How Fast Do You Fall When Bungee Jumping?

bungee jumping

Most thrill-seekers who go bungee jumping again and again do it for that moment of freefall. You’re not sure if you’d like the freefalling bit of bungee jumping. To figure it out, you’re interested in learning more. For instance, you’re very curious about how fast you fall. Is it at high speeds or more moderate speeds?

When bungee jumping, your freefalling speed is at least 100 miles per hour. Different factors can influence your top falling speed such as your weight, the jump height, your jumping style, and the length of your bungee cord.

In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about bungee jumping speeds. The information in this guide is designed to put your mind at ease!

How Fast Do You Fall When Bungee Jumping?

First things first – let’s talk speed.

Bungee jumping has the potential to generate great speed since it’s your body freefalling in the air. You don’t use a parachute, which allows you to experience the full range of speed as you fall.

That full range of speed will be about 100 miles per hour. You could possibly travel at faster or slower speeds than that, but you wouldn’t much notice the difference in five or 10 MPH more (or less) when you’re falling so quickly.

You’re traveling at a speed of about 9.8 meters squared in the sky, and it all goes so quickly that you don’t have much time to process more than the thought of, “wow, this is so fun!”

The Factors That Influence How Fast You Fall When Bungee Jumping

There’s no uniform jumping speed when bungee jumping because so many unique factors are at play. Let’s take a closer look at them now.

Your Weight

How much do you weigh? You’ll definitely know before you go bungee jumping, as you’ll undergo several weight check-ins.

As we’ve talked about before, it’s not that the staff at the bungee jumping company forgot your weight or had a malfunction with the scale and have to weigh you again. They require several weight check-ins to confirm their math.

It’s also intended to increase your peace of mind.

You can only weigh so much if you hope to go bungee jumping. The cut-off depends on the bungee jumping company, and the limit varies for single jumpers versus tandem jumpers.

If you’re on the upper end of that weight spectrum but can still safely go bungee jumping, you’ll travel faster through the skies.

Yes, that’s right, we said faster!

You might expect someone who weighs more would move slower in the sky than someone who weighs less, but that’s not how gravity works.

Let’s use the classic rock and feather example. If you dropped a rock and a feather from the same height, they might have the same level of buoyancy and drag, but gravity interacts with the objects differently.

A rock has a higher degree of gravitational force, so it flies through the air far faster than a feather.

The same applies to lighter vs. heavier bungee jumpers. You’ll see exactly what we mean if you ever go tandem bungee jumping after doing enough solo jumps. 

You and your partner weigh more than you would when jumping alone, so your speed goes way up as you freefall during a bungee jump.

The Height of the Jump

The next factor that affects your bungee jumping speed is how high you jump.

A 200-foot platform might suit beginners but compared to a 500-foot or a 700-foot platform, you don’t get as much open space. As you jump, you can only go so far before your bungee cord unfurls all the way and that’s the end of your jump.

The longer you’re in the sky and can remain in freefall, the more speed you can generate, making your jump feel more worthwhile.

Click the link to check out the highest bungee jumps in the U.S.

The Length of Your Bungee Cord

After your weigh-in, the bungee jumping company will determine the appropriate type and length of bungee cord for you. They’ll also consider the height of your jump when choosing a cord.

A bungee cord can be as short as 150 feet and as long as 500 feet and sometimes longer. 

The longer your bungee cord, the further you can freefall. You already know that a longer time spent freefalling will increase your speed.

A shorter bungee cord reduces your freefalling time and doesn’t give you the opportunity to generate as much speed.

How You Jump

If you read our recent post, you’ll recall that you can jump in all sorts of styles when bungee jumping. Depending on your chosen style, you could feel like you’re traveling through the air even faster.

For example, if you do a dive-like jump from the platform, you accelerate to a greater degree due to the reduced drag force. Your body is lean, streamlined, and aerodynamic in this position, which keeps drag at bay.

If you spread your arms and legs out, as fun as this feels in the moment, you increase the amount of drag and will fall slower.

How Long Does the Freefall Last When Bungee Jumping?

A lot of first-time bungee jumpers experience anxiety over the freefalling aspect, but it goes so quickly that it’s not worth getting upset over.

Okay, you hear that a lot, but precisely how fast is “so quickly,” anyway?

Well, the factors above will influence this, but generally, you’ll freefall in about 10 seconds. Then the bungee cord will unfurl to its full length, and you’ll have a bit of bounce and recoil, but you won’t fall any further.

That’s right, it only takes 10 seconds! This is the part of the whole bungee jumping experience that people hype up the most, yet it’s over the fastest.

If you find your nerves getting the better of you when bungee jumping, just remind yourself how quickly the moment of freefall comes and goes. It’s literally a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it occurrence!

Can You Fall Faster When Bungee Jumping?

You’re after the fastest bungee jumping experience possible. How do you get it?

Well, knowing what we do about what influences bungee jumping speeds, you can always try these tips.

Go on a Tandem Bungee Jump

You have to watch what you wear when bungee jumping, so you can’t pad yourself to add extra weight.

Instead, if you weigh little and wish to increase your weight fast, the safest and healthiest way to do so is to ask a friend, partner, or family member to go bungee jumping with you, called tandem bungee jumping.

You’ll at least double your weight if you jump with someone who weighs about the same as you. You might even triple your weight.

You’ll get the full benefits of being heavier when you jump!

Jump from a Higher Platform

We already established that higher platforms increase your time in the air, allowing you to accumulate more speed for a rewarding bungee jump.

Although it’s a little scary to ascend to taller platforms, remind yourself that the faster experience will make it all worth it.

Jump in a Diving Formation

Keeping your limbs closer to your body increases your aerodynamism, lessening drag and increasing your speed overall. 

You don’t have to dive from the platform, per se, but choose a jump that doesn’t spread your limbs out.

Can You Fall Slower When Bungee Jumping?

Unlike skydiving, in which you rely on a parachute to reduce your speed, bungee jumping speeds are pretty uniform. You shouldn’t try to work against your bungee cord or against gravity when jumping, as that can create dangerous conditions.

Instead, if you really want to jump a bit slower, you can try the following. Just keep in mind that you won’t necessarily go that much slower!

Jump Alone If You’re Light

The feather and rock analogy from earlier proves that lighter bungee jumpers won’t freefall at quite the same level of speed as a heavier jumper because of reduced gravitational pull. If you don’t weigh that much but still meet the weight threshold for bungee jumping, go it alone.

Spread Our Your Limbs

Opening up those limbs into a starfish position will slow you down, as you’re generating all that drag due to your open body formation.

Final Thoughts  

You can reach some pretty high speeds when bungee jumping, with factors such as your weight, the style of jump, the height of the platform, and the length of your bungee cord all influencing your total speed.

No matter how fast you fall once your feet exit the platform, you’ll remain in freefall for roughly 10 seconds. The moment goes fast and is over in a blink, so do your best to enjoy it!

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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