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#1
Old 05-05-2009, 07:50 AM
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Which would frighten you MORE: Bungee Jumping or Sky Diving?

For some odd reason, the thought of sky diving isn't so bad to me. Sure, I'd probably need clean underwear afterwards, but I can easily see doing, at least.

Bungee jumping, even though it's (technically) on the ground and not from as great a height, I think I'd have a great problem doing.

I guess it might have to do with the whole factor of: When you bungee jump, you usually go alone and also have to jump/dive yourself. When you skydive, you usually go in tandem with an instructor who decides when you guys jump.


But what say you? Which of these would scare you more if you had to do them?

Last edited by Idle Thoughts; 05-05-2009 at 07:51 AM.
#2
Old 05-05-2009, 07:52 AM
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It is impossible to say. I would probably never be talked into either one.
#3
Old 05-05-2009, 07:55 AM
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There is a reserve parachute. There is not a reserve bungee.

Parachute instructors need to be certified. Bungee operators need... nothing, AFAIK.
#4
Old 05-05-2009, 08:22 AM
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I've gone sky diving (once); there's no way I'd go bungee jumping. If the parachute had failed, I would'a broken my neck, that's it, sayonara, nice having known ya; if the bungee breaks I'm looking at broken extremities... naaaah. Add the existence of reserve parachutes, the fact that the first jumps are "in tandem" (aka "riding banana", the one managing the 'chute is the certified, highly experienced instructor)... and I don't think I'll be bungee jumping any time soon.
#5
Old 05-05-2009, 08:24 AM
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I loved skydiving. However, there are way too many World's Wackiest Video style shorts of bungee gone wrong for me to ever consider taking the plunge. The sheer number might rival those of parasailers getting yanked off a pier or bounced along a beach. Know thanks.
#6
Old 05-05-2009, 08:57 AM
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There's no way I would ever skydive. Never ever ever.

But I'd be willing to bungee jump. Or at least, I would've when I was younger, but I'm kind of over the concept now.
#7
Old 05-05-2009, 09:33 AM
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Both are fun in a different way, skydiving is better for me so bungee would come in 2nd. But frightening? No, unless I saw a horrible accident with either just before my turn. I don't seem to have a height fear of any kind.
#8
Old 05-05-2009, 09:36 AM
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I've done both & loved both, but bungee jumping was definitely scarier. There was a feeling of apprehension standing at the edge, with the weight of the cord pulling down on my ankles, that really made me think 'what the hell am I doing'. I didn't have that with skydiving.
#9
Old 05-05-2009, 09:38 AM
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My objections to both can be summed up in a single word: "Oops!"



That said, I'd rather skydive. Skydiving has been practiced longer (Land divers don't count -- bungee is different) and has extensive training and safety practices in place. I've heard about too many bungee accidents due to ill-prepared operators. And there's no required participant training. I'll grant that things are getting better, and that many operators are models of efficiency. But unless I get to specify who I do the dive with, I'll take the parachute over the bungee.
#10
Old 05-05-2009, 11:30 AM
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Having done both a fair amount of times I found bungee jumping to be more "intense" - it's a very quick experience however there's a perceptual thing going on where you really know that you are falling; both that feeling you get in your stomach as well as the visual cues since you are (relatively) so low to the ground.

Contrast this to skydiving where it's very hard to tell visually that you are descending (most people cannot tell the difference between 10000 feet and 8000 feet, for example) and for the majority of jumps, where you leave an airplane that is moving at something close to terminal velocity (IIRC exit speed was on the order of 100mph, terminal velocity is around 110-120mph), there's no feeling of falling; your direction changes gradually (from "forward" to "down") but there's no sensation of dropping like in an elevator or roller-coaster. Exceptions are when you jump from something that isn't already moving - I've done helicopters and hot-air balloons and the first couple of seconds definitely feels like falling.

Freefall is "flying". Bungee jumping is "falling".

As others have noted, skydiving involves much more active preparation and participation by the jumpers. The more you learn and practice the calmer you tend to be, it helps work off some of the stress which is your brain's natural reaction to knowing that you are getting into an unfamiliar environment. Bungee jumping is much more like an amusement park ride in the sense that you just get strapped in and off you go.

