be done from an aircraft.
In totality, bungee jumping is a fun activity that is worth trying, if you’re looking for that adrenaline rush or a quick thrill. This activity might not be great for individuals who have anxiety or heart problems, as it might be a little too much.
Overall, it is said to be relatively safe and brings in people from all over the world. If you’re looking to knock it off your bucket list or looking to get over the power of fear, then bungee jumping is an exercise you can try out and see how it turns out. If you like my bungee jumping article then please share it with your friends.