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Bungee jumping is one of those exhilarating experiences that has always been on my bucket list. Unfortunately, this is one of the things I haven’t managed to check off simply because I’ve never been confident that a bungee cord could support my weight. And that’s one of those theories that you don’t really want to put to the test!
We all know that the tethers used during bungee jumping are made from thick, strong materials. Plus, they haven’t failed too often- research shows that deaths from bungee jumping are few and in between.
But is there a weight limit for bungee jumping?
The weight limit for bungee jumping varies depending on the company. While some companies have a maximum weight limit of around 265-300 pounds, others allow tandem bungee jumping and weight limits up to 475 pounds. It really depends on who you are bungee jumping with and the strength of their equipment.
Of course, weight isn’t the only thing that matters. Something like having high blood pressure or a cardiac condition could also stop you from safely bungee jumping. Below, we’ll take a closer look at how a weight limit for bungee jumping is determined, as well as other factors that affect whether or not you can participate safely.
Is There a Weight Limit for Bungee Jumping?
Yes, there is generally a weight limit for bungee jumping that depends on the strength of the rope and the equipment that is used during the jump. For this reason, the weight limit will vary depending on the company you’re bungee jumping with.
If you can’t find the information listed online, then it may be best to call ahead of your bungee jumping trip to be sure that you don’t exceed the maximum limit. Some companies also allow larger jumpers than their weight limit, but only with special arrangements being made.
Can You Bungee Jump if You’re Overweight?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to bungee jump if you’re overweight as long as you meet certain conditions. You cannot exceed the maximum weight limit and you should be in generally good health.
Your health is important because you experience a lot of gravitational force when you bungee jump. Research shows that during the jump, your blood pressure and heart rate rise.
This is the reason that it isn’t a good idea for people who have high blood pressure or heart problems to bungee jump. Since being overweight increases your risk of these conditions, it’s a good idea to have a check-up with your physician beforehand if you haven’t had one in a while.
The gravitational force on your body during bungee jumping also puts a lot of force on your back and neck. People with spinal or neck injuries should not jump to avoid further aggravating their injury, especially since it’s fairly common for these areas to be sore the day after bungee jumping.
Why Weight Matters for Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is something that relies on physics and like anything in physics, everything you do makes a difference. Weight matters for bungee jumping because the length/tensity of the braided cord has to be adjusted for each person’s individual jumping experience.
Factors like the weight really affect that “bouncing” effect that sends you back up after free falling down. Check out this Youtube video for a clearer explanation.
Are There Any Physical Requirements for Bungee Jumping?
Weight aside, there aren’t too many physical requirements for bungee jumping as long as you are healthy. Tallness isn’t really a factor here since you usually don’t get close enough to the ground to actually touch it and being overweight alone doesn’t disqualify you from jumping.
However, something I noticed while checking out bungee jumping locations when I visited Asia was that many of the jump sites were over rivers or off the edges of mountains or bridges. A lot of times, there were a few miles to hike before reaching the bungee jumping destination.
Hiking is something that fat people can do, but hikes with an incline like the type needed to get to the top of a bungee jumping locale can be intense.
If you are going to jump somewhere where you need to hike, be sure to get some hiking in and build up your endurance and stamina before your trip. The last thing that you want to deal with is being out of breath and tired by the time you get up to the bungee jumping site, especially since it’s something that can literally take your breath away!
What if I’m Too Heavy for Bungee Jumping?
The best thing you can do if you’re too heavy for bungee jumping is keep trying other fun, outdoor activities. There are plenty of activities that you can do when you are overweight, including paddleboarding, kayaking, or even scuba diving!
Something nice about kayaking and paddleboarding especially is that there’s a small learning curve. It’s easy to get started in flat water and they do make kayaks and paddleboards with high weight capacities for the larger rider. Plus, physical activity can help you burn calories in the event that you do want to lose a little weight so you can try bungee jumping one day.
Can a Bungee Cord Break?
Is it possible for a bungee cord to break? Absolutely. But is this something that you should be worried about while bungee jumping? Probably not.
As long as you are honest about your weight before bungee jumping, there’s a really low risk of something going wrong. Some companies even have participants step on the scale beforehand, just to be sure their measurements are accurate. After all, they’re taking responsibility for your safety.
Bungee jumping equipment is made strong and is generally inspected in between jumps for signs of damage or wear and tear. Then, it’s adjusted accordingly for the most enjoyable experience. For this reason, in most cases, it isn’t going to break.
What Happens if a Bungee Cord Breaks?
In the rare event that your bungee cord does break, there’s still no guarantee that your jump is going to be fatal. Odds are, the cord isn’t going to break until it is fully extended, so you aren’t going to be nearly as high up from the ground as you were when you started the jump. Most people do survive a fall from that height, whether they are over solid ground or over the water.
If your cord does break, the biggest risk is hitting the ground with your head/neck area and causing paralysis or death. For this reason, it’s better to adjust your trajectory if at all possible. I also would prefer to jump over water than the ground for this reason, though there will still be a lot of force from the surface tension of the water.
Is Bungee Jumping Dangerous if You’re Overweight?
The real risk of bungee jumping while overweight comes down to the gravitational pull that your body experiences from free-falling and then rapidly changing direction when you get to the end of the rope. This rapid change in direction puts a lot of stress on the body.
For the average person, bungee jumping is considered safe. Even so, there are a few instances where bungee jumping has resulted in injuries from the amount of force, similar to what someone might experience from trauma.
Traumatic injuries from bungee jumping include injuries to the head and/or neck, paralysis, temporary impairment of vision from the high blood pressure in your eyes, and compression fractures to the spine. There have also been a few cases where the bungee cord has snapped and resulted in injury, though deaths from bungee jumping amount to just 1.15 per year in the United States.
With a higher weight, there is a great chance of injury just because your force is greater during the activity. If you are unsure of the safety, it’s best to talk to someone certified in bungee jumping about your concerns to ensure you are healthy enough for this type of adventure.
Bungee jumping is one of those thrilling experiences that a lot of people have on their bucket lists. For people wondering, “Is there a weight limit for bungee jumping?”, the easiest answer is that it varies from company to company but on average, companies have a maximum limit of 265-300 pounds. It’s also important that you are physically healthy.
While it can be quite the experience, bungee jumping isn’t always worth the risk. The gravitational force is heavier on someone who is overweight and can result in injuries, even though there is a low risk of death. Hopefully, this article has been helpful in answering some of your questions about bungee jumping when you’re overweight!