Overall I preferred skydiving but they are both quite fun.
#11
Old 05-05-2009, 11:56 AM
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Having done both, I’d say skydiving was scariest to me. The bungee jump I did was from 110 feet and there was a huge circus style safety net below me. I’d probably be alright just jumping down into that net from that height. Skydiving….there’s no net.
#12
Old 05-05-2009, 12:38 PM
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I have a terrible fear of heights, and while I did go skydiving once, there is no freaking way I could ever bungie jump. In sky diving, you are so high that there is an unreality to it. Your brain is not evolved to process a height of 2-1/2 miles, so it didn't for me generate the same response. (Which isn't to say I wasn't scared shitless immediately before exiting the plane, but I was able to jump.) But lower heights are for me paradoxically much more frightening--I could never ever jump off of a 150 foot bridge. I can't even stand next to the railing at the local mall looking from the fourth floor down to the ground level, and I have to fight down the vicarious panic when my daughter goes and presses her nose against the glass.
#13
Old 05-05-2009, 12:44 PM
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I've done a tandem skydiving jump, a static line skydive, and several bungie jumps, and I'd say that the static line and bungie jumps were scarier than the tandem skydive. In the former, you have to actively jump and spend some time thinking about it, while in the latter, you really don't have a choice in the matter, it just happens.
#14
Old 05-05-2009, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valgard View Post
Freefall is "flying". Bungee jumping is "falling"..
This sums it up pretty well.
Skydiving is FUN!!!! Bungee is scary......

For all of human history, people have dreamed of being able to fly. Everybody wanted to try it, and tell stories about it...From ancient legends of Icarius, to more modern authors like Jules Verne.*
But in all of human history, nobody has ever written a story about surviving a huge fall just for fun.




*(well,ballooning is a form of flying, too)





(and now for my favorite joke about skydiving:
At the jump zone near me, there's a poster advertising some new high-tech gear, with the slogan:
"Remember when skydiving was dangerous and sex was safe? " )
#15
Old 05-05-2009, 02:11 PM
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I suspect Bungee Jumping. But I can't know until I try both.
#16
Old 05-05-2009, 02:23 PM
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Oh, yeah, another difference. I imagine, as the bungee cord slows me down and I am hanging upside down, the contents of my stomach will continue downward at a somewhat faster pace. A parachute will pull me upright, and keep the contents of my stomach safely at the bottom of my stomach.
#17
Old 05-05-2009, 02:42 PM
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I'm terrified of heights but want to skydive. I will never bungee jump.
#18
Old 05-05-2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valgard View Post
Having done both a fair amount of times I found bungee jumping to be more "intense" - it's a very quick experience however there's a perceptual thing going on where you really know that you are falling; both that feeling you get in your stomach as well as the visual cues since you are (relatively) so low to the ground.

Contrast this to skydiving where it's very hard to tell visually that you are descending (most people cannot tell the difference between 10000 feet and 8000 feet, for example) and for the majority of jumps, where you leave an airplane that is moving at something close to terminal velocity (IIRC exit speed was on the order of 100mph, terminal velocity is around 110-120mph), there's no feeling of falling; your direction changes gradually (from "forward" to "down") but there's no sensation of dropping like in an elevator or roller-coaster. Exceptions are when you jump from something that isn't already moving - I've done helicopters and hot-air balloons and the first couple of seconds definitely feels like falling.

Freefall is "flying". Bungee jumping is "falling".

As others have noted, skydiving involves much more active preparation and participation by the jumpers. The more you learn and practice the calmer you tend to be, it helps work off some of the stress which is your brain's natural reaction to knowing that you are getting into an unfamiliar environment. Bungee jumping is much more like an amusement park ride in the sense that you just get strapped in and off you go.

Overall I preferred skydiving but they are both quite fun.
I have done both as well, and this reflects my experience...
#19
Old 05-05-2009, 04:01 PM
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Yup, I'm with Valgard and Wordman.

I've only done a tandem jump, but I felt pretty safe. The guy on the bungee platform didn't put his life on the line when I jumped off that platform - the guy strapped to my back did when I stepped out of that plane.

My uncle told me about his first static line jump while he was in the Army. It's important for everyone to keep moving and jump out of the plane immediately after the guy in front of him. But, when he got to the door he hesitated. The paratroop instructor screamed at him, "Jump Private!" "Jump right now!"
My uncle hesitated.
The Sergeant screamed again "Jump! Or I'll fuck you in the ass!"

I asked my uncle if he jumped. He said, "a little at first".
#20
Old 05-05-2009, 04:22 PM
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Your uncle?
#21
Old 05-05-2009, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Q.E.D. View Post
Your uncle?

