Skydiving Vs. Bungee Jumping: Which Is Safer?

While some folks think adrenaline junkies have a few screws loose, we know better. We have no drive to dive blindly into a dangerous situation. In fact, we are pretty rational people. So since you’re thinking about taking your leap, you have probably been wondering: which is safer – skydiving vs bungee jumping? Well, we’re here to help you find the answer.

Falling vs Flying

Skydiving and bungee jumping both require you take a step forward, and consequently, right out of your comfort zone. Whether this “step” is off a ledge or from the door of an airplane, the step itself is nothing to scoff at. In fact, for both, the fear of heights might come into play. If you’re afraid of finding yourself in high places, join the club! Many people who jump with us at Long Island Skydiving center have a fear of heights. If this is the case for you, don’t worry. We’re prepared to help you feel secure and comfortable. For your tandem skydive, you are paired with a highly trained instructor. On that bungee jump? You’re making the leap alone.

Also, while it’s not necessarily a matter of safety – when skydiving, you don’t notice how high you really are, and your fear of flights won’t come into play quite as much. This is due to the lack of objects relative to you at 10,000 feet (which is about where you’ll be when you make your skydive) for your brain to triangulate your position.

In skydiving, after you leave the airplane and pick up speed, you begin to reach terminal velocity. That “fall” tends to feels more like flying than dropping. Bungee jumping, however, definitely feels like a fall, and will give you that sinking-stomach feeling. It is over in a few short seconds, and then you sort of dangle/hang there until you are lowered down to the ground. Just doesn’t sound as breathtakingly glorious as freefalling for 45 seconds around 120mph – now does it?

Skilled Sport Vs One-Time Thrill

As experience junkies, we are always looking for more. With bungee jumping, all’s you get is a short thrill. Because of how your body adapts, each time you take the leap, you get a little less of that satisfying adrenaline buzz. There is also no skill to develop and no further learning to be done. Each time is the same. The only thing you can change is the location you make the leap from, and how confidently you take the first step.

Skydiving is a different matter entirely. With skydiving, there is a vast new world just waiting to be explored. Skydiving is a burgeoning sport with tons to learn and become involved in. There are various skydiving disciplines to keep you challenged, and there is always a new skill to master. The envelope is always being pushed. Just recently there was a world record attempt to create a formation with 200 people while flying on their heads! So, unlike bungee jumping, you can really add others to the mix. If you are looking for a sport to be challenged by and to progress in, skydiving might just be right up your alley.

So – Skydiving vs Bungee Jumping: Which Is Safer?

As with all extreme sports, there is a degree of risk involved in both bungee jumping and skydiving. However, in both sports, a great deal is done to mitigate those risks, and consistent developments in technology and state-of-the-art equipment continue to make each safer. The United States Parachute Association has been gathering data on skydiving to produce statistics on skydiving safety since the 70’s. The most recent data gathered reveals that skydiving is continuing to improve its safety record. The track record for tandem skydiving is even better. Over the past decade, there has been one student fatality per 500,000 tandem jumps. The National Safety Council says a person is more likely to be killed being stung by a bee or struck by lightning than during tandem skydiving. Bungee jumping sports the same fatality rate or 1 in 500,000.

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When it comes to safety, bungee jumping and skydiving are right on par. As you can see, though, the nature of the experience is quite a bit different.

Think skydiving might be for you and want to get started? Book your skydive with Long Island Skydiving Today!

Injuries From Bungee Jumping

Girl bungee jumping

Bungee jumping may give you great thrills, but also may leave you with great injuries. After you free fall, the bungee cord tugs you back upward with a sudden and great force. The combination of this extreme force and dangling from a cord can cause varying degrees of injuries your eyes, spine and neck that can even be severe enough to result in death.

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Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are commonly the result of bungee jumps because of the dangerously high increase in pressure that occurs in the eyes. When the elastic chord suddenly jerks you upward, it causes fluid to flow to your head, which results in very high blood pressure inside the blood vessels in your eyes. Your retina — the thin layer of cells at the back of your eye that directly connects to your brain–and your conjunctiva — the thin mucous lining over your eyes — can be negatively affected by this increase in pressure. Injuries to these areas of your eyes usually cause temporary impairment of vision, explain Mario Cesar Moreira de Araujo, M.D. and Marcelo Riccio Facio, M.D. in a Sports Medicine article. Eye infections, seeing spots and hemorrhages may also occur.

