Bungy Jumping: Is Cool!

Bungy Jumping: Is Cool!

Bungy jumping? Not me! Jumping off a bridge or other high obstruction only to test if the elastic band which is attached to your feet or even worse back or something is strong enough to prevent you from hitting the ground… Not really my idea of ​​a fun time.

I’m not sure you’ve heard of the book ‘101 things to do before you die’? BNN (a TV company in the NL) has a program based on it, ‘Try before you die'; the presenters of this show are challenged to do a whole series of extreme things. In any case, there is a whole list of things you ‘need’ to do in your life.

Now, I’m not really that much into extremes, a rollercoaster is pretty much the most extreme thing I’ve done. My wife, Anna, however, has almost completed the entire list.

But as we were in New Zealand, in Queenstown, the capital of extreme sports in a country that’s already quite extreme (in terms of landscape that is). Here there is lots of skiing, snowboarding, paragliding in the winter. In the summer it is a Mecca for Jetboating on the river, rock climbing and … you guessed it: Bungy Jumping and Skydiving.

In short, Bungy Jumping seemed always scary to me. But since Anna had done it once, and assured me that it was awesome, I was persuaded to give it a try, as Bungy Jumping became big in Queenstown. So, we gave Bungy Jumping a try first, and if that went OK, we’d see if wanted to try Skydiving.

In and around Queenstown, there are many different places you can try Bungy Jumping, from a local bridge of 43m, to a huge overhang of about 134m where you have 8.5 seconds freefall, and many options in between. You can even buy a day pass and try a few different jumps in one day as well.

I thought it a good idea to go with AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge, just outside Queenstown; the smallest  jump 43m, where it all began. As Anna had done one once before, we decided to jump together (as I said, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to that).

Bungy Jumping is almost like an assembly line. You buy your ticket, wait your turn, and every 3-5 minutes some crazy idiot jumps into the depths. Pretty soon we would be one of them as well…!

As we were waiting, the line got shorter and shorter, whilst I got more and more nervous. Right before we went there was a girl with a whole group, and who was clearly petrified. “Great!” I thought, “That’ll me in a few moments!” After a lot of and people talking into her, she went anyway, with a little shove from the instructor.

The next guy who jumped was the tour guide of that group. He had apparently been done before. With a graceful leap and an prolonged “Woooohoooooooo!” he disappeared into the depths. “Cool!” I thought, “That I will scream like that as well.” “Then, at least I get rid of my fear, whilst I shout out.”, I thought secretly to myself.

Anna and I were tied together by the instructors, elastic band attached to us, and helped to our feet at the edge of the jumping platform. “We jump straight ahead at the word Bungy, right?” I asked Anna just a tad bit uncertainly. Just to make sure that we both jumped off, and not one of us just drop themself, so we get some weird swinging motions.

A little wave to the camera … I remember that I made the ‘hang loose’ gesture (perhaps I even said that out loud “Hang Loose!”). “Wow, you’re really showing your age here Dutchy!”, I thought.

And then the countdown began:
Five … (Boom-Boom … I feel my heart beating in my chest)
Four … (Boom-Boom … I feel my heart beating in my throat)
Three … (I’m trying to swallow “Right, I must cry out Woohoo, that sounds cool!” I think to myself)
Two … (“Pfff … I’m about to Cr#$ my pants from fear!” I think)
One … (“Sh *%! I’m really doing this …” I think when I look in the distance)
Bungyyyyy! (“Oh no … Dutchy, Loser!” I think)
We jump forward, and I think to myself, “Don’t forget to shout!” And I do…

But instead of a cool “Woohoo!”, the G-focrces clamp my throat, and out comes a soft moan. Sort of a “Eeeeggghhhh” As if I’m on the toilet and I’m having to force things, if you know what I mean, that idea.

“Wow! To be honest the feeling is kinda cool! “I think while I bounce back up due to the elastic. And there it is: “Wooooohooooo!” I scream off the top of my lungs! “What a rush!”, I think to myself. It’s like the first descent of a roller coaster, just before you’re about to make a looping or something. And not at all as scary as I expected.

I shout into my wife’s ear, “I love you!” She shouts back: “Woooohooo” I love you too! “And while we are still bouncing up and down, laugh, and say things to each other which I can’t quite remember, we lowered upside down into a bout, and brought to shore.

What was an incredible adrenaline rush! In short, Bungy Jumping is cool, it’s on the list of ‘101 Things to do before you die ‘ for a reason. And most importantly I had fun!

“Mmm … tomorrow skydiving?” Anna asks me.

“If this was already awesome, how cool can skydiving be?” As I’ve always wanted to try that anyway.


Click here for more info on New Zealand

Feel like Bungy Jumping in Queenstown as well? Here are the possibilities:
Kawarau Bridge Bungy: de original spot where it all began and where we did our jump as well.
Nevis Bungy: 134 m above the Nevis River, with 8,5 seconds of free fall.
Nevis Arc: the world’s largest swing, with speeds up to 150 km/u.
Ledge Bungy: 400 m above the town of Queenstown
Ledge Swing: swing located 400 m above the town of Queenstown, very special, especially at night.



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