BASE jumping is parachuting or wing suit flying from a fixed structure or a cliff. It is considered a fringe sport. It is extremely dangerous that’s why it is illegal in other places, however, it is permitted. It became known to the public by depiction of BASE jumping in a number of action movies.
The word “BASE” is an acronym that stands for four categories that BASE jumper leaps from:
• BUILDING – Base jumpers who jumps from building sometimes experience difficulties since most places have security, locked doors and other obstacles that prevents someone from climbing to the top and leaping off. Many of them prefers skyscrapers that are still under construction for this reason.
• ANTENNAS – Antenna towers are popular jumping points because they are often as tall as the world’s tallest buildings. They are also easier to climb and have lesser security.
• SPANS – Spans or bridges have to cross over large canyons or gorges to be a suitable site for BASE jumping.
• EARTH – It refers to the large natural forms that are suitable for base jumping (e.g. cliffs, canyons, fjords and gorges).
BASE jumping grew out of skydiving. BASE jumps are generally made from much lower altitudes than skydives, and a BASE jump takes place close to the object serving as the jump platform.
One of the most interesting aspects of BASE jumping is that it includes a combination of skills in order to practice it. Many are attracted to this sport because you need to be a good mountaineer, a decent climber and you have to enjoy nature, hiking and the outdoors in general. You need to be a skilled canopy pilot, a decent acrobat, you need to know about wind and weather conditions in urban environments. You should also be in great physical shape in order to make the getaway
How BASE Jumping Works
BASE jumping is a very crucial and dangerous activity. One little mistake can result to death. Generally, base jumpers have 100 regular skydiving jumps under their belt before they attempt a BASE jump. Most of them have mentors who teaches them skills on how to jump safely. You need to really have a proper training, a lot of thought, experience and insurance policy before attempting to do BASE jumping.
BASE jumping is essentially a variation of skydiving. BASE jumpers uses modern ram-air parachutes. Ram-air parachutes are rectangular to give the jumper greater control over direction and speed once it has been deployed. Don’t be confused by skydiving and BASE jumping gears.
There are two major obstacles that a base jumper have to overcome. The low altitude and the proximity of the BASE object. Many BASE jumps starts out well below 2,000 feet. Skyscrapers and antenna towers are usually 1,000 to 1,500 feet tall and because of that, jumpers have to deploy their parachutes quickly.
Some BASE jumpers use a larger pilot chute. It is a small parachute that drags open the main chute. Larger pilot chutes catches more air, create more drag and open main chutes more quickly. They are helpful because low altitude jumps force jumpers to achieve a freefalling human’s terminal velocity. A larger chute is more effective for lower speeds because the air pressure in the chute is reduced.
BASE Jumping Tips
As mentioned above, BASE jumping is a very dangerous activity. Below are some of the tips that you need to keep in mind before attempting to do base jumping. Remember, in base jumping, knowledge is the key to survival.
1. Seek out proper training and mentoring. It is recommended that you enroll yourself in base jumping training to acquire enough knowledge about base jumping.
2. You need to have a minimum of 200 skydive jumps.
3. Learn how to use the equipment. Make sure that you do a background check on how to use all the equipment needed for BASE jumping.
4. Check the weather before doing such activity. Jumping with a bad weather is too dangerous.
5. Find a perfect site to BASE jump.
6. If you’re a beginner, don’t do BASE jumping alone. It is better that you have somebody with you that is an experienced BASE jumper so that there’s someone that could help you in case of trouble.
7. Learn how to fold your sail. You must do it perfectly so that the opening of the parachute is not bad. A bad opening will lead you to a way you didn’t want to go.