Interesting Facts About Basejumping History and Development

Obviously that basejumping gets its name from words base and jumping, where base is the location from which people jump - building, antenna, bridge or cliff.

Basejumping is considered not just as extreme sport, but also as the most dangerous kind of parachute jumps. The fact is that unlike traditional skydiving from aircraft, these sportsmen jump from very low altitudes. The danger is in the proximity of the object to the ground. The attempts of individual jumps without proper equipment and experience are usually tragic. From 1981 to 2013 there were 210 deaths in this sport.

The history of parachutes started in the XII century BC, when the Chinese acrobats used something similar to parachutes as safety net during performances. The first prototype of a basejump is considered a jump of the French physicist and inventor Louis Sebastien Lenormand from the tower of the observatory in the French city of Montpellier in 1783. This jump preceded the first ever jump from a balloon, committed in 1797.

Over time, basejumping daredevils jumped to demonstrate the new inventions of the parachutes. The general public became acquainted with this kind of extreme sport only in 1976. Rick Sylvester made a jump from the top of a Mount Asgard on Baffin Island. The jump was filmed on video and used in the initial frames of the tenth James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”.

All base jumps before 1978 were not systematized into a new form of parachute jumps. The acronym BASE was invented by Carl Boenisch, who in August 8, 1978 filmed his friends jumping from a rock El Capitan. This day is considered the birthday of modern basejumping.

While an experienced parachutist is recommended to open the parachute at a height of not less than 600 meters, most basejumpers jump from a height of less than 600 meters. Freefall in this case lasts not very long, and the parachute should be opened very quickly. That is why basejumpers use special parachutes, which can be opened at an altitude of 40 m.