Learn to Base Jump: Information, Locations,
Discussions, Equipment, Pictures & More
GoPro: Matthias Giraud – B.A.S.E. Jumping in Iceland
Choose a state for BASE jumping:
Base jumping is parachuting from a fixed object (base). B.A.S.E. jumping is a coined acronym which stands for Buildings, Antennae, Spans, and Earth. If you’ve jumped at least once from each of these categories, you can apply for a BASE number. Base #1 was awarded in 1981 after Phil Smith completed the final category by jumping from a Houston, TX skyscraper. Currently over 1,400 BASE numbers have been issued.
Base jumping became popular in the 80’s and surged in interest along with extreme sports in the 90’s. Originally jumpers would use skydiving parachutes but specialized equipment has been designed specifically for base jumpers. The parachutes feature specialized harnesses, chute containers, and extra-large pilot chutes. A static line can be used for very quick parachute deployment which makes jumping at lower altitudes possible. The static line prepares the parachute by stretching it out and deploys the chute immediately after the jump. Many jumpers will only have one parachute as the time constraint makes it difficult for a reserve parachute to be helpful. The parachute needs sufficient time to open and secure the jumper before reaching the ground. A base jump is not considered a freefall as the parachute is deployed almost immediately after jumping. Jumpers experience slower speeds than skydiving and will rarely reach terminal velocity.
Base jumping is more dangerous and requires more skill than skydiving because faster mental decisions are needed due to the time constraint. Skydivers have more time to stabilize their position whereas base jumpers may tumble if they cannot gain stability shortly after the jump. There is a high risk of entanglement if the jumper tumbles when opening their parachute. Jumpers typically fly their chute no more than 30 seconds before reaching the ground. With very low altitudes a jumper may only have 10 second before landing. So if an error is made or problem occurs, there would be little time to correct the issue.
Thrill is gained by adding parachuting to new locations. There are legal issues to address before attempting a base jump because permission is needed for both the object and the landing area. Many jumps are made covertly because of the strict laws. Jumpers and a ground crew who do not obtain permission can expect to be charged with trespassing, breaking and entering, reckless endangerment, and vandalism if caught.
Despite being one of the most dangerous recreational activities and having a high fatality rate, base jumping is loved by thousands. Deaths occur on a regular basis due to an in-air object strike, parachute issues, ground impact and problems with the landing area. It’s easy to see why it has gained the reputation as the daredevil sport.
Equipment for BASE Jumping
B.A.S.E. Jumping: Sick Base Jumps!
Alexander Polli, Tracksuit, Wingsuit Flying: Reality Of Human Flight
GoPro HD: Jeb Corliss and Roberta Mancino – Wingsuit Flyers