Bungee jumping is recognized as an extreme sport where the participant free-falls from a platform, springing up and down from the tension of a cord suspended to a type of harness.
Modern bungee jumping began in 1979 with the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club. A.J. Hackett opened the first commercial jump site in New Zealand in the late 1980s, after performing a jump off the Eiffel Tower.
To make a jump, you need a bungee cord, which is a rope made of natural rubber, a type of harness, and something to connect them such as a carabiner clip. Harness types depend on the nature of the jump and/or the preference of the person, and include the ankle harness, the body harness, and the climbing harness.
Bungee jumping involves a number of techniques and set-ups. Some common jumps are the swan dive, or forward dive, the back dive, and the bat dive (hanging upside-down and dropped). The water touch-down is a popular addition, where the jump is calculated so that the jumper dips into the water without full submersion.
Jumpers often use a combination of harnesses in order to distribute weight and to improve safety. Always double-check equipment and set-up--most accidents are due to human error. Don't use old equipment. Inexperienced jumpers should not attempt complicated jumps.
The origins of modern bungee jumping actually come from the ritual fertility rites of the vine jumpers of Vanuatu. Far before the invention of bungee jumping -- that is, with a bungee cord -- these people jumped from wet, elastic vines towards the softened ground below.
Safety Tips for Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is an activity in which people jump from a structure far above the ground, such as a bridge, while they...