Spine Injuries

The extreme forces your body is subject to as it is pulled back upward by the bungee cord can injure the vertebrae of your spine and the delicate spinal cord that they protect. Injuries typically include compression fractures — broken bones in the spine — and herniated discs and spaces between the vertebrae. While these injuries can be healed, they can also be severe and permanent. If the spinal cord inside the vertebrae is damaged it can result in forms of paralysis and quadriplegia — the inability to move your arms and legs.

Neck Injuries

Your neck is at risk during a bungee jump, and injury to it can range from mild to severe. The force on this fragile part of your body that connects your brain to your spinal cord during the final stage of the jump can be enough to strain your neck muscles, and cause pain and a temporary decrease in range of motion. There have also been instances of the bungee cord accidentally entangling a jumper’s neck. When this happens, it can cut off blood flow between the heart and the brain, or strangle the jumper and make him unable to breathe. In these instances, the jumper needs to be rescued immediately to prevent death.

Death

Death, unfortunately, does occasionally occur as a result of bungee jumping. If a jumper’s neck is entangled in the cord for even a few minutes, his brain cannot get enough oxygen and his injury will be fatal. Another common reason people sustain fatal injuries from bungee jumping is because the cord is too long. People incorrectly take into account the elasticity of the cord and hit their heads on the ground, dying from impact. Even professional bungee jumpers make these mistakes and are at risk for fatal injuries. The day before the Super Bowl in 1997, a professional bungee jumper who was practicing for the halftime show at the Superdome hit her head on the cement floor during a jump and died from head injuries.

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How Dangerous is Bungee Jumping?

how dangerous is bungee jumping

Any adrenaline-seeker wants to try bungee jumping, just one of several thrilling extreme sports. Bungee jumping may be for you if you appreciate taking significant risks. However, you have to wonder: just how dangerous is bungee jumping?

What is Bungee Jumping?

When bungee jumping, the ankles are secured to a thick, elastic cord, allowing the jumper to land on their feet first. Bungee jumpers often launch themselves from tall structures like skyscrapers, bridges, or cranes. However, it has also been accomplished by moving objects.

As the jumper falls freely from a height, the cord extends, and as the line bounces back, the momentum lifts the jumper upwards. The elastic cord keeps moving up and down in a trampoline-like pattern until it runs out of juice.

The majority of bungee operations around the world are managed by skilled and knowledgeable professionals who use the best and most reliable equipment. They also abide by strict safety regulations. Although falling from such heights can seem alarming, bungee jumping is a risk-free hobby with a stellar safety record.

Bungee Jumping Equipment

Bungee jumping involves an elastic rope called a braided shock cable attached to the jumper’s ankle. The majority of bungee cables are made of natural rubber, which is used because of its inherent elasticity. For bungee jumping, a body and leg harnesses are connected to the line (back-up for the ankle attachment, for safety purposes).

The Risks of Bungee Jumping

You might still not be convinced that bungee jumping is safe. Here are the risks you should be aware of when considering how dangerous is bungee jumping.

Eye Injuries

Bungee jumping frequently leads to eye injuries because of the sharply increased pressure in the eyes. The sudden upward jerk of the elastic chord causes fluid to rush to your brain, increasing the blood pressure inside the blood vessels in your eyes.

This pressure increase can destroy your retina, the layer of cells at the back of your eye that directly communicates with your brain, as well as your conjunctiva, the thin mucous membrane covering your eyes. Usually, injuries to these areas of your eyes cause a temporary loss of vision. Spots, eye infections, and hemorrhages are all possible.

Spine Injuries

Your spine’s vertebrae and the delicate spinal cord they are supposed to protect could be harmed by the intense pressures your body encounters when the bungee cord pulls it back up. The most frequent injuries are compression fractures, broken bones in the spine, herniated discs, and spaces between the vertebrae.

