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Bungee Jumping in Canada

Bungee jumping in Canada is considered as one of the most extreme sports or recreational activities, in which a person attempts to jump from a very high structure. The jumper wears a harness attached to an elastic cord. The other end of the cord is then properly secured on a specified area of the jumping surface.

Basically the elastic cord that is used in Canadian bungee jumping is able to bounce back and forth the jumper when it reaches the end of the cord. The action will go on until the tension from the cord has depleted.

Bungee jumping in Canada may use areas that have structures that are usually hundred meters in height such as high-rise buildings, bridges, crane, cliffs, mountains and sometimes even being done with the use of helicopters that hover in specific positions. After a successful jump, the jumper is then put to the ground and detached from the elastic cord by a crane.

How Bungee Jumping Began

In 1930, the word bungee was used as a name for an eraser made of rubber while the word bungy was to describe an elastic strap. A. J. Hackett, a jumper from New Zealand and one of the most popular bungee jumping operators among all other countries, popularized the term “bungy”. The elastic cord as what is known today was called “bungee cord” during the early years of the sport.

Bungee jumping is the commonly used term while bungy jumping is a slang term but both terms are actually the same in meaning.

This extreme sport has been witnessed way back in 1950 when some men in the Pentecost Island in Vanuatu were tied with ordinary vines and leaped from a high wooden structure. David Attenborough who is a crewmember of BBC caught the activity on camera.

Among the first modern bungee jumpers includes members of the Dangerous Sports Club when they made a 250-foot jump at the Clifton Suspension Bridge in April 1979. Similar activities have been made in several locations in different countries.

Bungee jumping began its widespread acceptance and later on became one of the most popular extreme sports in many countries, including Canada.

Being an extreme sport, bungee jumping has its share of dangers. The most tragic bungee jumping event in Canada was witnessed in August 1998 when Jerome Charron dared to jump at the Ottawa Exhibition in Ontario but died because his harness was detached from the elastic cord, which caused him to fall to his death.

Though there are reports of accidents caused by bungee jumping, these are merely due to human errors; it did not stop bungee jumping in Canada from becoming even more popular. Canadian bungee jumping continuously gained popularity among extreme sports enthusiasts and has led many organizations to form their own team of jumpers.

There are also many who have put up their own companies as operators for bungee jumping in Canada and have made good profits from it. In addition, there have been numerous locations in major cities in the country that became permanent sites for bungee jumping in Canada. These consist of indoor and outdoor bungee jumping locations. Travel agencies also bundles the sport in their vacation packages.

Canadian bungee jumping often includes the use of some of the best bungee jumping sites, including The Goliath, which is a 200-foot jump from a cliff surrounded by solid limestone that features a very large lagoon.

Equipments Used in Bungee Jumping

Just like in many extreme sports, bungee jumping requires special equipment. The elastic cord is the most crucial equipment in bungee jumping. Modern cords are factory manufactured which feature durable materials for the safety of jumpers. The elastic cords are made up of latex strands that are covered by a durable material.

A harness is also an essential gear for the sport that is similar to what mountain climbers use. The harness consists of several hooks to secure the elastic cord to the body of the jumper. There are harnesses designed to be used either for the body or for the legs. Crane cages are mainly used to lower jumpers to the ground.

Most Canadian bungee jumping participants use the body harness because they can easily move their arms and legs, which is very convenient especially when doing body spins. Some of the jumpers especially those wanting to have more thrills use the leg harness. This is the most thrilling harnessing because the jumper will be suspended upside down with headfirst.

Safety Measures for Canadian Bungee Jumping

Ever since bungee jumping in Canada became very popular, major concerns have been raised regarding the safety of jumpers. The most common causes of accidents in Canadian bungee jumping include the following:

  • Miscalculation of the elastic cord’s elasticity
  • Unsecured harness and equipments
  • Insufficient safety gears
In order to prevent accidents, many Canadian bungee jumping operators developed better safety standards and imposed strict compliance with the guidelines. It is required that equipments especially harnesses are thoroughly inspected before any attempts of jumping are performed. Some operators of Canadian bungee jumping also require jumpers to use leg and body harness for better safety.

And if you think you haven't had enough of the adrenaline rush produced by bungee jumping, you can try flying in Canada, as well. And if you want the same feeling of reckless abandon that you get with bungee jumping, try skydiving in Canada too.
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