Had I said it was me, how could I be sure someone would prompt me for the punchline? Sometimes you gotta stretch the truth a little for full comedic effect.
#22
Old 05-05-2009, 04:54 PM
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I was stuck on a call so my first reply was brief. I put it to friends this way: when you skydive (I have done both static line and tandem), you are jumping into a picture postcard. It is surreal so your brain just kinda goes with it. When you are bungee jumping, however, and you can read the license plate numbers on the cars below and have shouting conversations with people on the ground? It's like every bad high-dive nightmare you had as a kid, now up at 150' - it taps into a far more primal fear, IMHO...
#23
Old 05-05-2009, 09:01 PM
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I bungeed Verzasca Dam in Switzerland a couple years ago, the highest (722 ft) fixed bungee in the world--reasonably close, anyway.

I found it a little nervewracking (for a geezer like me, anyway) to be so close to the ground. You aren't jumping off into the void. The ground is Right There. It was like jumping off a 50-story skyscraper. And it feels like you get pretty close to the ground before you start rebounding.

I have not skydived, although I may get around to it one of these days. My kids think bungee is a little more anxiety-provoking, but neither seemed to bother them very much. I did notice the anxiety dissipated on stepping off, so maybe after that first stomach knot, both are surprisingly relaxing. Endorphins, I'd guess.
#24
Old 05-06-2009, 09:47 AM
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I'm a little scared of heights. I've static jumped a few times and loved it.

On the other hand, whilst I haven't bungee jumped I have done a gorge swing at Vic Falls. Note that that isn't a bungee cord he's connected to - it's a bog standard rope. Most terrifying moment of my life.
#25
Old 05-06-2009, 11:09 AM
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I've always been terrified of heights. I don't even like looking over railings in malls or hotels with multi-story drops.

Nevertheless, I did three static-line parachute jumps years ago with no real problem. This actually involved climbing out of the plane and hanging from the wing strut before letting go. As others have mentioned, though, the height didn't seem "real." No different than looking out a plane window.

I found rappelling to be terrifying though, and did not like it all during the two times I did in during ROTC training.

I'm pretty sure bungee jumping would be even worse. I can just imagine something coming loose, or the elastic breaking, or the operator miscalibrating the amount of stretch...
#26
Old 05-06-2009, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by robby View Post
I'm pretty sure bungee jumping would be even worse. I can just imagine something coming loose, or the elastic breaking, or the operator miscalibrating the amount of stretch...
With any potentially dangerous activity, part of the fear factor is trust in the operator; part is the primal urge to not undertake the activity.

Skydiving, swings and bungees are all extremely safe in the hands of safe operators. Bungees and swing cords don't break and parachutes open. If the operator is potentially unsafe, that does add an additional fear factor. I find the local shopping center carnival rides as terrifying as the giant amusement park coaster rides (I actually love them both) because I've taken care of the drug-hazed carnies who assemble and operate the local carnival rides.

I am assuming the OP is wondering if the primal fear is different...if we are going to factor in operator-dependent safety, then it's a different equation, and much more specific to the operator and not the venue, at least for me.
#27
Old 05-06-2009, 11:42 AM
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Iíd do the sky dive. My flight instructor also did this on the side. I asked him how many jumps he had. He said about 500. He told me about also having the reserve chute. I asked him if he ever had to use it in those 500 jumps. He said, ďyes, twice.Ē That still just seems alarmingly high to me when your life is on the line. I canít imagine what would be going through my head when I got ready to pull the rip cord to the second chute, after what just happened to my first one. I asked him about that too, and he said he never gave it any thought until he was on the ground. As far as the tandem chute jump thing, I wouldnít do that. Too close for my comfort.

The bungee jumping people donít seem all that professional to me. It also seems more of a rip off, and not all that much fun, anyway.
#28
Old 05-06-2009, 11:43 AM
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I can think of a lot more plausible catastrophic failure modes for bungee jumping than I can for skydiving. Just a single very small tear in a bungee cord (you know, like the ones you find in household rubber bands) would mean the difference between bungee jumping and free-fall, whereas a tear of the same size in a parachute would just mean that it's slightly less efficient. And even if a chute does fail completely, you still have a spare, and the odds are incredibly stacked against having two catastrophic failures.
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#29
Old 05-06-2009, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I can think of a lot more plausible catastrophic failure modes for bungee jumping than I can for skydiving. Just a single very small tear in a bungee cord (you know, like the ones you find in household rubber bands) would mean the difference between bungee jumping and free-fall, whereas a tear of the same size in a parachute would just mean that it's slightly less efficient. And even if a chute does fail completely, you still have a spare, and the odds are incredibly stacked against having two catastrophic failures.
I believe most of the bungee cords consist of many, in case of one failing, thatís supposed to give a safety margin. I've seen many other things go wrong with bungee jumping beside the cord failing. Some can't even calculate the proper length, and allow for the certain weights of heavier individuals. Some have hit the ground, then come back up without the cord breaking. Others have had the cord break, and missed the safety net altogether.

