Bungee Jumping

By Adrenaline

Are you interested in the fascinating world of extreme sports? Even if you are not, it is unlikely that you have not heard about bungee jumping. This exciting activity has been in practice for over half a decade and nowadays, bungee enthusiasts have a myriad of locations to enjoy this sport. You can dive from bridges, cliffs and buildings, as virtually any tall structure will do. If you want to make things more interesting, you can even dive from mobile objects, including air balloons, helicopters, so on and so forth. Well, instead of the parachute utilized in skydiving, bungee jumpers are tied to the upper end of the jumping structure via an elastic cord.

How bungee jumping works

When you jump from the high point of your choice, the elastic cord that is attached to your legs will stretch, giving you the sensation of free falling up to the point when you reach its maximum stretching capabilities. Since the cord is elastic, at that point you will bounce back towards the upper section of the objective; thanks to the recoil. You will continuously oscillate between an upwards and downwards motion until you have completely exhausted the energy generated by the original dive when you stretched the cord, causing it to react to your weight. On a side note, the length as well as the tension of the cord are adjusted in accordance to the weight of the jumper and the height of the objective.

A quick history of bungee jumping

The world itself entered the English dictionary about 200 years prior to the first jump, but back then, the dictionary of James Jennings coined the term as a description for thick and short objects. About 100 years later, bungee referred to erasers manufactured from rubber. The term got the meaning it has today from the 50’s and more precisely from the film directed by David Attenborough on the trials of young man who lived in Vanuatu, which comprised of bungee jumping utilizing plant vines.

The very first actual bungee jump was performed on the 1st of April, 1979 and the location of choice was the Clifton Suspension Bridge from Bristol. However, the jumpers were under arrest after pulling off the stunt, but that didn’t stop others from attempting increasingly daring dives. The home of commercial bungee jumping is Auckland and the patriarch of this extreme sport is considered by most to be A. J. Hackett. The first recorded jump performed by Hackett was back in ’86, but he took part in many more since then, each more extravagant than the last.

What equipment does bungee jumping necessitate?

The cord utilized in bungee jumping nowadays basically comprises of several straps made from latex materials which are braided together. Depending on the manufacturer, the latex straps may or may not have an external covering, which is added when the straps are pre-stressed. Cords which include the covering will confer sharper and harder bounces, as well as a significant plus in resilience. In addition to the cord, the regulations of the jumping objective will stipulate whether or not the body harness is mandatory and if the jumpers are permitted to use exclusively the ankle strap.

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