The difference between skydiving and base jumping is simple to explain: skydivers jump out of flying aircraft with a parachute, and base jumpers leap from unmoving surfaces like mountains or cliff faces. However, they are very different sports indeed!
What is Base Jumping?
Base jumping is actually an acronym: B.A.S.E. It stands for: building, antenna, span, and earth, as these are the four objects that base jumpers most frequently find themselves leaping from. Even the most basic of base jumping courses require that jumpers complete a certain number of skydives beforehand. This is because excellent parachuting skills are needed to properly control oneself to the landing area without crashing into a landmass.
What are Base Jumping Requirements?
The numbers vary depending on the organization and instructors, but typically, base jumpers require between 300-500 skydives under their belt before they can start base jumping. There is a lot of time spent focusing on training, building confidence, and emotional investment. The financial cost of getting into base jumping can be thousands of dollars. Skydiving is therefore a much more accessible sport, while base jumping is there for those seeking to take their thrills to the next level.
Skydiving vs. Base Jumping Equipment
Skydiving and base jumping equipment are both designed for completely different purposes. The main parachute used during skydiving is engineered for agility and to slow descent while cruising towards earth in a general line downwards. In contrast, base jumping parachutes are engineered to open with precision and accuracy in order to help jumpers through tight turns in extremely inhospitable terrain. A base jumping parachute is actually more similar to the reserve parachutes used by skydivers rather than the main chutes. Skydivers also don't wear body armor, while base jumpers do. Skydivers expect to be able to land normally before every jump, while base jumpers take extra precautions in case their bodies start scraping against the surface of a canyon wall or mountainside and start tumbling.
How to Start Base Jumping
Skydivers looking to take things to the next level typically meet their future jumping mentors at dropzones. Different skydiving dropzones will have different numbers of base jumpers depending on the size of said sub-community, but once you have a reputation for having your skydiving skills dialed in, you can start asking around. There’s a good chance you’ll find the right crew you’re looking for to get started base jumping.
Start Skydiving Today with Gold Coast Skydiving
If you’re interested in taking up base jumping, you’ll never get there without plenty of skydiving experience. Therefore, you’ll want to have the best skydiving instruction possible. Our professional skydiving instructors have thousands of dives behind them, and they can teach you all the fundamentals and more needed to best control your parachute. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a phone call or send us an email today to start the first steps of your adventure!