Tag Archives: BASE-jumping

How dangerous is BASE jumping?

If you’re an adrenaline “junkie”, you’re always looking for new adventures to get that rush. Maybe you started out as a runner, and did a fair number of races, but then it just became boring after a while. Or maybe you like to go skiing during the winter, and then you adapted to it and that became boring too.

One of the ultimate “highs” is to jump from an airplane. I haven’t done it yet, but I hear its an amazing feeling.

Arguably even more extreme than sky diving is BASE jumping, which involves jumping off of tall buildings, antennas, spans, and earth. If the BASE jumper starts from a high enough altitude, they may even use a wing-suit to fly their way down toward earth before parachuting. Some sky-divers do this too.

As incredibly fun as these activities are, how dangerous are they?

According to Stavanger University Hospital, Norway, in How dangerous is BASE jumping?

RESULTS:

During an 11-year period, a total of 20,850 jumps (median, 1,959; range, 400-3,000) resulted in 9 fatal (0.04% of all jumps; 1 in every 2,317 jumps) and 82 nonfatal accidents (0.4% of all jumps; 1 in every 254 jumps). Accidents increased with the number of jumps (r=0.66; p=0.007), but fatalities did not increase, nor did activation of helicopter or climbers in rescue (p>0.05). Helicopter activation (in one-third of accidents) in rescue correlated with number of accidents (r=0.76, p=0.007), but not climbers. Postmortem examination (n=7) of fatalities revealed multiple, severe injuries (Abbreviated Injury Scale score>or=3) sustained in several body regions (median, Injury Severity Score 75; range, 23-75). Most nonfatal accidents were related to ankle sprains/fracture, minor head concussion, or a bruised knee.

CONCLUSION:

BASE jumping appears to hold a five- to eightfold increased risk of injury or death compared with that of skydiving. The number of accidents and helicopter activation increases with the annual number of jumps. Further analysis into the injury severity spectrum and associated hospital burden is required.

This seems extremely dangerous. Far more dangerous than anything I do. I wonder to what degree does the death-defying aspect make this “fun”. If somehow the danger was removed from BASE jumping would it make the sport less fun for some people?

If anyone reading this has tried BASE jumping or sky-diving, please tell us about your experiences.

Joggling as training for extreme sports

Base jumping. Source: Wikipedia

Base jumping. Source: Wikipedia

There aren’t very many jogglers out there. In the U.S, the number of jogglers appears to be in the hundreds. Most train just to be better jogglers or because they simply love joggling. There are also a few “swogglers”(juggling while swimming) out there, but they are even rarer.

A few jogglers, like Perry Romanowski, are ultra-jogglers, which is basically juggling while ultra-running. Perry has not only set many world joggling records, he also runs by far the best, most informative website about joggling at: Justyouraveragejoggler.com. Whether you are just a casual joggler or you want to train for marathons or ultra-marathons, his site has a lot of useful advice. I’ve learned a lot from him, and wish him well in his ultra-ultra marathon joggling and scientific exploits.

While joggling for joggling’s sake is why most of us do it(and I am not sure if ultra-marathon joggling counts as an “extreme sport”), can joggling also be used as training for extreme sports? Obviously, the best way to train for various extreme sports is to train at these sports, but a little cross-training can be valuable, especially with how joggling improves your hand/eye coordination. After all, why run, when you can joggle?

While there is no universally agreed upon definition of an “extreme sport”, certain sports like BASE jumping obviously qualify. A looser definition could easily include downhill skiing(especially extreme skiing), and rock-climbing. Hang gliding would also probably qualify. The main thing these all have in common are that they are inherently dangerous, especially BASE jumping.

Another thing they have in common is that they all require a very high level of coordination, coordination that can make the difference between life and death. Just think of the coordination a rock climber needs, and the split second decision making they need to make if something goes wrong, and how having excellent coordination can prevent them from falling to their death.

So can joggling help better prepare people who want to BASE jump, or rock climb, or be an extreme skiier? I honestly do not know, but I see little reason to believe it would hurt. I have no experience in any extreme sports except for a little climbing, so my opinion concerning this isn’t particularly well-informed.

One reason joggling may be a good cross-training activity for extreme sportsmen and sportswomen, is that it is much easier to find the time and place to joggle on a regular basis. But who can BASE jump every day? Or ski down an extreme mountain slope, or hang glide every day? Unless you are very lucky to live at a place that affords you the opportunity to do this, and you also have a lifestyle that allows you to do this every day, it can be difficult to practice these activities with regularity.

So if you are into extreme sports or want to get into them, why not give joggling a try first? Maybe you will be a lot better at your chosen extreme sport if you joggle every day, or maybe not. It’s difficult to know how much of your joggling ability can transfer to other activities requiring extreme coordination, but I am reasonably certain it is greater than nothing.