History of Bungee Jumping

Bungee grindThe legend says that bungee jumping first appeared on the Pentecost Island in the South Pacific. During the Second World War the westerners came to this island for the first time and discovered this people and their custom of bungee jumping. According to this legend, one of the natives, Tamalie, was abusing his wife, so she decided to run away. She climbed a tall tree to hide, but he found her and climbed after her. While he was climbing, she tied up lianas around her ankles and in the moment Tamalie tried to catch her, she jumped from the tree. Tamalie jumped after her, hit the ground and died.

From that day, men in the village started practicing jumping with lianas so women couldn't outwit men ever again. So they built 28-meter high tower for jumping. Before jump, every man has ritual bath and then climbs a tower. Then his wife is brought to tower where she has to listen husband's complaints in front of whole village. After speech, man has to jump, head down, to proof his manhood. The tradition has retained until today and has become a touristic attraction. The western world hasn't discovered this custom until 1955. from the article of Irving i Electa Johnson in National Geographic magazine.

The history of modern bungee jumping started at 1 st of April, 1979. when members of Oxford Dangerous Sport Club performed a few (by the way illegal) jumps from the 80-meter high Clifton Bridge in Bristol , England . This attraction made a big fuss in public and main actors put in prison for a few days, but bungee jumping started conquesting the world. American soldiers heard about this and decided to try bungee jumping. Namely, American army was using ribbon cord for parachutes. This kind of rope served them for the first jumps which weren't very pleasant, but it worked. These attractions started to appear very frequently all around the world and the appearance of the first commercial bungee site was only a matter of time. So, in 1989. the New Zealander adventurer A.J. Hackett (then anonymous) started the very first commercial bungee site in Queenstown , New Zealand . From that time, A.J. became the world acknowledged authority in bungee jumping and earned quite good sum of money. Up to now, over a million people have jumped on his worldwide bungee sites.