Done one bungee and you’ve done them all. All that changes is the landscape, right? At least that’s what we used to think.
We’ve since learned from our bungee jumping Jedi masters that this is not the case. In fact, it might surprise you to know that there are roughly 15 different ways to jump and every bungee company has their own preferred way to blow your mind.
We joined Whistler’s veterans of free fall to get their secret tips on a gut-wrenching fall.
When Fear Is No Longer Enough
Bungee jumping is scary the first time because you have no idea what to expect. It’s more the fear of the unknown. But anyone who’s bungee jumped a few times knows that on your 3rd, 4th or 5th time fear isn’t a factor.
According to LiveScience “if the brain knows there is no risk of really being harmed, it experiences this adrenaline rush as enjoyable”.
There’s always a little niggle of “what if something goes wrong” but that is quickly dispelled by rational thinking, the guide’s rigorous safety checks and the thought of “this is going to be awesome”.
So if the adrenaline-junkie’s kick is no longer fuelled by fear, what’s next?
Step Back Outside Of Your Comfort Zone
Talk to anyone who’s bungee jumped or sky dived and they’ll recall the sensation of “feeling alive” immediately afterwards. What really makes adrenaline sports great is the elation you experience when you’re thrust out of the other side of fear. How do you induce fear? Introduce the unknown. Some kind of sensation your brain has never dealt with before.
Our previous jumps had all been with leg harnesses so, to get our fear back, Whistler Bungee recommended we try a body harness that connected to the bungee cord at the chest. That’s not the secret, though.
The Heart-Stopping Secret
The real trick was when they said “Don’t look up at the sky. Look at the bridge as you fall. Keep your eyes on the spot you jumped from it will wrench your gut” – and they weren’t wrong.
Facing backwards you have no visual reference for how far away the river is, and focusing your eyes on one spot also pulls your attention away from how much cord you have. For what seems like an eternity, the familiar sensation of falling towards something, and knowing roughly when the cord will catch you, is replaced with a startling feeling that you have no idea when you’re going to stop.
And bingo. Just like that, the fear was back!
We reignited our love for bungee jumping that day, the next jump might just have to be blindfolded.
Did you know you can book a jump as an add-on to your stay? Just ask the front desk when you arrive or call to book on (888) 913-8811 / (604)-932-2778
Photos by Victoria Farrand