Bungy jumping in Queenstown (part III): what to do when fear strikes (with video)

Bungy jumping in Queenstown is on many a tourist’s New Zealand itinerary. With all the peer pressure it’s easy to buy a bungy jump in a spur of the moment decision. And then, as you walk to the bridge with your ticket in hand, your knees get all wobbly. Your heart is racing, you don’t even hear the music from the stereo at the jump platform. You turn pale. The excited expression on your face from 10 minutes ago turns into a grimace, and you curse yourself mentally for wanting to be adventurous.

But don’t despair, there is still hope for you! Here’s what to do when you’re about to chicken out.

Remember the following:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. When you’re all geared up, standing at the ledge and your jump instructor is counting you down, jump right on cue. Hesitating makes things worse.
  2. Don’t look down. Looking down may make you dizzy or the less bungy-friendly side of your brain overpower the adventurous one. When you jump, look straight ahead. If you jump from Kawarau Bridge, just look at the highway bridge in front of you as you jump off the platform.
  3. Don’t swing your arms back to gather momentum. When you swing your arms back, just like a swimmer would when jumping into the pool, you bend your knees, and your upper body will bend over and, as a consequence, you look down. If you do that and you’re nervous, you’ll only get dizzy or gain time to chicken out and procrastinate.
  4. Try a tandem jump. If you’re too scared to jump by yourself, jump with a friend. You’ll stand side by side, with one arm around the other’s back. Your ankles are tied up separately, but your harnesses are connected to the same bungy cord. Only caveat here is that your weight cannot differ too much from that of your tandem partner – maximum 30kgs.
  5. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” I’m sure you’ve heard that quote before. But seriously, what are you afraid of? That the bungy rope will snap? AJ Hackett have a 100% safety record, in case you were wondering. You’re more likely to die jetboating or skydiving. Or in a car accident… But let’s not even go there. Here’s a quote that’ll inspire you. It should be your mantra. Van Halen got it right: “Might as well jump! Go ahead and jump!”


And finally, don’t get lost in your fatalistic thoughts. Talk to your fellow jumpers as you wait in line. Share your excitement. Talk to your jump master! Here’s a video of a guy who’s clearly scared of heights, but he did it anyway! Kudos!



Is this guy courageous or what?

You can do it, too. Just jump! And ENJOY! It’s fabulous!

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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