Types of Bungee Jumps
Ways to Jump
- Body Harness
The most common ways to attach yourself to the cord are by
using a body harness or a leg harness. If the only way of connecting
yourself to the cord is a body harness you should have at least
a sit harness and a shoulder harness, or a full body harness
(see the harnesses
section). Jumping with just a sit harness is not recommended.
If you are jumping with just a body harness you are afforded
quite a bit of freedom to move around, you arms and legs are
free to flail around. The cord will be attached to a point
close to your belly (your center of gravity), making
spins and flips easier. As you jump you can do many flips on
the way down if the jumpmaster holds the spare cord and
releases it when you jump (this is called 'spotting', the
jumpmaster being the spotter).
- Leg Harness
The leg harness comes in different styles. Some
let you jump with just one leg harnessed, but most with both. You
should always have a backup harness when using leg harnesses,
usually just a normal climbing sit harness. This is especially
important if you are to be brought back up to the jump point
since being brought up upside down is uncomfortable.
The leg harness can really give you the feeling of flying and
is the best ground rush there is (especially for water
touchdowns). While you are rebounding, if you are at the right
angle, you can tuck at the top and flip right over for another
beautiful swallow dive for your second fall.
It is important when jumping with a leg harness that when the
cord becomes tight your body is facing along the line of
the cord, otherwise you will get thrown around quite a bit (and
maybe even break your
- Arm Harness
It is possible to jump with a harness on your arms; which is usually
just a reglar leg harness. Your arms are not usually used to
support your whole body weight, so this could easily lead
to dislocated shoulders etc... Jumping with an arm harness is
- Swallow Dive
By far the best way to jump - just take a nice leap away
from the platform, arms stretched out wide and soar like a bird
down towards the earth. By the time the cord starts to stretch
you should be pointing straight down and the deceleration
should be very smooth.
If you are jumping with just a body harness connected at the
front you will need to rotate even more in the air so that when
the cord becomes taut you will be facing upwards.
- Back Dive
Slightly harder than a swallow dive to get right since many
people that try it lean back a little, but end up falling feet
first. You must really throw yourself into it so that at the
bottom of the fall you are pointing towards the ground.
If you are jumping with just a body harness connected at the
front you will need to either just drop backwards or rotate
even more in the air so that when the cord becomes taut you
will be facing upwards again.
- Railing Jump
This is most common when jumping off bridges with a
railing. Instead of climbing over the railing, you climb
onto the railing. Two people stand behind you with their
arms up and hands in a fist: By holding onto them you can balance
right on the edge of the railing and then jump from there.
- Top of Cage
Like a railing jump, but when you jump from a cage below a
crane, climb on top of the cage and jump from the top. It really
doesn't buy you that much more and the chances of accidents are
- Bat Drop
You maneuver yourslef so you are hanging upside down with your
toes (or someone else) holding you to the jumping platform,
then you just drop like a rock straight down.
- Elevator (aka Pile Driver on Mil. Spec cord)
Like an inverted bat drop; just jump from the platform with your
feet pointing down. When you get to the end of the cord, you
will be flipped the right way round. With an all rubber
(Euro/Kiwi) cord this is bearable; with Mil. Spec it will
almost certainly hurt a lot (hence the Pile Driver name), and
you could even break your
When you jump with ankle harnesses, it's possible to end up so
that you are standing on your ankle harnesses, holding onto the
cord at the end of your jump. Most jumpmasters don't like you
touching their cord, so make sure they know you're going to do
this. Plus grabbing the cord is always dangerous, if you're
lucky, you'll end up with rope burns on your hands. If you're
unlucky, you could easily break your arms, wrists or fingers.
Instead of jumping, why not get a gang of friends to throw you
from the bridge! Check out these
photos from Over the Edge Bungee in Idaho, or these from Icarus Bungee.
- Water Touchdown
Many sites are so confident that they can judge how much the
cord will stretch that they offer water touchdowns. You jump as
normal, but at the bottom you will go into the water. This is
best attempted over DEEP water (see this disaster).
The way you jump affects how much the cord will stretch, and whether
there is a spotter (someone dropping the cord beside you). If
you jump far away from the bridge you will drop less than if
you were to jump straight down.
You can be facing forwards or backwards to feel the rush of a
cutaway. A piece of webbing is tied to the platform and then to
your waist so that you are leaning out at 45 degrees from the
platform (you can be facing either up or down at this
point). Make sure you are looking straight up or down and NOT at
the webbing. The webbing is then slowly cut; eventually it will
break, sending you plummeting to the ground. However you won't
quite know when it will happen.