Although these wounds are treatable, they can become too severe and irreparable. If the spinal cord within the vertebrae is damaged, quadriplegia, or the inability to move your arms and legs, may result.

Neck Injuries

Your neck is at risk when you bungee jump, and injuries can range from minor to severe. The final part of the jump can cause enough force to press against your neck muscles, cause pain, and briefly limit your range of motion by applying pressure to the delicate area of your body that connects your brain and spinal cord.

Additionally, a jumper’s neck has on occasion mistakenly become wrapped up in the bungee cord. When this happens, it can choke the jumper and restrict the blood flow to their brain, making breathing difficult or impossible. In these circumstances, the jumper must be saved as soon as possible to prevent death.

Death

Unfortunately, deaths from bungee jumping can occur infrequently. If a jumper’s neck gets twisted in the cord for even a short period, his injury will be deadly. He is unable to get enough oxygen to his brain. Another frequent reason for fatal bungee jumping injuries is a too-long cable.

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Because they neglected to consider the cord’s elasticity, individuals tumble and hit their skulls on the ground, dying from the impact. Even seasoned bungee jumpers can make these mistakes and endanger their lives. The day prior to the Super Bowl in 1997, a professional bungee jumper practicing for the halftime show at the Superdome banged her head on the cement floor during a jump and died due to head trauma.

Health Risks

Given that bungee jumping is a relatively new sport, it is difficult to establish whether there are any long-term health risks. According to doctors who have studied bungee jumpers, the hazards are minimal in the short term.

The most common complaint among jumpers in the moments after their jump is dizziness. This annoyance usually goes away before the day is over. A tiny percentage of participants said they experienced back or ankle musculoskeletal pain a few days after their jump. However, this pain usually went away soon.

How to Make Bungee Jumping Safe?

what is bungee jumping

For a leap to be deemed safe, the bungee cord needs to be tied off in a secure location that won’t be affected by the additional weight. Steel railings or safety fences frequently provide great anchor points. Professionals will also ensure that the bungee rope is tied with weight-bearing knots to hold even while the jumpers are being pushed downward by gravity.

Some companies may place airbags, webbing, or slings directly below the jump space to guarantee jumpers’ safety. Locations with webbing and airbags might make the first jump for beginners safer.

Optimal Weather

Since the equipment might not operate properly in the rain, snow, or other unideal weather conditions, certain businesses may need to postpone jumps. Additionally, locations with low vision and unstable wind conditions are more likely to result in injuries.
A jump aspect that increases risk should be avoided. Work with experts and take all the safety measures you can.

Ideal Clothing

Although there isn’t a set dress code for this sport, some attire helps maintain safety. Avoid wearing too loose clothing since it can restrict the bungee cord. Remove any jewelry or anything that could be dangerous if they fell off or came loose before jumping. Among them are spectacles, contact lenses, and jewelry.

Training

Whether you are a novice, a lightly experienced, or a professional bungee jumper, there are three-part programs that teach skills like the inspection, testing, and maintenance of bungee equipment and how to use them. An apprenticeship period, bungee training, and rescue training make up the teachings.

Minimum Requirements

The minimal requirements for each bungee operation would vary based on the height and complexity of the jump. The minimum age is usually 12 to 14 years old, and the maximum weight is typically 110 kg, provided that you are in decent physical and mental shape. 35 kg is the required minimum weight.

Medical Conditions

Women who are pregnant, those with high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, illnesses of the legs, back, respiratory system, or circulatory system, as well as those who have just had surgery, are advised against bungee jumping and should instead consult their doctors beforehand.

Last Word

How dangerous is bungee jumping? Bungee jumping comes with risks, but so do all extreme sports. But as long as you prioritize safety and minimize risks, the activity can be safe and fun for you.

Source https://www.longislandskydiving.com/blog/skydiving-vs-bungee-jumping-which-is-safer/

Source https://www.livestrong.com/article/382832-injuries-from-bungee-jumping/

Source https://caverntours.com/how-dangerous-is-bungee-jumping/

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