Base Jumping (Assignment 5D)

When I was three I first glanced outside and saw Robbins  and cardinals glide through the sky from a tall oak tree to our wooden deck banisters. I dreamed of gliding through the sky like Robbins and cardinals. I believed when I grew up I could fly too. I aged and realized as humans it is physically impossible to fly.

Or is it?

By definition, to fly is “to move in or pass through air with wings.” As humans it is physically impossible for us to fly since we don’t have wings. Base jumpers argue that humans are very capable of flying.

WHAT IS BASE JUMPING?

BASE jumping is the sport of using a parachute to jump from fixed objects. “BASE” is an acronym that stands for the four categories of objects from which one can jump; building, antenna, span, and earth.

BRIEF HISTORY

Jumping from fixed objects has been around for the last 900 years. From the late 17th century through the 19th century, the developement of parachutes from manned balloons enabled one to jump from an aircraft rather than a fixed object.

Base Jumping started to be filmed in the early to mid 1900’s, but it was Roger Moore “James Bond” in “The Spy who Loved me” who introduced Base Jumping for the whole world to see:

Base Jumping blossomed the in following years and redefined the meaning of “Extreme Sports.”

Base Jumping has developed into a popular sport with the help of movies, the internet, and of course social media. Here is an example of what movies, the internet, and social media has brought us:

Very cool stuff don’t you think?

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Before deciding to Base Jump, each potential jumper must be aware of high risks involved in Base Jumping. Injury, death, and the possibility of being arrested are consequences the jumper must be willing to accept prior to each jump. It is highly recommended that anyone interested in Base Jumping read the Base Jumping Fatality List carefully before deciding to pursue Base Jumping.

First Base Jumping courses require at least 150-200 Skydives to be admitted, then the student needs to decide how committed they are to the sport. Each aspiring jumper must realize it requires 3AM wake ups to reach a location by dawn and even then it may not be safe to jump due to high winds.

Once decided, an aspiring Base Jumper is required to find an experienced Base Jumper to teach them. This is a difficult task because it is tough to find an experienced Jumper willing to sacrifice countless hours of their time for no financial gain. Knowledge is important, it is the difference between a successful jump and tragedy. One gains knowledge by assisting experienced jumpers as one of the ground crew members over a period of time. The teacher needs to know you are serious for the sport and not in it for the satisfaction of one jump. Afterall, letting the wrong people into the Base Jumping community can compromise jumping points and ruin reputations in the Base Jumping community.

An aspiring Jumper needs to share an immense passion for the sport to participate. The reason why Base Jumping still exists is because the community is very close and Jumping requires many years of dedication to the sport. It is only for a small group of people in the world. If you feel that you can handle the demanding requirements of this incredible sport I suggest you get started on your 150-200 sky dives right away. It will take years to complete your first jump, but I can’t imagine a greater feeling than the first jump after all the hard work, early mornings, and long days one puts in to get to that point.

-Dan

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