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What is BASE jumping and why is it so extreme?


Thanks to the new YouTube platforms where people share their content through videos, base jumping has become an increasingly famous sport and known to all those who enjoy extreme sports. But what does this extreme sport consist of and what do you need to know? If you are a lover of dangerous and extreme sports, keep reading to find out everything.

BASE acronym and meaning

Its name comes from an English acronym, BASE, which means “Building, Antenna, Span and Earth”. Through this acronym, reference is made to all the points from which this sport can be performed, be it buildings, cranes, bridges, cliffs … 

This sport arises as a consequence of all those people who were looking for adrenaline and for this, they created new sports through which they could experiment and push their skills to the limit. In this way, base jumping emerged in 1970 and later, in 1978, the filmmaker Carl Boenish Jr. called it that when he made the first jump in Yosemite National Park.

BASE Jumping: one of the most dangerous sports in the world

Base jumping is a sport that was initially related to skydiving, although it is a much more risky sport and involves great extreme athletes. The base jump consists of jumping from a great height, softening the fall with a parachute. 

BASE jumping is considered one of the most dangerous sports so far since it requires the athlete to have great precision in their movements since a bad movement can be fatal. Despite this risk, it is also considered one of the most exciting sports of all due to the adrenaline you generate while you are falling. People who practice it describe this sport as a way to feel totally free through which you can forget all your worries.    

As we have mentioned, unlike skydiving, where the jump is made from a plane, the BASE jump is done from a fixed place such as a skyscraper or a cliff. This is not the only difference between skydiving and BASE jumping, one of the most important is that BASE jumpers face a low altitude since it is done from 60 meters and up to 500 meters approximately, unlike the Paratroopers usually perform this sport above 4,000 meters.

Equipment and suits for Base Jumping: prices and more

Professional BASE jumpers can use a parachute or even a wingsuit. The latter is called wingsuit and it is becoming increasingly popular among athletes since they are specially designed so that the suit allows them to reduce speed during the descent, allowing them to perform the precision aerial maneuvers necessary to be able to do a descent without any danger. 

People who wear this type of suit are often called “bird man” because of the way it is. After jumping from the fixed point, the suit fills up very quickly with air causing them to glide like a bird. The fact that the suit is filled with air, makes the athlete achieve a very high speed, being able to fly and pass very close to rock walls, towers or any building even during the descent phase. The lightness of this type of suit allows to perform great maneuvers and shows with great precision.   

As we have mentioned, there is a specialized team to be able to practice this sport. A larger parachute is used than is normally used in skydiving. It is recommended not to use the wingsuit if you are not an experienced professional as it carries a greater risk in the practice of this sport. 

Most famous base jumpers and records

After having known the most important characteristics of this sport, we want to show you the famous base jumpers and their records:

  1. The first one we want to comment on is Patrick de Gayardon, he was the creator of the most modern wing suit up to moment. In 1999, he became the first person to do what is now known as proximity flight, that is, he was the first to fly close to the walls, specifically the walls of the French Alps. 
  2. Patrick has become a great legend for the sport thanks to all the innovations he brings to the sport with his wingsuits and for adding sustained lateral movement to the base jump.  
  3. Glenn Singleman is a renowned adventurer and base jumping practitioner who has broken three world records in the sport. The first of this and for which he is best known is for breaking the record of performing the highest high jump in the world.
  4. Bill Eustace decided to become the first person to jump the CN Tower in Toronto, built in 1975. We wanted to highlight this professional since he took advantage of the fact that he was a worker in that building when on November 8, 1975 he decided to jump from 450 meters and glide through it. building until landing on a dirt pile after avoiding power lines, other buildings and train tracks.


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