Also for clarification, Iím referring to the people behind the bungee jumping business as the ones not being all that professional. Iíve seen way too many mishaps.
#30
Old 05-06-2009, 12:05 PM
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My instinct is that I would rather skydive. I don't think I would enjoy the rapid change in direction involved with bungee jumping. And as much as I like to pretend I don't, I have a pretty big fear of heights. Airplanes have never bothered me though. It seems to only present itself when standing on some sort of open edge of some structure. I climbed a lighthouse once and when I stepped out onto the deck, I nearly fainted. The floor was grate, so I could see the ground through it and I had a very drastic physical response to it.
#31
Old 05-06-2009, 12:22 PM
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I've been skydiving, once (a static line jump). You're so high up that the distance isn't real. The only thing I was really afraid of (since I'm tall) was jamming my rig into the underside of the wing, triggering the emergency chute, and then either plummeting to my death or wrecking the plane and falling safely while watching everyone else plummet to their deaths.

I don't think I'd ever go bungee jumping. Just thinkin' about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.
#32
Old 05-06-2009, 12:34 PM
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Being at the bottom under the bungee jumper.
#33
Old 05-06-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Parachute instructors need to be certified. Bungee operators need... nothing, AFAIK.
It's not so much the difference between the falls, it's the difference between the equipment and operators that scares me.
#34
Old 05-07-2009, 06:09 AM
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I've been bungee jumping (45m) and enjoyed it immensely, but did it the kiddie way with the cord attached to my back (it was the only type of harness they had). I figured it's gotta be pretty safe because if the cord is going to break, it will do so somewhere near the end of its stretch, so I'd be pretty close to the surface of the water and have alot of kinetic energy absorbed by the cord. It definitely wouldn't be like a total freefall.
I also want to go skydiving, but I think it will be more frightening. I saw a guy on a tv show hang by his knees off of a helicoptor rail, and then just spread out his arms and legs to start falling perfectly head down--that looked like fun.
#35
Old 05-07-2009, 09:40 AM
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Ugh. I hate the idea of both, but skydiving seems worse, if only by a matter of degree. Where's that barfing smiley?
#36
Old 05-07-2009, 02:13 PM
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I'd rather skydive. Hanging upside down by my ankle while rapidly approaching the ground with no backup system doesn't sound too fun.
#37
Old 05-07-2009, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by razncain View Post
...I canít imagine what would be going through my head when I got ready to pull the rip cord to the second chute, after what just happened to my first one. I asked him about that too, and he said he never gave it any thought until he was on the ground.
Before I did my first static line jump, I had to go through about six hours of ground training.

The most important thing that was repeatedly drilled into our heads was that you have NO time to think about what to do if your main chute failed to deploy. At an altitude of 3,000 ft (typical for a static line jump), with NO parachute deployed, you will hit the ground in approximately 20 seconds (depending on the skydiver's angle of attack). It normally takes about 5 seconds for your main chute to open and for the skydiver to verify that the chute is open. If the main canopy fails to deploy, then, you're down to 15 seconds before you hit the ground. However, the next complicating issue is that the reserve chute must be deployed when you are at least 600 feet above the ground, or it won't have enough time to fully inflate before you hit the ground. So all, in all, a static line skydiver has about 5 seconds to figure out that there is a problem with the main canopy and to pull the reserve.

Much of the training, therefore, consisted of the following drill, conducted standing up on the ground, and acting out the actions:

1. RELEASE! (i.e. let go of the wing strut)

2. ARCH! (your back)

3. Count ONE THOUSAND, TWO THOUSAND, THREE THOUSAND, FOUR THOUSAND, CHECK CANOPY!!!!

4. If no chute or bad (i.e. tangled, ripped, streaming) chute: REACH, PULL, count ONE THOUSAND, TWO THOUSAND, THREE THOUSAND, FOUR THOUSAND, CHECK CANOPY!!!!

We must have done that drill a hundred times in a row. I can still remember it, over twenty years later.

FWIW, there was another safety feature, used even back in the 1980s: a safety device that would automatically deploy the reserve chute if the skydiver was going over a certain speed at a certain (low) altitude. This was a backup device that was not to be relied upon, but was a last-ditch chance to save a skydiver who was unconscious or otherwise unable to pull their reserve cord.
#38
Old 05-07-2009, 11:40 PM
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Hmmm. I'm not much to say never, but I'm pretty sure I will never sky dive. That's the stuff nightmares are made of. I've never been adverse to bungee jumping. Haven't done it, but haven't really been in the right place at the right time, either. I think I would (wait for it) jump at the chance. But seriously, for me, it's not about dying, it's about how long you know you're going to die. I can handle death, but not the stress that comes before it.
#39
Old 05-08-2009, 11:37 PM
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Yes they would scare me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#40
Old 05-08-2009, 11:56 PM
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If you asked me this question before I'd ever gone sky diving, I'd still say bungee jumping...