Two jumpers jump at the same time. This is actually pretty
dangerous since it's very easy to bang heads at the bottom or
just get tangled up in each other. Plus the weight of two
people are not the 'norm' that clubs are used to dealing with so
there can always be errors made when selecting cords and
There is also the chance of one person jumping and the other
not, but since you're attached the 'chicken' will just get
dragged down (and then bang heads at the bottom). This was well
documented on video from MTV's Real World.
This is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, and you really shouldn't try it, but
I'll explain it here. You jump holding a heavy weight; once you
get to the bottom of the drop, you let go of the weight. All of
the extra elastic energy the weight put into the cord is now
transferred to you, making you fly MUCH higher than the place
you jumped from.
It's important to consider that you will fly back toward what
you jumped from, which is usually pretty solid. Hence, you could
fly back into the platform at great speed! If you jump from
the opposite side of a bridge (opposite to the side the cord is
attached) you may bounce back above the bridge (if you
You need to account for your weight and the weight of the sandbag when
working out what cord to use. Since subsequent rebounds will be
just you (on a cord designed for a heavier weight), they will be
pretty harsh. Plus, you must make sure you can hold onto the sandbag
until the end of your first drop.
Some people actually use another person as the 'sandbag'.
Dropping the sandbag/person early or late has even more serious
consequences in this scenario. As demonstrated on an MTV show
where they couldn't hold on the whole way and the sandbag guy
dropped early (Bungee'd without the cord) and broke his ribs
Types of Bungee
- Bungee Jump
Just your regular old bungee jump. You jump (perhaps in one of
the ways described above) and then rebound several times
giving you about 2 to 4 great feelings of weightlessness.
This is similar to bungee jumping except that you start on the
ground. The cord is stretched away from you; when the cord
is stretched you are released from the ground. You shoot up
into the air at approximately a gagillion miles per hour,
eventually stoping and continuing like you would any normal jump.
Since the nature of the cord is to pull you towards wherever
it is fixed, there is considerable danger that you could shoot
into the anchor for the cord (usually a crane cage).
Catapult is also known as "Reverse Bungee" and "Bungee Rocket".
- Twin Tower
Very similar to a catapult, but they have solved the problem of
running into the cord anchor. There are two towers, each with a
cord leading to you (in between); the cords are stretched, and
you are relased. Since both cords are pulling you, you
shoot straight up and then bounce around.
Some places use this technique, but you are strapped into a
metal cage, and this requires much stronger bungee cords. One
company that offers this is Bungee
Adventures; they call it the Ejection Seat.
- Bungee Run
This isn't 'jumping' per se. The object of bungee running is to
run as far away as you can, while a bungee cord pulls you back,
eventually you can't pull any more and you give up and get
dragged back to where the cord is anchored (as is the way with
bungee cords). Usually the bungee run is in a big inflatable
(bouncy castle), however it has been known to be right in the
middle of a bar with not much to protect you at all.
- Snow Bungee Canoe
This is pretty far out there and I'm sure no one really does it,
but I found it so hilarious when I learned about it, I
had to include it here. I saw it on a TV show in America; it
was based on the lives of some mountain rescue people in
Colorado I think (kind of like Northern exposure, but based on a
mountain rescue team).
Anyway, these stoner adrenaline junkies hiked all the way upto
the top of a mountain, with their bungee cords and a
canoe. They attached one end of the cord to the canoe and the
other to the top of the mountain. They all climbed into the
canoe and shot down the mountain with the cord behind them.
Upon reaching the end of the stretch of the cord, three of them
fell out - leaving one poor sucker in the canoe. Just like
sandbagging the extra force in the canoe from the three ejected
people shot the canoe and sucker at mach 3 UP the
hill. Upon reaching the top, the canoe was still moving at a
fair old speed and shot right over the top and when it finally
came down it was dangling from the cord on a vertical
Cue hero rescue types for another enthralling show...
This section is still under development! More will be coming soon, but
here is a taste of what is to come. If you would like to submit
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Things to Jump From
the cage is on the ground
jumper is connected to cord which is connected to cage
sometimes jumpmaster holds the coils of the cords
the crane lifts up the cage and jumper
jumper jumps from cage and bounces
crane slowly lowers cage until jumper is close to ground
ground crew catch jumper
crane lowers cage to the ground
jumper is at top of platform or bridge
jumper is connected to cord, cord is connected to bridge
jumper jumps from bridge and bounces around
- a static line is lowered to the jumper who clips it on and
jumper is pulled back up to the bridge/platform. (Safest)
- the cord is pulled up via a static line a short
distance, disconnected from the bridge and then the
jumper and cord is lowered to the ground at the bottom
of the bridge
- Buildings (with platforms)
- Hot Air Balloons
- Cable Cars
Related but not quite Bungee
- Bridge Swinging
Called 'puenting' in Spain
- Scad Diving