Resolve to Jump or Rappel on Bridge Day in 2013? Here’s How to Make it Happen!
Was Bridge Day on your New Year's Resolutions list? You're in for the leap of your life! But there's a lot of preparation to do, and it's best to start right now! Here's what you'll need to do to prepare for your BASE jump or rappel descent on Bridge Day.
MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS
Before you can BASE jump, you must:
- Be 18 or older
- Skydive or BASE jump at least 100 times to gain the expertise to jump safely
- Make sure at least one of those jumps has been within 2 years of your Bridge Day jump
Don't be discouraged if you aren't experienced enough yet! Start early and stay dedicated, and you might be able to rack up the experience in time. You can squeeze in 2-4 jumps in a day. You've got about 300 days to work with. Talk to your local drop zone to see what they recommend.
GET BASE PRACTICE OR TRAINING
Practice jump- Skydiving will show you the ropes, but BASE jumping comes with its own set of challenges. You have a smaller landing area surrounded by natural obstacles, and a quicker response time. If you can, try to get at least one practice BASE jump in before you take the plunge.
Or training- If you can't go for a BASE jump before Bridge Day, you'll be able take a training session before the big day. Bridge Day offers a 30day course and a 1-day course. If you can't make the trainings, you can make arrangements to be trained by a mentor. You will need to provide the mentor's name and contact information when you purchase a jump pass.
Additional answers- If you're still a little jittery about your first BASE jump, jumpers will be converging from all over the world at Bridge Day. It's the perfect place to find an experienced jumper to give you pointers and answer your questions. You can also get The Great Book of BASE to get yourself started now.
MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS
Jump reservations- Registration for Bridge Day begins July 1. Make sure to fill out the application as soon as possible to reserve your spot. The event doesn't always fill up quickly, but jump passes have sold out within 3 weeks in the past. You only need one pass to jump all day long.
Accommodations- You'll also want to go ahead and book a place to stay. Rooms fill up quickly for the event, which attracts a crowd from all around the world. We recommend the Holiday Lodge, as it will be the home base for jumpers.
PREP FOR DANGER
Plan- It's important to remember that while Bridge Day is the safest environment for you to BASE jump, any extreme sport comes with risk. Brush up and prepare yourself to handle possible malfunctions. You can look through our extensive database of possible problems.
Insure- In case you do get hurt, it's a good idea to get medical insurance to help you cover the costs. Even a seemingly small injury can land you in the hospital.
GET THE RIGHT GEAR
Buy gear- Part of staying safe is having the right gear. There are strict requirements, and not all skydiving or even BASE gear will work. So before you buy, check out our Gear Guide to make sure what you're getting will be approved.
Rent gear- Contact a manufacturer to set up a rental.
Read all (Yes, ALL) of the FAQ info to be as prepared as you can before the big day.
MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS
Before you rappel, you must:
- be thoroughly familiar with all of the necessary skills
- complete proper rack training
- complete at least a 250-foot rappel
APPLY (deadline July 6)
Rappellers are chosen by a lottery. You can apply as an individual or with a team. Team leaders will submit the application for a team entry. Shortly after, the selected rappellers will be notified.
Review- Look over and brush up on the rules and proper techniques. Also know what isn't allowed.
Danger prep- You can manage your risk, but you can't eliminate it. Be prepared for possible difficulties. Learn what you will need to do if something malfunctions, even if you're certain it won't. Medical insurance is also a recommended precaution.
GET EVERYTHING IN ORDER
Join a team if you aren't already assigned to one. You will need to contact the team leaders yourself to see if there is space for you.
Request a tandem if you are planning one. If it's not approved, it won't happen. The form is here.
Reserve a place to stay as early as you can! People will be descending from all over the world on the little town on Fayetteville, so the earlier you book, the better your chances are for a close-by room.
Gather what you'll need- for safety reasons, there are requirements about what gear you use. You are responsible for securing your personal gear requirements. That's just the minimum. Look over these additional suggestions to see if there's anything you'd like to add. It's better to be prepared than sorry later!
Check with your team leader to make sure your team will have all of the proper team gear.
KNOW THE PLAN
Read over all of the guidelines to be sure you know the procedures for checking in and the event day.
OTHER WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
If you can't get all of the necessary steps completed to BASE jump or rappel, there are other ways to get your adrenaline fix!
Spots are limited for the high line, but you can zoom 700 feet from the New River Gorge Bridge on a rope. Equipment and safety briefing are included. Contact Benjy Simpson to reserve a ride at (304) 574-1037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
One lucky winner can earn the chance of a lifetime! Enter the tandem BASE jumping contest! Make a video, and Facebook fans can vote on it. Watch for the 2013 rules when the contest begins.
WATCH & LEARN
If you don't jump or rappel this year, use the extra time to re-evaluate your resolution. Figure out what you can start doing now to get you prepared for the next year, and make a goal of how much to complete by next January. Then join us in 2013 to watch and learn!
Are you planning on taking the leap? Or, are you progressing toward that goal throughout the year? Let us know!