You’ve watched bungee jumping videos galore on YouTube, and while every video causes your heart to leap in your throat and your pulse to pound, there’s a problem. You can’t gauge what bungee jumping feels like by watching someone else do it on video. So what exactly does it feel like?
Bungee jumping feels like falling when you first exit the platform and can produce a stomach-dropping feeling, but the moment is short-lived. Before you know it, you’re at the end of your rope (literally, in this case) and will either be lowered to the ground or raised back up to the platform.
We have plenty more pertinent details to share ahead regarding what bungee jumping feels like. If you’re trying to steel your nerves and get over your fears, this article should hopefully help you do that, so make sure you keep reading!
So What Does Bungee Jumping Feel Like? Will You Feel Your Stomach Drop?
Bungee jumping, as we’ve discussed recently on the blog here, requires you to get suited up and attached to a harness and a rope. Then you ascend to a platform, jump, and fall.
It all sounds so easy, but it’s the jumping and falling part that trip up people the most. What will these moments feel like?
Jumping/Exiting the Platform When Bungee Jumping
The hardest part of the whole thing is stepping off the platform. We don’t mean it’s physically hard but mentally hard.
Your whole life, you’ve always avoided danger by keeping your feet on level ground, and now you’re supposed to disobey the laws of nature and fall into the sky.
At least you’re exiting from a platform and not a plane like you would when skydiving. That might make it a bit easier for some people.
You don’t have to jump, dive, or do anything fancy off the platform. Some bungee jumpers will, but none of them are first-timers or beginners like you. It’s just enough to get yourself off the platform.
Falling When Bungee Jumping
The moment your feet are off the platform, you’ll begin falling through the air. This is the best part of bungee jumping for many but also the part that produces the most trepidation.
As you fall through the air, you’re going to feel it. The wind will rush up all around you, filling your ears.
Since you have goggles on (hopefully) and your hair is pulled back, you shouldn’t have any issues seeing the dizzying sights as you plummet.
You will feel that sensation of your stomach dropping when bungee jumping. It’s the same feeling you get when riding on a roller coaster the moment it descends the lift hill.
Once you get over the sinking stomach feeling, you’ll also notice that you feel weightless. You don’t have any support forces on your body as you fall, so you can move your limbs and descend through the sky almost as if detached from your body.
This could be the lightest you ever feel, so it’s definitely cool!
Of course, some of these feelings change the more you go bungee jumping. Experienced jumpers might not deal with that sinking stomach sensation, or they will, but it’s severely minimized.
Even the elation of weightlessness can lose its novelty after enough bungee jumps. That doesn’t your weightlessness any less awesome, but it does make it feel a little less inspiring.
How Scary Is a Bungee Jump?
Even though you know what the stomach-dropping sensation is, you’re afraid that you’re going to be more terrified when bungee jumping than anything else. How scary is it?
That’s a tough question to answer, as it depends on many factors.
As we touched on in the last section, if you’re an inexperienced jumper, bungee jumping will be scarier for you than someone who’s done it dozens if not hundreds of times before.
If you’re scared of heights, that can also make bungee jumping a bit scarier.
Bungee jumping is scariest for someone who has never done it before.
The reason? You can build up so much of the experience in your head that you make it seem 100 times scarier than it is in real life.
We do this with everything we’re afraid of, like needles or roller coasters. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to face your fears, such as getting a needle, you’ll often realize that the moment it happens is nowhere near as bad as you had imagined.
A needle hurts for a moment, but then it’s over and you’re done with it. You might wonder why you had ever let your anxiety get the better of you.
Of course, ascending hundreds of feet into the air to bungee jump is a little different, but not all that different. You’re still facing your fears, after all!
If you’re afraid of heights, know that you won’t stand on the platform long, so don’t worry about that. You’ll also have a trained instructor by your side the entire time to coach you through the experience.
Bungee jumping is an incredibly fast thing, just like getting a needle. Once you drop, you’ll realize that the whole moment lasts a minute or less. Then you’re just kind of hanging out until you’re either brought to the ground or raised back up to the platform.
Many people who have gone bungee jumping have reported that even though they may have a fear of heights that the bungee jumping staff made them feel comfortable and that they enjoyed the experience as a whole.
Which Is Scarier, Bungee Jumping or Skydiving?
You’re interested in bungee jumping, but a friend of yours asked you to go skydiving with them next weekend. You’ve still done neither activity at this point, and you’re equally afraid of both. Which is scarier, skydiving or bungee jumping?
Again, it’s tough to say! For first-timers like yourself who don’t have experience with great heights, skydiving is probably the scarier activity for a couple of reasons.
