If you are looking for a thrill, try bungee jumping in the Miami, Florida, area. Jumpers can experience the rush of free falling before the cord catches and brings them safely to a stop. Then they rocket back up and fall again, bouncing at the end of an elastic line. You can experience this exhilaration for yourself, and you may discover a new passion for jumping.
Bungee jumping has roots in Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific, where men practiced land diving as a kind of sacrifice to encourage good harvests. They dived using vines, a practice that inspired a group of Oxford University men to invent bungee jumping in 1979.
The defining piece of equipment is the bungee cord. These springy lines can stretch to about three times their original length. A carabiner, like those used in rock climbing, connects the cord to the harness. Usually, jumpers wear a primary and a secondary harness. Harnesses come in various types, and they are defined by where they provide support. You can choose from leg harnesses and body harnesses. Be wary of arm harnesses, as they can cause shoulder dislocation.
Preparation is vital to ensuring a safe bungee jumping experience. At established sites, the owners do the work for you. They calculate the appropriate cord length for the site, making sure to leave a safety margin to accommodate a range of weights in their guests. If you want to explore your own sites, learn about the calculations that go into bungee preparation from a bungee expert. When you are ready to establish your own site, talk to Bungee Safety Consultants for information about creating a safe and successful bungee operation.
Florida has a few places that offer bungee experiences for beginners. In Destin, the Track Family Recreation Center has a 75-foot bungee jumping tower. Kissimmee Bungy has an 80-foot tower. These locations have a double harness attached to one cord, so you bungee with a partner. You can also book a traditional bungee experience through Luxergy, a company that sets up adventures in various locations, including Miami.
If you want to move beyond ride setups, you should find a group to bungee with. The primary cause of injury and death in bungee jumping is human error. Experienced jumpers can point out the best locations and double-check your equipment. If your cord is twice as long as everyone else’s, you will know that something is wrong. Also, if you do encounter a problem, there will be someone to help you. Talk to the people that you meet at bungee sites and sporting goods stores to find other bungee enthusiasts. You can also find an established group, like the Extreme Miami Sports Club.
- Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images