Bungee Jumping Vs. Sky-diving

From personal experience, this is a compare and contrast between bungee jumping and sky-diving.

This material is based on personal experience. Sky-diving jump took place at Raeford Parachute Center in North Carolina in October 2007. Bungee jump took place at Cola de Caballo outside Monterrey, Mexico in October 2010.

It seems people often equate bungee jumping with sky-diving. If you are crazy enough to do one, you are crazy enough to do both. This is not exactly true.

In 2007, I landed a free tandem sky-dive in a town called Raeford. In exchange for the jump and a video of the jump, I wrote a story for the local newspaper I was working for, The Robesonian. Sounded great to me, as the desire to jump had been stirring inside me for several years at that point. Everything was planned out, affirmations from my editor and publisher sent me — excitedly — toward that enticing high.

Bungee jumping actually happened unplanned, for me anyways. In October of this year, I went with my husband and a few friends who wanted to bungee jump. I was planning on maintaining a spectator status. The desire to bungee jump has never hit me. But after I watched several jumpers, I decided the longest bungee jump Mexico offers wasn't so bad. And the 28 USD was a decent price. It was now or never, either I jump today or lock what I thought was already a closed door. So I jumped. And I can't tell you I enjoyed it.

Bungee jumping is a completely different experience. It's scarier, despite the fact that the jump is 34 times shorter in length. The bungee jump was 70 meters or about 230 feet. The sky-dive was an 8,000-foot plunge, or about 2,438 meters. Although the jumps themselves lasted about 60 seconds each, the sky-dive had a calming factor after the speed of falling. As soon as the parachute opens, everything is silent and as the Earth approaches — or rather you approach the Earth — you feel like an astronaut landing on this planet for the first time. There is green and blue everywhere.

While bungee is for those not faint at heart, sky-diving doesn't require as much adventurous stamina. The scariest part of sky-diving is actually stepping out of the plane, but from the moment you do, all fear dissipates. And of course, the first time you do it, you are with someone who knows what they are doing. So you trust in him or her, and that helps. The scariest part of bungee is jumping off the platform and then the consequential fall, because you have no idea when the falling is going to end and it seems you are going to hit the ground if some form of physics doesn't change your destiny.

I literally could not scream in bungee, at least for the initial fall, because I was so petrified. Nothing came out of my mouth, but I could hear my friends onlooking my — um, pain. After the elastic took effect and the fall was no longer a free fall, I felt, surprisingly, better: secure in the fact that the equipment my life was hanging on was actually trustworthy.

In the end, I'm glad I did both, but much happier with my sky-dive adventure. If someone paid my way to go sky-diving again, I'd go in a heartbeat. But someone would have to pay me a lot to go bungee jumping again. Actually I'm not sure they could pay enough.

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Posted on Nov 25, 2010