For one, you jump out of an airplane when skydiving. That’s a daunting proposition for many, as it feels like something out of a Tom Cruise movie. They might think they can do it until the moment calls for them to do it, and then they freeze.
It can be the same for bungee jumping, of course, but exiting off a stable platform is typically regarded as easier than leaping from a moving plane.
Even if the part about jumping from a plane isn’t so deterring to you, skydiving has some other elements that might be scarier than bungee jumping.
For instance, there’s some degree of responsibility on your shoulders. You have to deploy your parachute, which is something you’ll have to keep in mind as you experience that dropping sensation for the first time.
When bungee jumping, since you’re already strapped and hooked up, you can just focus on the freefalling feeling.
Skydiving also lasts longer. Once you open up your parachute, you’re increasing your time in the skies. You’ll slowly glide down to ground level.
How long it will take depends on how far you jump and when you open your parachute, but it’s going to take you at least a couple of minutes to get back down to the ground.
If you’re scared, each minute will be agonizingly long!
You can only go so far when bungee jumping since your rope can only stretch so much. Your goal isn’t to reach the ground but just to freefall through the sky for a short while.
Tips for Alleviating Your Fears During Your First Bungee Jump
To wrap up, we wanted to share with you some tips that will help you get over your fear of heights or freefalling. These pointers ought to make your first bungee jumping experience a little easier!
Learn From Others Experiences
When hearing or seeing other’s experiences of bungee jumping, it can help alleviate your own fears and answers questions you may have.
Below is a video I made the last time I went bungee jumping at the Bridge to Nowhere in California. It was such a great experience. Check out the video to help you get prepared to what you are walking into.
Get Enough Rest the Night Before
It doesn’t matter what you have on the itinerary for tomorrow, a good night’s rest is always to your benefit.
Your mind will probably be going a million miles a minute when trying to sleep knowing that you have a bungee jump coming up the next day, which can make it hard to sleep. Try going to bed earlier than you usually do so you have some built-in time to toss and turn.
Aim for at least eight hours of sleep. If you can get more, that’s great, but try not to get less sleep than that.
As Much As You Can, Don’t Overthink Bungee Jumping
When you scheduled your bungee jumping adventure, it was far enough away that you were able to put it out of your head. Now, as the day draws nearer and nearer, it’s all you can think about.
As we talked about earlier, your brain can build up your fears to such a huge degree that facing them can seem insurmountable. Your anxiety will make anything seem 100 times worse than it truly is.
Although it’s going to take a herculean effort, you need to keep your mind off bungee jumping as much as you can in the lead-up to the big day. That includes the morning of your jump.
Each time you find yourself thinking about bungee jumping, especially in a fearful manner, take a breath and push the thought out of your head. Then find something else to do to distract you.
The less you dwell on the fact that you’re bungee jumping, the easier it will be to do. Promise!
We always recommend starting the day with a hearty breakfast…except when bungee jumping.
Bungee beginners can find that between their frayed nerves, the ascension into the sky, and the act of bungee jumping itself that their stomach turns.
That stomach-dropping feeling isn’t exactly conducive to keeping food in your belly, after all!
You don’t want to expel your stomach contents when freefalling or right after, as it will be tremendously embarrassing for you. You might never want to go bungee jumping again.
If you must eat, do so two hours before your jump and keep it light. Try to fill up on proteins.
If you feel nervous about throwing up when jumping, then wait until after your jump to eat. You will have certainly earned it!
Listen to Your Instructor
As we’ve discussed, you will not be on your own when bungee jumping. All along, you’ll have the tutelage of a bungee instructor.
They’re going to tell you a lot of things as you ascend to the top of the platform, such as how to jump, how to land, and what you may feel during and after the entire experience.
Listen and try to remember as much of the information as you can. Your instructor is there to guide you and make your bungee jump better, so let them do that!
Don’t Look Down!
You’re at the top of the platform, and you’re about to jump. Naturally, it’s going to be tempting to look down, but please don’t do that!
The dizzying heights below you can make you feel unsteady on your feet. You might slip off the platform, souring your bungee jumping experience in a hurry.
If not, then you might want to back out of the whole thing because you’re too scared.
So if not below you, what should you look out at as you bungee jump? The correct answer is to look in front of you. That view is stable and level with your height, so it’s not quite as terrifying.
You can even close your eyes if you must, but this can make bungee jumping scarier than it has to be.
Bungee jumping can produce sharp sensations such as the feeling of your stomach dropping and weightlessness. However, the whole experience is over so quickly that these sensations are incredibly short-lived. You won’t get much time to dwell on them.
We won’t say that bungee jumping isn’t scary because of course, it is. Most people who do it find it more fun than anything else, and we hope you’ll feel the same!
Check out some of the highest bungee jumps in the U.S.