The Riskiest Sport

The Riskiest Sport

Grace Hall, Writer

BASE jumping is one of the riskiest sports if you’re a thrill-seeker. BASE jumping stands for Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth (cliffs, for example) which are all things BASE jumpers tend to jump off of. BASE jumping is considered an extreme sport because it’s very dangerous. To date, over 300 BASE jumpers have died from multiple accidents. Regular skydiving is much safer than BASE jumping.


The difference between skydiving and BASE jumping is that BASE jumpers only have one parachute while skydivers have two parachutes incase the first parachute malfunctions. Also, BASE jumpers are much closer to the ground than skydivers. While BASE jumpers and only a few hundred feet from the ground, skydivers are thousands away from the ground, giving them more time to prepare to pull their parachute out. Skydivers usually even deploy their parachutes at 2,000 ft. which is higher than where BASE jumpers ever jump off from.


At first, BASE jumping was dangerous in the early 2000s but now because of the wingsuit, it is even more deadly. The wingsuit includes extra material that captures air and adds surface area to the body you glide a bit more instead of just falling, just think of it like your a giant flying squirrel. 


When used during BASE jumping, wingsuits allow jumpers to engage in “proximity flying,” which means flying close to objects, like trees, buildings, and cliffs. Jumpers wearing wingsuits can approach speeds of 140 miles per hour or more before deploying their parachutes to make a safe landing.


Proximity flying adds another level of danger to this already dangerous sport. Usually, people will become expert skydivers before becoming BASE jumpers so they can get a baseline level of understanding of the sport through skydiving. Many people are skipping this step now, cause more and more deaths because instead of putting in hours of training and thousands of dollars into becoming an expert they just get a tiny understanding of the sport than try and tackle this extremely hard and dangerous sport, causing many of the deaths we see in our high amount of people.


Some facts about BASE jumping are… BASE jumping has the highest death rate of any sport. One out of every 60 BASE jumpers gets fatally hurt or die. Carl Boenish invented BASE jumping. BASE jumping is illegal in almost every American City and National park. You must be at least 18 years old to go BASE jumping.