An Introduction to the Extreme Sport of Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is an extreme sport which implies jumping in the open, tied by the legs with an elastic cord. Launching is beeing made from cranes, bridges and other facilities, but not buildings, because the swinging on the horizontal may have an amplitude of 15 m. After the jump follow some streches and eases of the cord on the vertical.
This activity isn’t as dangerous as it seems. Statistically speaking, it is as dangerous as a 100 km car trip. The risk rate is 2 per million. Accidents are very rare and they happen if the cord isn’t well tied or, as it happened in some countries, isn’t tied at all. Still this sport isn’t recommended to those who have heart or back problems, and it also may unstick the retina to those who have eye diseases.
The falling takes only about 5-6 minutes, but they are lived to the maximum. After that comes the rebound, which brings as well great sensations. Some say the rebound is the best part. The free fallling may be compared to the falling in parachutism.
The origin of this sport is in Vanuatu Islands from the Pacific Ocean, where there’s a similar ritual called @gkol. It’s said that it all started from a married couple. The woman ran and climbed into a tree. Followed by the husband, she threw herself in the air, but with a lian tied to her legs. It seems that the idea was liked very much by local people, and they soon started to jump the same way.
The first time that the occidental world found out about this habit was in 1970, when The National Geographic magazine published a story about the vanuatu people and their ritual. This practice was rapidly adopted by the civilised world. The first jump was made by some britishmen on april 1 1977 from the Clifton Bridge in the U.K..They were immediately arrested, but later there were reports about them. From now on this sport was to beome more and more popular. In 1987 has been founded the first jumping facility open for the public. The highest of them is in South Africa and it has 200 m height.
The record in the domain is held by Jochen Schwizer, who jumped from an helicopter flying at 1000 m over the earth with a cord of 300 m.
To amplify the sensations to the maximum, some jump with different heavy objects which they release when they reach the maximum point of the stretching. Others calculate with precision the length of the cord so that they can rich the furthest point. Many couples have jumped together, tied to the same rope. The Kochelman brothers are ones of the most famous bungee stunters. One of them projected the scene from the movie “The Specialist wth Sylvester Stallone. The stunt represented the jump with a cord from a barage. The cord was erased on the computer.
Bungee jumpng is one of the most popular extreme sports and it brings one of the biggest doses of adrenaline.