BASE Jumping vs. Skydiving: What is the Difference?
Some people mistake BASE jumping and skydiving for being the same thing. In reality, the two extreme sports share the same adrenaline rush but are quite different. Here is the scoop on the differences between them.
What is BASE Jumping?
BASE jumping is a type of parachuting that begins on a fixed platform. The word “BASE” actually stands for the types of fixed structures that such a jump can start on: Building, Antenna, Span and Earth. A common example of a type of “earth” used for this exciting sport is a cliff.
BASE Jumping: Origins in Sky Diving
Yes, BASE jumping is a variation of skydiving. It usually has lower altitudes than skydiving and because of that lower elevation it typically also has slower speeds than skydiving.
As well, BASE jumpers are typically in more danger than skydivers. If you look at the four types of jump platforms, you will see they are not usually legal places to leap from. Skydiving is actually quite safe, with about 3 million jumps a year and only about 20 fatal accidents annually. For BASE jumpers, however, the fatalities are estimated to be about every 1 in 6 participants.
Parachutes for BASE Jumpers
BASE jumpers also have more danger than skydivers because they must pull their parachutes almost right away. They are significantly closer to the ground than skydivers, who have a lot more time to pull their chutes and readjust their movements to hit the target on the ground.
Some BASE jumpers wear wingsuits that supposedly allow them to fly longer distances. They must often be covert though in their activities as they are usually not allowed to jump from the tall towers, antenna towers and other chosen fixed objects.
If you had the opportunity to go BASE jumping or sky diving, which sport would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.