Ever wanted to throw yourself off a bridge with a rubber band tied around your ankles? To the old untravelled Sarah that would have been a worse fate than poking my own eye out with a red hot needle or listening to back to back Bieber for 24 hours straight. But once I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand the new “the world is my oyster” Sarah decided bungy jumping would be the best way to start 2013 and leap off into the unknown of what was to come (pun 100% intended).
So are you on the” to bungy” or “to-not bungy” precipice? It is a common resting place for those deciding whether to sign up for it, as well as those standing on the edge deciding whether to risk their lives by hurling themselves into nothing but air. To try and help you make an informed decision, here is a look at the pros and cons of bungy.
1. It is expensive.
Unfortunately I thought it would only be in some odd alternate universe where YOU had to pay $200.00 for the privilege of being able to leap from great heights with only a cord to ensure your safety, but sadly not; it is reality. Having said that a lot of the money goes towards the maintenance of the equipment (which you definitely want) and the training of the bungy staff (which again you definitely want) but it is a little on the pricey side. It is important to remember that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the magnitude of that statement also contributes to the price. Alongside the cost of the jump, there may be additional costs for photos or video footage, so keep this in mind. Also buyer beware – most bungy operators do not
offer refunds for “sorry I changed my mind and am peeing my pants I’m so terrified”. However, this does serve as a good incentive to make the leap.
2. It hurts. A little.
Some people may disagree with me on this but I think it is important to point out the possible (albeit slight) injuries that can be sustained. Most people who are hesitant about bungy are worried about the jolt and the bottom. In my experience, this was not actually as bad as I expected – the cord starts to pull you gradually so the shock to your body, and your mind, is not incredibly sudden. However, as your body has completely inverted in a matter of half a second, that is a lot of blood to rush to your head. My head was pounding for the rest of the afternoon after the jump and I’m not sure whether to attribute to this the action of the jump itself or the adrenaline doing mental things to my body. Either way it is not overly pleasant but you feel so stoked that you did it that you almost don’t really care.
1. The operation is very well run
My experience with AJ Hackett Bungy was exemplary. Their staff have to undergo a hugely rigorous training regime before they are allowed to start letting people fly free and they have the best in safety equipment. The process is streamlined and safe and there are plenty of staff to help you every step of the way. Apart from the logistics of the jump itself, their videography and photography team is excellent. They capture your bungy on film and in motion and although it is a tad expensive to purchase at the end, the quality is worth the price. It is made very people friendly and easy to use, which is good – leaving you to concentrate on the main reason you are there; to jump into oblivion!
2. The feeling afterwards
Ok so this is going to sound lame, but I cannot describe how you feel after bungying for the first time. I went tandem with my partner and although I clung to him like a limpet and burst a lung screaming so much, I couldn’t have been more proud of myself when I finished. It is an amazing feat and not something that everyone can say they have done. Yes the bragging rights are worth it alone, but more importantly it is the feeling of accomplishment that you get from conquering your brain who was telling you the whole time that you were mental. You could also not ask for a better backdrop than beautiful New Zealand. Whether you choose to do the Kawarau Bridge jump into the aquamarine blue waters of the river below, or from high above the town on the Ledge jump, or from a tiny podium in the middle of a chasm from the Nevis bungy – there is something special about leaping into the arms of some of the best scenery you will see anywhere in the world. And it lessens the scare factor…well a little anyway!
So there you have it – bungy is not for everyone but it was for me. Would I do it again? I’m not sure. Not just because it is expensive, or because there are only a few places in the world that you can do it safely. But perhaps because I’d like to keep it sacred and have it as the one and only time in my life that I felt what it was like to fly. Good luck and fly you fools!
Copyright Sarah Bown © STI