BASE jumping is considered to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world. What does it consist in? How does it differ from classic skydiving?
BASE jumping – what is it?
The name of the sport, which is BASE jumping, is an abbreviation of four types of objects from which people practicing this discipline jump. They are:
Building – jumping from these is extremely difficult, which is due to the fact that a significant number of these types of facilities have safety features such as locked doors and obstacles to prevent people from climbing to the top and jumping from them. This makes a lot of BASE jumping enthusiasts enjoy the skyscrapers under construction. Unfortunately, this type of jumping is highly risky.
Antennas – antenna towers are very popular spots for BASE jumpers. This is due to the fact that they are relatively easy to climb, less guarded than skyscrapers and sometimes very high.
Span – to be able to jump from a span or bridge, it must cross a large ravine or canyon. The most famous structure of this type in the world, which is very popular among BASE jumpers is the New River George Bridge located in West Virginia. Once a year there is a Bridge Day, when enthusiasts of this extreme sport from all over the world come together to perform legal jumps. The event is accompanied by a festival. In Poland there are no facilities that would meet the necessary requirements.
Earth – this term refers to natural formations suitable for BASE jumping. For this purpose, various types of ravines, cliffs, fjords and canyons are used. Facilities of this type are the cradle of the sport.
How to start your adventure with BASE jumping?
No BASE jumper can do without a special parachute. However, it is significantly different from the ones used by classical parachute jumpers. A BASE jumper is equipped with only one canopy, which is additionally deprived of an automatic. The differences concern both the canopy and the cover, as well as the way of folding the parachute.
Equipment is not everything, however. What do you have to do to become a BASE jumper? It is necessary to have made at least 200 traditional skydives. Only then you will be able to master the art of parachute opening, canopy control and landing. It will also be necessary to complete an AFF course. The next stage should be to find a person with experience in BASE jumping. If you do not manage to find such an expert in Poland, you should look for him abroad. The person who will undertake the training will provide all the necessary guidance. These may include navigating through rocks, performing jumps in a tracksuit or jumping from a balloon. If you want to practice BASE jumping, it will be necessary to purchase equipment and master the art of putting it on, as well as buy insurance.
Is BASE jumping a dangerous sport?
BASE jumping is very often referred to as the most dangerous sport in the world. There is a lot of truth in this. This is due to the fact that the person making this type of jump has only one parachute. If there are any problems with its opening, it can be tragic in its consequences. Even if the jumper had a second parachute, he would not manage to open it. This is due to the fact that the jumps here take place from a relatively low altitude. Equally problematic can be a situation in which the parachute inflates correctly but sets in the wrong direction. Changing its direction is possible here, but it can be very dangerous, for example when the jumper is low to the ground or in a small distance from the object from which he jumped.