Sports are not always associated with holding ranks or winning cups. There are some sports which possess the sole and single motif of having fun and exploring the unexplored. Bungee jumping has a very unique style which can at first seem risky for many. However bungee jumping is done with all the safety measures and under strict professional supervision.
Bungee Jumping Origin
Simon Keeling and David Kirke made the first jump in 1979. The location was Clifton Suspension Bridge (250ft), in Bristol. They were members of the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club. Both of them faced legal charges and were arrested. However this could not stop them from doing what they wanted. They kept going on until bungee jumping became an official adventure sport all over the world.
A J Hackett from New Zealand succeeded in making the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge the first spot for bungy (the spelling used in New Zealand) jumping, which was legalized located in the South Island, nearby Queenstown in New Zealand.
The Source of the Name
‘Bungee’ meant at first something very thick and short and also an eraser. In 1938 the Oxford English Dictionary first introduced the word as a strong rope usually made of elastic.
The sport is actually conducted from a higher spot like from a bridge or a mountain cliff or even a tower. The person who is going to jump is connected with a large and very strong cod (usually of elastic). Though most of the jumpers prefer jumping from a static spot but many others have tried it in motion. This includes like jumping from a helicopter and even from a hot air balloon.
The jumpers have speculated that when they jump and gradually the cord starts to release, it is like a feeling of flying like a bird. After a certain point the cord stops and then the jumper enjoys a full bird’s-eye view. Often there is a camera attached from to their helmets which records the entire experience so that they can watch the clip later and feel the thrill. The law of kinetic energy makes the person go up and down for a certain period of time like a swing.
Necessary Safety Measures
Like every other sport bungee jumping also holds a certain amount of risk of getting injured. This happen due to different causes suc as – technical fault in the equipments, sudden mismanagement during the jump and even some accidental cases.
The safety cord attached should be checked properly. Due to the wrong measurement of the rope and also sudden detachment from the platform can result into fatal incidents. Michael Lush, a jumper lost his life in 1986 due to one such incident.
Some other incidents have been registered where many of the jumpers suffered from an eyesight damage. Partial blindness or haemorrhage in the retina are very often reported. In sone cases the damage is recovered however it is sad that some people suffer from this issue for longer.
Also severe injuries in other body parts and especially in the neck can occur. If the body gets twisted with the rope at the time of recoiling, it can lead to suffocation or a massive heart attack. Studies have speculated that bungee jumping causes damage to immune system and also causes mental pressure.
In bungee jumping one of the most important equipment is that rope which connects the jumper with the platform. Usually it is made of elastic as to make it firm. The cord is made with improved technology with a higher number of strands which are braided methodically in order to make it more strong. There are also variations in the matter of choosing the rope.
Recently, after experiencing many severe accidents and damage an additional harness is attached to the body. These harnesses resemble the ones used in trekking. This gives more safety and decreases the probability of accidents due to sudden detachment from the rope.
Types of Bungee jumping
Bungee jumping can be done with different methods used.
In the ramp method two cords are used. They are tied around the waistline of the jumper and the other ends are attached with steel attachments so the person can ski or slide.
Using SCAD ( Suspended Catch Air Device) is a type of bungee jumping without any restraints. Instead there is a wide net on the ground. The jumper makes the dive and lands on the net.
In Bungee Trampoline, the person starts by jumping on a trampoline. The jumper has a harness attached around his body, which connects the ropes with the steel poles in the either side of the trampoline. Because of the force gets created with the ropes, a person jumps higher every time than the previous.
The Catapult method is also called as the Reverse Bungee because in here the jumper stands on the ground with the cord attached to him. The jumper is pulled and released in the air through the cord.
The SkyJump in Macau Tower is stated to be the most highest bungee jumping point of the world (764ft). This was constructed by A J Hackett, however at first it was not considered as a proper bungee spot due to some technical variations. In 2007 it finally became an official bungee point and also made a mark in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The jumps which are made from static platforms are only considered eligible to set a record in the Guinness Book. But 1989, John Kockleman made a jump from a hot -air balloon which was measured as 2,200ft. Andrew Salisbury went even more higher and made a jump from a helicopter which was measured as 3157ft.
Bungee jumping has become a worldwide sensation for the adventure sport lovers. Even in the movie Goldeneye James Bond was shown as doing bungee jumping.
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