Bungee jumping is a sport that has dramatically evolved over the past couple decades.  Bungee jumping has evolved into a sport of art and thrill.  As a tribal tradition, the ritual was soon incorporated with a bungee cord.  Bungee jumping spread rapidly throughout the world, ever-growing in popularity.  Detailed designs and engineering have helped to take bungee jumping to all new limits.  An array of prices depicts a variety of heights, harnesses, and locations of sites.  Bungee jumping offers many diverse medical advantages.  New innovations in the bungee field have led to all new rides and adventures.  Bungee jumping is a sport that enables a person to prove something to themselves, regardless of age, sex, religion, or race.

Bungee jumping is based on an age-old ritual practiced by the “land divers” of Pentecost island in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu.  Young men proved their courage by plummeting off giant towers.  Every spring villagers there collect liana vines and wind them into long cords.  The men then scale six story wooden towers, attach the vines around their ankles and jump.  A successful leap is considered a demonstration of courage.  In 1979, a bungee cord was incorporated with this tribal ritual.  Members of the Oxford University’s Dangerous Sports Club read about and designed a safe form of the practice.  Atop the Golden Gate Bridge, dressed in tuxedos and top hats, the first form of bungee jumping came to existence.  In 1987, bungee jumping moved to the American commercial scene.  Two brothers, John and Peter Kockelman, began jumping from bridges over river gorges in the Sierras.  Recognizing the sport’s commercial potential, they opened Bungee Adventures in 1988.

Bungee jumping spread rapidly throughout the world, ever-growing in popularity.  Bungee jumping became national crazes in many areas.  After the use of a bungee cord was thought of, the idea first spread through New Zealand.  From here, Australia and France soon caught on and joined the sport.  This new hobby, predominantly known and practiced only by skydivers, rock climbers, and other extremists caught the world’s attention and spread like a wild fire.  In America, bungee jumping was also proving popular.  The first commercial bungee business began thirty minutes outside San Diego, CA.  Commercial sites in Colorado and Utah soon began to pop up.  Expansions of these businesses now help to cover almost every western state.  Bungee Jumping’s popularity has helped it to become an officially recognized sport.  National Freestlye Bungee Championships are held each year and are broadcasted on a number of channels including “ESPN 2.”

Detailed designs and engineering have helped to take bungee jumping to an all new limit.  The actual bungee is composed of all synthetic fibers and designed for strength.  The cord is a special blend of rubber with a high tensile strength and special ozone and ultra-violet ray protection.  Each cord is rated at over 1,000 jumps and is guaranteed for 500.  Elaborate “crane towers” allow for a full jump without breaking the law.  Early aerialists risked going to jail for jumping off open bridges, thus a new platform was needed.  Many jumpers discovered the use of cranes.  At 180 feet, specially designed cranes allow for plenty of jumping room.  The use of hot air balloons was another idea that went over well.  Many companies now specialize in the use of a hot air ballons for bungee jumping platforms.  Increased regulations have helped make the hobby safe for all jumpers.  Though cranes are legal, they are hard to come by.  Hot air balloons are easily accessible and provide variable heights for jumpers.

Increased regulations have helped make the hobby safe for all jumpers.  The Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for certifying all bungee jumping applicants.  Each applicant must comply to certain standards that are outlined by the Administration.  From proper equipment to instructors, each applicant must make a passing grade in order to obtain certification.  Many variations of bungee jumping platforms are illegal for public use.  Open bridges where among the first types of platforms used by jumpers.  For years, aerialists staged jumps early in the morning or late at night to evade local sheriffs.  Every country has its own regulations for certification.  The United States has the highest safety codes and restrictions in the world.  Thus, the U.S. has the lowest ratio of accidents of any other country.  Though the ratio for accidents is so low, there are still the inevitable accidents that due occur.  Bungee jumping allows zero margin for error.  Numerous fatalities and accidents have occurred over the past few years.  The question of whether the sport should be outlawed has been constantly debated since the beginning of its public accessibility.  Most bungee enthusiast, though,  will tell you of the chills and thrills-not the spills.

An array of prices depicts a variety of heights, harnesses, and locations of sites.  The price for the typical jump usually ranges within the same area between companies.  Prices tend to rise depending on the type of jump, heights of jump, and location of jump.  Typically, the standard crane, body harness jump ranges around forty to sixty dollars per person, per jump.  Different packages are also available, giving the jumper a variety of harnesses.  Hot air balloon platforms are a little more spendy.  Prices range anywhere from ninety dollars per person, per jump to around 140 dollars.  Many times, incentives are offered to help with the company’s marketing.  Some companies give group leaders a free jump for bringing in a certain amount of jumpers.  Depending on the number of people in a group, discounts may also be given.

Bungee jumping offers many diverse medical advantages.  Plummeting at 75 m.p.h. towards the earth with nothing but a giant “rubber band” to stop a 180 feet drop, will, in most cases cause a release of adrenaline into the blood stream.  This release of Adrenaline tightens the blood vessels.  After the release of this tension, the vessels are more relaxed than normal, allowing for easier blood flow through the body.  Bungee jumping helps build a person’s confidence and self-esteem.  The experience that bungee jumping offers is like no other.  “What does not kill me will make me stronger,” directly illustrates the effects that such a sport can offer.  After a jump, the person experiences a natural high or sense of euphoria that will always be remembered.

New innovations in the bungee field have led to all new rides and adventures.  Engineers have taken the idea of bungee jumping and expanded on it extensively.  New rides that incorporate bungees are appearing constantly.  Reverse bungee jumping was one of the first generation bungee apparatus.  In this case, the person is mounted from the ground position and is hurled toward the sky by a single bungee.  A newcomer to the bungee world, the “ejection seat” enables a couple to experience the ride simultaneously.  A single bench seat, secured in a metal chamber, is latched to the ground, and then shot into the air by use of bungees.

Bungee jumping is a sport that provides the thrill of a lifetime for many.  Global recognition of bungee jumping has increased its popularity in the past decade.  Continual inspection and new regulations help to make the sport safe for all.  With the use of bungees, engineers are able to create a whole new selection of rides for thrill-seekers.  Bungee jumping, whether in tribal villages or on top eighteen story cranes, will always attract those who have an urge to prove something to themselves.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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