Is BASE Jumping Worthwhile?
BASE jumping

The BASE is an acronym composed of the initial letters of the nouns Buildings, Antennas, Spains, Earth- the locations from which jumps are made. BASE jumping is the most extreme discipline of skydiving. Is BASE jumping worthwhile? Read on to find out! 

Whether you are an adrenaline junkie and you crave this type of activity, be aware that this sport is extremely dangerous. It is worthwhile only on the condition that you have developed skills, stamina and you are properly trained. 

Are Base and Parachuting Any Similar?

BASE equipment only looks similar to equipment for parachuting. Parachuters open their parachute at around 1000 m of altitude so they will have time to react if their main parachute fails and they can start up the reserve. BASE jumps are made from much less height and the spare parachute is not used during the process. The jumper simply does not have time to use it. This is why this extreme sport is considered too extreme.

Interesting fact: Parachutes and ropes are made from nylon, judging that nylon is one notably dense material.

Why Do These Differences Matter?

According to BASE jumpers, even though the BASE was born or derived from parachuting, they are as similar as football and basketball. Both use a ball (or a type of parachute in this case). The main difference is that the BASE jumps are performed really near the earth. Approximately 65m is the minimum altitude to make the jump. 

The entire process only lasts for a couple of seconds. Another difference is that jumping on higher altitudes there is some type of air currency that helps the jumper remain stable. During a BASE jump, the body drops like a rock, or as the BASE jumper refers to this state ‘dead air’.

This sport requires 110% accuracy, or it can be fatal. If you start turning and falling on your head during the jump, chances that everything will end consequence-free parachuting are pure luck. But, jumping from a plane can be good preparation for BASE jumping, it can almost be seen as an introduction. Approximately 80% of the base jump is done by a parachute

BASE jumpers need to consider things that others do not even have to consider. Each location is specific and requires a special setup of a parachute, while parachuting uses one setup for all jumps. The majority of people consider para shooting a big challenge, and it is estimated that only a fraction of parachuters will do BASE jumps. 

How Similar Are Base and Parachuting?

According to BASE jumpers, even though the BASE was born or derived from parachuting, they are as similar as football and basketball. Both use a ball (or a type of parachute in this case). The main difference is that the BASE jumps are performed really near the earth. Approximately 65m is the minimum altitude to make the jump. 

The entire process only lasts for a couple of seconds. Another difference is that jumping on higher altitudes there is some type of air currency that helps the jumper remain stable. During a BASE jump, the body drops like a rock, or as the BASE jumper refers to this state ‘dead air’.

This sport requires 110% accuracy, or it can be fatal. If you start turning and falling on your head during the jump, chances that everything will end consequence-free are pure luck. But, parachuting can be good preparation for BASE jumping, it can almost be seen as an introduction. Approximately 80% of the base jump is done by a parachute.

BASE jumpers need to consider things that others do not even have to consider. Each location is specific and requires a special setup of the parachute, while parachuting uses one setup for all jumps. The majority of the people consider parachuting a big challenge, and it is estimated that only a fraction of parachuters will do BASE jumps. 

Primary Understanding of BASE

BASE jumping is an extreme sport and there have been many fatal accidents. Readers are encouraged to train with a certified jumping instructor and spend many hours respecting their skills before attempting to jump BASE on their own. 

Although trained experts make it look easy, some subtle nuances and techniques are only learned over time and many jumps. As the sport evolved, some parachutists turned to jump to base to get their visceral adrenaline party regularly, creating a big crossover between the two extreme sports.

The heights from which one jumps are small; the minimum height for jumping from a plane is 800 meters, comparisons for jumping from 300 meters you have about 12 seconds, and BASE jumpers jump from lower altitudes, so there is less time to do anything. It sounds funny, but the lower it is, the more dangerous it is.

Only one parachute is packed because there would be no time to open it for a spare. The jump itself lasts 10-15 seconds (a normal jump from an airplane takes an average of about three minutes or more). Parachute packing and technique are crucial for BASE jumps, if the moment of the jump (separation) is not performed properly the jumper falls into a turn or twist so the parachute does not have time to open properly, are only and gravity unhindered the jump turns into a free fall.

Positive and Extreme

Even though they are dangerous, the positive side of BASE jumps is that they can be reported from any place (platform) only if they meet the minimum height. So, in addition to the cliffs and high bridges that are far away in nature, the targets and buildings in urban areas are tall buildings, chimneys, etc. This unusual environment adds to the excitement of the jump. Every roof of solitaire, the window of an office building, the edge of a bridge, all like platforms, all like paths that can be rushed down. The sky is on the ground, the paratroopers on the roof.

Precisely because of that low altitude that makes it extreme, the BASE jumps are illegal in some countries. More precisely, it is not illegal, only some states will not permit you to jump from its property. Private owners of high buildings also find it difficult to approve permits, and jumping from someone’s property without his permission is illegal. Which does not mean that they will not jump from those buildings.

Illegal Jumps

Illegal jumps happen all over the world despite the additional risk they carry, unpreparedness, as well as the possibility of imprisonment if you are caught, as if the jump itself is not exciting enough. But adrenaline is never enough.

BASE jumping sets new limits for parachuting, changes the norms of altitude and environment, puts to the test the speed of reflexes, the technique of performance, all with a huge risk in case of failure.

History of BASE Jumping

BASE jumping

BASE jumping traces its roots back to the seventies of the last century when adrenaline raced for a unique sport to bring its skills to the limit. In 1978, film director Carl Boenish Jr. coined the term when he and his wife Jean, Phil Smith, and Phil Mayfield made the first jump from El Capitan in Yosemite National Park using airborne parachutes. They made an impressive free fall from that massive rock, creating a whole new sport in the process.

In the early years of BASE jumping, participants in this wild and dangerous new activity generally used the same speed that jumpers used when jumping from a plane. But over time, the equipment has been improved and redesigned to meet the particular demands of jumpers. Parachutes, overalls, helmets, and other equipment developed, became more compact and lighter and turned into something that was much better suited for use in more active sports.

Since BASE sweaters often have to carry equipment with them until the moment they jump, these improvements were welcomed by the early pioneers in sports.

Coming Into the 21st Century

In 2003, the wingsuit leaped to prefer jumping to BASE jumping, which led to a technique known as flying nearby. In this activity, the BASE jumper still slips out of some structure but slides back to Earth as it flies near the ground, trees, buildings, cliffs, or other obstacles. However, the parachute is still needed for a safe landing, because the wingsuit does not provide enough deceleration to allow touch.

Today, flying a wingsuit is considered an integral part of BASE jumping, with most participants wanting to carry a gun in the shape of their fingers while performing jumps. This has led to some amazing GoPro videos of pilots in action as they work on deadly feats.

Is Base Jumping Worthwhile in the End?

BASE jumping is an incredibly dangerous sport and you should only try it whether you have been properly trained. It is determined that an accident is 43 times more prone to occur while engaging in this activity, instead of solely jumping from a plane. According to Blincmagazine.com – a site dedicated to the sport – more than 300 people have died, while the BASE has been jumping since 1981. If you are an adrenaline junkie and love to live life on the edge, build up your stamina and skill. Perfect everything you can through other sports before even trying this one. 

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