Bungee Jumping Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Bungee Jumping, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

Bungee Jumping Overview

Bungee jumping is an extreme sport where one jumps off a tall object such as a bridge, crane, building, or hot air balloon, with a rubber rope attached to their body. After the fall the cord pulls the jumper back up in the air. The thrill comes as much from the way back up as from the fall down. One continues to swing up and down until all the energy is dissipated.

Bungee Jumping History

Bungee jumping has roots dating back to the Aztecs. In the 1950s, in the Pentecost Island in Vanatu, young men jumped off of tall wooden platforms with vines tied to their legs as a test of manhood. The members of the Oxford University Danger Sports Club attempted the first modern bungee jumps on April 1, 1979, from the 250-foot Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. This group was arrested, but they later performed bungee jumps from the Golden Gate and Royal Bridges, and by 1982 they were jumping from mobile cranes and hot air balloons. New Zealander AJ Hackett opened the door to bungee jumping to the public with his well documented jumps, and by opening the world's first commercial bungee site in Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. The sport continues to grow and there have been several million bungee jumps since 1980.

Bungee Jumping Rules

Bungee jumpers usually jump by themselves, however 25 people jumped together in Germany in 1998. One can bungee jump off of a bridge, building, damn, or crane. Jumpers can compete by performing acrobatic stunts similar to springboard diving. Bungee jumpers have the opportunity to do tricks on the initial fall as well as the first few rebounds. Judges then award them a score. However, for the most part people jump for recreational purposes.

Bungee Jumping Tips

Due to the danger of the sport, one should only jump with a certified professional. Jumpers should double check that their harness and helmet are secure and attached correctly before jumping. Jumpers should take deep breaths in order to remain calm before the jump.

Jumpers should go to safe locations to set up their jump and remember to bring someone along with a camera to take pictures.

Bungee Jumping Equipment

The plastic rope used by bungee jumpers is made of strands of latex. Today, more people are using body harnesses rather than ankle attachments for safety purposes. Bungee jumpers also wear helmets in order to protect their heads.