There are many ways to bungee jump. While this extreme sport has one main method, there are many varieties that have come to life in the past decade of this international sport. As the old adage goes, 'variety is the spice of life'. This is true even in the already spicy endeavor of bungee jumping.
The variety in bungee jumping usually comes from the position in which you perform the jump, how you are tethered, and any 'tricks' you may attempt to perform during the jump or the rebound. First, let's take a look at the different methods of being tethered, and see what impact that has on your jump.
The most common attachment method is the use of a body harness. The body harness attaches to your body near the center of gravity, or your belly button. One effect of this type of tethering is that it makes it easier to perform flips and spins. Leg harness or ankle harnesses are another way of attaching to the bungee cord. This type of tethering allows for more of the free fall feeling that is traditional with bungee jumping. It is strictly based on the example of the land divers in the South Pacific. Just these two different ways to bungee jump have a vast impact on the performance of the jump and the sensations afforded the jumper. The other variations basically depend on your position when you jump. We will examine a few of these ways to bungee jump in greater detail here.
The position that comes highly recommended is called the Swallow Dive. Just as it sounds, your flight downward will resemble the dive of the bird. Initiated by taking a 'flying leap' away from the platform, the body forms the shape of a bird with the arms outstretched like a bird's wings.
Another way to bungee jump is called the Bat Drop. In this position, you are held in place upside down. This is achieved either with the help of the jump crew, or by suspending by your toes off the platform. The effect is less wind resistance, and you drop like a rock on this one.
The most common way to bungee jump when jumping off of a bridge is to do the Rail Jump. This is very basic, and consists of balancing on the rail of the bridge prior to jumping. Again, some of the jump crew will usually assist in helping you balance on the rail. This seems to actually be easier than climbing over the rail in order to jump.
Another way to bungee jump that is gaining in popularity today is the tandem jump. In this variation, two jumpers take the plunge together. It is somewhat dangerous, as bumping heads at the bottom can be unpleasant, to say the least. The jumpers are actually tethered together, so they are both committed to the jump.
Keep in mind, however, that this is by no means a complete list. There are many more ways to bungee jump that what are mentioned here. As the future of this sport appeals to more people with advanced safety methods, there are sure to be more ways to bungee jump developed.