20 things you need to know about bungee jumping off Bloukrans Bridge

Posted by Natasha Clark on 22 July 2013

Bungee jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge was sincerely one of the best, most rewarding moments of my life. I would highly recommend it to anyone else. You get such a rush of pride, adrenalin, accomplishment and energy that you wouldn’t get in another way. Then you get to Facebook, tweet and message all your friends and tell them how awesome you are. You also get pictures, a video and certificate for future bragging rights. If you’re thinking of doing it, here are 20 things you need to know:

Some energy drinks required as we watch the first people jump

1. Bloukrans Bridge bungee is the highest bridge bungee in the WORLD. Not in SA, not Africa – the world. You will be asked to sign an indemnity form that says you do not hold Face Adrenalin responsible for any injuries you might sustain … gulp.

2. On average, out of every ten people that go up, two don’t jump. Your chances of doing the jump is thus 80%

3. If you can make it along the bridge walkway, on the way to the actual jump point, then you’ll be fine. This was by far the scariest part.

The Walkway at Bloukrans Bungee

4. Just because you’re afraid of heights doesn’t mean that you won’t jump. I get vertigo half way up Lion’s Head, and I felt fine at the Bloukrans jump (216m high)

5. It helps to take some sort of ante-anxiety something before. At least an hour before. Be that natural, prescription – take something.

6. The jump costs R750. You don’t get your money back if you chicken out.

7. There is a little bar & café downstairs, with a view of the bridge. Once you ‘check in’, go sit there. Have a drink with friends and watch and talk about it. This was the MAIN thing that eased my mind. From the view, the whole process looks really quick and like not that far a drop.

Looking on at the other jumpers and feeling a tad overwhelmed

8. Have an emotional sponsor. Someone you can call before you go up that always makes sense and talks you in to doing crazy things. Someone that knows you. I called my dad, who is in the RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry / Border War) so basically he jumped out of aircrafts in to combat for years. He was like “You’re jumping off a bridge?” Yes. “Do you have a safety harnass?” Um, yeah. “Is anyone SHOOTING at you?” Erm, no. “Are you going to die?” No it’s very safe. “So then what’s the problem?”

9. Understand that fear is your body’s way of protecting itself. Your mind recognizes a threat and evokes fear as a self defense mechanism. If you can channel your thoughts and convince your body that you’re not trying to inflict harm on yourself, then you’re almost there.

10. You are absolutely not going to die or injure yourself. Face Adrenalin has been running for 23 years without any incidents of any kind.

11. There are other people with you. Everyone is nervous on some level. There might be a resident show-off that is all like “This is my 27th jump, last week I did it backwards and did a somersault first” but all the ‘experienced’ jumpers were really nice, reassuring and encouraging. They also volunteered to go first, which was a bonus!

12. Once you make it over the caged-in walkway, on to the platform – everything changes. House music, great vibe and atmosphere. The Face Adrenalin team are really really friendly, energetic and helpful. They make jokes, help you with your gear, take pictures of you and jam to the music as they work. Really, they were so nice.

The Face Adrenalin team, pulling my bungee rope back up. Eeeek!

13. You are going to be scared on some level. You know you are. You’re about to jump off a bridge, tied to a rope around your ankles. All you can see in front of you is mountains and you haven’t even looked down yet.

14. When they pull the first jumpers up, they come back to the same platform where you’re about to go. Everyone I saw came up full of energy, adrenalin and joy. There is also an element of pride attached to all of it, that you conquered your fear and inhibitions.

Right here I am trying to stay calm. I sorta just look terrified, right?

15. When it’s your turn, things move fast. The music is going and you’ll be asked to sit on a stool where they’ll put your ankle straps on, tighten the padding and attach your back-up harness around your shoulders and waist.

16. Two guys will grab you under each shoulder and lead you to The Platform. Whatever you do, promise me you won’t look down. You are going to have every opportunity to look down in a moment’s time. Don’t do it here. The guys will position you so that your toes are sticking over the edge. At this point I was terrified, but focused. When they let go of me I got a huge fright and almost burst in to girl tears because you worry you’ll fall. You won’t.

17. This is it. This right here is your moment. Look forward, smile and swan-dive like you’re at your primary school gala about to do your first freestyle swim.

18. The air is going to rush past you at an incredible speed, air will will your mouth and you might close your eyes for the first few seconds.

19. When the rope catches you, it’s not a thug or a jolt – you’re not even aware that you’re going back up until your scenery changes and you open your eyes. Then it’s so quiet, so peaceful, not as fast. You can see the stream at the bottom, hear birds and the echo of your own breath / screams of terror. Personally, once I stopped falling that fast, I started swearing a lot. From gratitude, fear, happiness – I don’t know, all I know is that Getaway can never publish my GoPro footage. It’s so peaceful and in that moment right there: You’re flying. You’re loving it. You’ll keep elasticizing up and down for a while like that, about a minute or two. Honestly, at one point I felt like my foot braces were going to slip off, but they can’t.  Before you know it you hear someone’s voice.

20. One of the Face Adrenalin guys comes down abseil style to fetch you. He clips you to his harness (at this point I clung on to him and said “hold me”) and they laugh and pull you back up to the platform in a few seconds.

That's the last thing I saw before I jumped, and that's my face as I came back up!

I phoned my dad straight after. I was like “I DID ITTTTT! I jumped off the highest bridge bungee in the WORLLLLD!!!” and he was like “Ja I don’t know how you did that, that’s crazy – I would NEVER bungee jump, ever. Like who are you?” Thanks dad. Also, there is the video of my glory moment!

 






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