Sky diving isn't so bad, to be honest. I get more thrills on a coaster.
#41
Old 05-09-2009, 02:45 AM
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Never done either, but could probably be convinced to do both. I'm a little surprised by some of the responses because my initial feeling would be that skydiving is scarier, due to not just the lower height of bungee jumping but the fact that you are physically tethered. In skydiving, you're jumping out of a friggin' plane with nothing connected to you from above or below.
#42
Old 05-09-2009, 03:50 AM
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Since I have bad knees, sky diving is absolutely out, if I ever want to walk again. But bungee jumping? I'd probably die of a heart attack before leaving the platform, so it's a moot point.
#43
Old 05-09-2009, 04:22 AM
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Wouldn't do either. And even though I like the idea of drifting under a parachute hundreds of feet in the air, I know that every year a finite number of 'chutes don't open and the jumper(s) die. So I went parasailing off the back of a boat over the ocean. Chute doesn't open you don't go up. Great fun.

I also explained all this to a guy at work who had been given a tandem jump as a birthday gift. He shrugged off my concerns. On Monday when he brought in the video of his jump (filmed one handed by his "instructor") you could clearly see the chute deploy above them and twist about like a flame. They had to release it and use the reserve chute and ended up in a school instead of the open field they were meant to land in. Much of this was not all that visible as the instructor was a little busy. The guy from work had no idea anything had gone wrong until after the event. He never went skydiving again.
#44
Old 05-09-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
...you could clearly see the chute deploy above them and twist about like a flame.
IIRC, this is called a "streamer" (also known as a "screamer").
#45
Old 05-10-2009, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Since I have bad knees, sky diving is absolutely out, if I ever want to walk again. But bungee jumping? I'd probably die of a heart attack before leaving the platform, so it's a moot point.
You don't have to land on your feet.. you can land on your butt too. Kinda fun, actually, especially if the grass is moist.

Last edited by EpicNonsense; 05-10-2009 at 01:41 AM.
#46
Old 05-10-2009, 07:12 AM
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I could sky dive if I had too, but I couldn't image the set of circumstances that would make it mandatory.

Bungee jumping, no way. I'd die first.
#47
Old 05-11-2009, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by EpicNonsense View Post
You don't have to land on your feet.. you can land on your butt too. Kinda fun, actually, especially if the grass is moist.
You can also do the "banana landing" (I have no idea if this is what it was actually called or if it was just the term I mentally tagged it with) where you swing your legs to the side as you land so the impact "rolls up" along your side from your ankles to your hips. (This is the one I went with, since I flared a little bit early and was coming down too fast for me to be comfortable doing a standing landing with my crappy ankles, knees, and hips.)
#48
Old 05-11-2009, 03:27 PM
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I don't want to do either of them. They both sound really scary. I don't like adrenaline rushes for their own sake!
#49
Old 05-12-2009, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Valgard View Post
Freefall is "flying". Bungee jumping is "falling".
Yup. I've done both (tandem a couple of times, multiple bungee jumps off of bridges) and that was my impression.

I'm deathly afraid of heights. Yeah, I know, but hey, "face your fears" and all that jazz, right?

Freefall in a skydive *isn't* scary; it's unreal. Much like trying to visualize the scale of a trillion dollars, you don't sense much danger even hanging out the door of the airplane.

By far, the scariest part of skydiving for me was ironically AFTER our chute opened. . . and then I had plenty of quiet time to stare 3,000 feet underneath my shoes. THAT freaked me out far more than freefall, which is as amazing as everyone imagines.

With bungee jumping, however, it's *already* quiet, and you can see the ground/water, and you get ground rush *immediately*. That's not the thrill of doing something incredible-- that's the thrill of not dying.

Still, I'm glad I've done both, just so I can say that I did.
#50
Old 10-01-2011, 04:14 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2
Bungee jumpih is a lot scarier than Sky diving. I own a bungee jumping buissiness and I still getmore scaredthan I ever been scared skydiving. And I've only went skydiving 2 X's and I have several hundred bungee jumps.skydiving got no ground rush plus your all ready hauling ass moving when you go out the door. when you bungee you start from a dead stop and accelerate...then watch the.rocks zoom right up close to your head.Skydiving was a long awesome experience...but Bungee is way more intense ans SCARY
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