There are serious adrenaline junkies out there who get a thrill and a kick from feeling the blood pulsing through their body, from being made acutely aware momentarily of the fact they are very, very alive. Ironically, this rush is often achieved by putting yourself in a dangerous or life-threatening position. It’s hard to empathise with these crazy folk, keeping two feet on the floor and always feeling safe seems like a pretty good bet to be honest. However, there are activities and events across the world that are seemingly handpicked with the sole intention of getting your adrenaline pumping.
Simply, BASE Jumping is jumping from a fixed object into a freefall and then using a parachute to break the fall. BASE jumping is one of the most dangerous recreational activities or sports in the world, with a fatality and injury rate a massive 43 times higher than parachuting from a plane. Sometimes regarded as a stunt rather than a sport, the risks when BASE jumping is phenomenally high.
The reason the sport is so dangerous is that the jump is comparable to that of a skydiver, but with a much, much lower altitude. On average, a skydive will include a three-minute parachute ride to the ground. As a BASE jumper, you can expect to be steadying your fall with your parachute for a maximum of a measly ten to fifteen seconds! There is absolutely no room for error, and that’s what gets the adrenaline flowing. If this all sounds a bit hair-raising for you, then why not be a spectator next year instead of a contestant?
With 56 floors in total, from the top, the hotel offers spectacular views out across the ocean. The competition has strict rules for entry, and generally ends up hosting around 20 competitors. To date, the BASE Jump Extreme World Championships have hosted contestants from twenty-one nations. As well as the championships themselves, the organisers put on entertaining acrobat jumps as well as wingsuit jumps from a helicopter.
It’s not just for humans either.
On a related note, on May 27th, 2014, a dog called Whisper became the first wingsuit BASE jumping dog! And another interesting fact for you, the world record for BASE jump from the tallest building, was broken on April 21st of this year by two Frenchmen, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet. They performed a staggering 828-metre jump from the top of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, U.A.E.
The Nitty Gritty
Now hold up a second, before you grab your parachute and run to the nearest tall building to throw yourself off, there are many legalities that surround the BASE jumping world. Many of these legalities concern the permission that is required to jump off a building in the first place, as well as the area that will be used for landing. If you access a building to BASE jump from the top, you could be charged with trespassing if you hadn’t received prior agreement from the owner.
How to Compete
To enter the BASE Jump Extreme World Championships, you must have performed a minimum of 150 BASE jumps, with at least ten of these being within three months of the event. You also have to get a reference so to speak from a known BASE jumper who can vouch for your skill and your safety level. So, you know what’s required, get practising! Or, you can stay on the ground and get your kick out of other things. A personal favourite of mine is crossing the road when the green man isn’t lit up. Taking risks on a daily basis!