Wow, what a weekend. Our friends at the UK Bungee Club travel all over the UK to provide extreme thrills, and this week they came to our home town of Brighton! As is an annual tradition, we headed down to the marina where the 160ft crane had been set up, to have a go. Being the new intern, this was my first time, so it’s fair to say I was slightly nervous, and by slightly I mean VERY.
We arrived at about 5 in the afternoon, the sun was still shining and the rain just about held off, so the jumps were still going strong. As I approached, one poor soul was being lifted up in the cage to the dizzying height of 160ft. I decided to hang back a bit and watch what was about to happen, just so I knew what I was letting myself in for. After a brief pause at the top, the cage door swung open and the man approached the edge, another pause, then he was flying. It was so fast! I don’t know why I was imagining a smooth glide, humans are pretty heavy so it wasn’t long before he was springing back up, then bobbing around until the guys on the ground grabbed his hands and brought him back to earth.
Now that I’d seen what was about to happen, I quickly arranged my features into what I thought was a facsimile of confidence, before joining my colleagues.
Jumping that day would be myself, Aaron and Renata. I was the only one who had never done a bungee jump before, so I was full of questions for the other two on what it would be like. After watching a few more people jump, I felt a tap on my shoulder – my mum and dad had come down to watch! This means I had to do it, no excuses.
Aaron went first because he was the most confident, and was doing two jumps in a row (show-off). With a GoPro strapped to his head (dashing), he was ready to go. It doesn’t take long for the crane to winch the cage up to 160ft, then there’s just enough time to admire the view before jumping out. I think one of Aaron’s aims was to get as much distance on the jump as possible, so in his best impersonation of Superman, he launched himself from the cage. Quite impressive! Back on solid ground, he was straight back into the cage and up again, this time to do a backwards jump! Watching him lean backwards out of the cage was quite nerve-racking (for me, I’m sure he was fine), then he let go and fell to earth.
Up next was Renata, looking slightly less confident than Aaron. Again she rose to the top, waited a while, then jumped from the cage. That was it! My turn. One of the Bungee Club guys, Charlie, attached my ankles to the cord and clipped me into a harness. After hopping into the cage, I sat down and we started to ascend. I could tell Dave, who was in the cage with me, was trying to calm my nerves, and I thought I was putting on a pretty good show of confidence, but according to my boss I was ‘white as a sheet’, so maybe not. I have to admit, despite my churning stomach, I did manage to appreciate the views at the top. With the sun setting in the distance and the ocean laid out in front of you, it really is quite beautiful.
No time to get sentimental though! A quick glance down and I was brought back to reality. The cage door was opened, and on shaky legs I pulled myself to the edge.
“Place your hands on the bars, thumbs up to the sky. 3, 2, 1, bungee!”
I didn’t actually scream, I think I forgot how to use my face. I was more in shock that he’d pushed me instead of having to jump myself, but actually that was quite a good thing, I don’t know if I would have done it otherwise! The ground comes soaring up at a great speed, it’s unbelievable how fast you drop – well not that unbelievable, like I said earlier, humans are pretty heavy, but I was still surprised at the speed! The bounce back was very smooth, I was expecting to be whipped around but you can barely feel it when you start to rise and fall. After a few seconds I came to my senses and realised what I’d just done, and I couldn’t stop laughing!
The view as I jumped
As I approached the ground, I put my hands out for Charlie and Harry to catch me, which they did, luckily, and pulled me to the crash mat. What a feeling! I couldn’t form coherent sentences, all that came from me was “hehehrhhgheehehergh” (apparently no one could tell if I was laughing or crying for a while), but it felt amazing. I was so proud that I’d actually done it!
After hugging my mum to confirm I’d survived, I was back in work mode sorting out the cameras and talking to the Bungee staff. We received a certificate with official photo, but there’s no way I’m posting it online, it’s far too embarrassing! Driving home was a bit of a difficult task, I still felt like I was flying! The adrenaline I was feeling was out of this world, like I could conquer anything.
Later that evening we at Experience Days and the UK Bungee Club team all went out for dinner at Las Iguanas in Brighton, then on to party the night away! Altogether it was a fantastic day, one of my favourite experiences by far and one that I will definitely never forget. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone at UK Bungee Club who made the day great and put me at ease, as well as making sure I actually did it! As for the bungee jump itself, it really is an indescribable feeling, so I’d just say go for it!