Monday, May 07, 2007

The Art of Base Jumping

As a kid, I often dreamed about skydiving after I watched terrible movies like "Terminal Velocity" and "Drop Zone." I still hope to do it some day.

However, it wasn't long before I discovered another sport that I found far more compelling: Base jumping.

According to Wikipedia, "Base" is actually an acronym that stands for four categories of objects from which people typically jump.

  • Building
  • Antenna (an uninhabited tower such as an aerial mast)
  • Span (a bridge or arch)
  • Earth (a cliff or other natural formation)
Base jumping is much more dangerous than sky diving for 3 main reasons:

1) Because the relative distance they fall is so much smaller, base jumpers often don't achieve terminal velocity, which makes it harder for their parachutes to open when deployed.
2) Because base jumping can sometimes take place in densely populated areas, finding a good place to land can sometimes be a bigger challenge.
3) Because base jumpers by definition jump off of a fixed object, there's a potential risk of coming into physical content with the object (E.g. a cliff face or building).

Anyway, here's some videos. I found the second one particularly awesome. Enjoy :)

Incredible video by freefall cinematographer Edgar Kraus -

(From Youtube user Base885)

(From Youtube user badpingoin)

(From Youtube user ninja)

(From Youtube user rob86879)

How can wing suits look so silly and yet be so awesome at the same time? -

(Youtube user unclecharlie95)

BONUS: Video of someone trying to recreate the "Goldeneye" bungie jump (one of my favorite 007 opening stunts):

(from youtube user rahulunlimited)