Bungee jumping feels like nothing else you will ever experience. As a seasoned bungee jumper, I wanted to share with you my experience stories plus those of others. In this article you can read how I describe bungee jumping, what happens to your body, and then input from other people who have done it – enjoy the ride!
What does bungee jumping feel like? Bungee jumping feels like nothing I can compare it to. You step off into the air, which is a surreal experience, then fall with the wind rushing past you. The jerk back up and couple of bounces are usually very smooth.
That’s my short answer, but I wanted to go more in-depth as last week my friend asked me “how do you describe bungee jumping”… it was tough to answer in just a few moment so I decided to write the entire experience down in one go. And here it is!
How I would describe bungee jumping in detail
I remember my first ever bungee jump in very clear detail. I looked up at the platform in Thailand and honestly didn’t think it was that high… until I got up there. As someone who tends to over think things, I was lucky enough to be jumping with my wife, so there was no backing out.
As we were taken up to the jump platform, my nerves were starting to get the better of me. With my wife behind me though, there was no going back down. As I stood up on the platform, I had a minor panic attack, but steadied myself with calm breathing exercises.
Handy Hint: I’ve developed a guide for beginners to help them mentally prepare for their first ever bungee jump. Take a look at that if you are scared.
I inched my way towards the end of the jump platform, and did the wrong thing… I looked down. Never do this! I couldn’t believe how high I was, it was so much more of a drop compared to what it looked like from down below.
But it was too late now. I was committed.
As well as my wife, there were also spectators down below so there was no way my pride was going to let me stop now.
I took a couple of steps to the end of the platform and then was then give the signal to go. Using some kind of Jedi mind trick I managed to convince myself that bungee jumping would feel fine and stepped off with my eyes closed.
You fall through the air in free fall, and I had to open my eyes at this point. I was falling like a star fish which probably didn’t look that elegant! I could feel the wind rushing past me and into my eyes, and the adrenalin was insane.
I literally could not breathe for the few seconds that it took for the bungee cord to extend and then bounce. Yes, I did scream.
And here’s the thing; I was expecting the tension and bounce to be painful or a very hard jerk, but it wasn’t at all.
As I shot back up, the entire movement was very smooth, and on the second downwards fall I was so much calmer. I was actually laughing like a maniac at this point.
I bounced for a few times and was left hanging in the air. It’s almost like time stands still at this point, and I felt a huge feeling of calm.
The operators lowered me down onto a little boat over the water where the rest of the team un-clipped me.
I just wanted to get back up there and do it all over again. I was absolutely buzzing!
What bungee jumping feels like from start to end
From start to finish, this is what bungee jumping feels like and how I would describe it.
- Nerves and possible panic before you step off.
- Massive euphoria and adrenaline powered fear as you fall with possible screaming.
- Smooth jerk back up and maniacal laughing.
- Few bounces and then hanging where you feel calm but buzzing at the same time.
- You probably will then want to do it again!
- A feeling of an insane natural high for the rest of the day (possibly even days).
This is my personal bungee jumping experience story. It might be different for you, but most people you talk to with give you a similar description of what bungee jumping feels like.
You can read more experiences lower down the page, but first let me answer some more specific questions about what bungee jumping feels like, what to expect, what happens to your body, and whether your stomach drops (a common question).
Handy Hint: Did you know that bungee jumping is said to originate thousands of years ago? Check out the history of bungee up to the modern day.
What happens to your body when bungee jumping?
I don’t want to panic you, but bungee jumping can be dangerous. Whilst fatalities are quite rare (see bungee death statistics), it can do things to your body that in normal circumstances you would not subject it to.
The falling part isn’t the issue. It’s the point at which the bungee cord stretches to the full length and tension. At this point, it can pull you back with a lot of force, and suddenly too. Whilst my experience was a good one, other people have said the tug back was very painful.
The types of injuries that can happen include:
- Eye injuries: blood pressure in your eye’s blood vessels can suddenly increase, and some people have reported temporary vision loss, spots, and retinal haemorrhaging.
- Spinal injury: the force of the bungee cord being pulled back can lead to spinal fractures and herniated discs. There is a small risk of paralysis and quadriplegia.
- Neck injury: your neck muscles can strain leading to temporary discomfort. In more serious cases a neck and spinal injury can occur, or even possible strangulation from the bungee cord.
Scary stuff isn’t it?
Thankfully it is rare, but they are still risks you need to weigh up. There are some seriously frightening things that can happen to your body when bungee jumping.
Handy Hint: I also asked 13 paragliders what it feels like to paraglide. You can see what they said in this other blog post.
Does your stomach drop when bungee jumping?
Your stomach does drop during a bungee jump. It feels like your stomach is either sinking or going right up. You know that horrible stomach drop you feel to a lesser extent when on a rollercoaster – well, magnify that one hundred times.
The stomach drop feeling only last for a few seconds as you fall, but it is definitely part of the experience and most people will feel it until they start dangling.
Does bungee jumping feel like a rollercoaster?
Bungee jumping does sort of feel like the feeling you get on a rollercoaster, but it’s a lot more intense. It’s the whole stomach drop feeling I described in the previous question.
How fast do you fall when bungee jumping?
How fast you fall when bungee jumping will depend on the height of the jump. The higher the bungee jump, the more time you have to accelerate to a top speed.
As an example, the Macau Tower bungee jump is said to offer a top falling speed of 124 miles per hour (200 km/h). The falls take 4 to 5 seconds to complete, as you jump from a height of 223 meters.
Other people’s bungee jumping experience stories
I didn’t want you to just rely on my experiences, so here are a few stories from other first-time bungee jumpers.
“Nothing beats jumping off a bridge from 120 meters. If you’re scared of heights like me, it’s an even bigger achievement. I felt like I was flying and once I got back down to the ground honestly felt like I could put my mind to anything. That’s what bungee jumping feels like; it makes you feel invincible and motivated!”
“Even after two of three jumps you will still feel scared, but that’s what makes it. Bungee making makes you confront your fears head-on. Once you leap it feels like you are completely alone. Your brain takes over, and you think you’re going to die… but of course, you aren’t. It’s a massive thrill.”
“I can honestly say that I felt nothing. I think my mind went completely blank! I jumped in tandem with my boyfriend and he said I was screaming all the way down, but I have no recollection of this happening. All I remember feeling is the bouncing back up!”
“You feel the adrenalin pumping. Then you step off and what seems like a second just hang there before the fall. As you fall you feel like you are completely free. After a few seconds the feeling is over. It’s over in a blink of an eye. Amazing experience.”
Yes, there are risks involved with bungee jumping, but statistically the chance of injury is quite slim. If you can face your fears and make the leap, I guarantee you that you will want to do it again… you will want a repeat you got of that feeling from bungee jumping.
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If you’re going to try this extreme sport out for the first time, you might want to read the micro-guides below.