Why Is Bridge Day Awesome For First Time BASE Jumpers?
Why Is Bridge Day Awesome For First Time BASE Jumpers? 'Cause it's in West Virginia?
Well, sure, there's some hometown pride there, but there are other reasons, too. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the things that get a person ready for their 1st BASE jump, and why so many people come to Bridge Day in the New River Gorge to do it...
First off, there are two first-timer intro courses offered at the event itself. Both courses are offered right here in Fayette County by instructors from the Snake River BASE Academy.
One is a four day long workshop that covers Bridge Day from A to Z. The other is a specialized 6 to 8 hour run-down of all the essential training necessary for a great 1st jump.
Taking one of the courses is a requirement for first time jumpers at Bridge Day, unless they've been trained by an approved mentor. Mentors have to have over 100 BASE jumps as well as previous Bridge Day experience.
All that speaks to just how in touch and safety oriented the BASE jumping community surrounding Bridge Day is. With only 6 hours each year for bridge based jumps, the participants are very keyed-in to what makes a great event greater. And that's safety.
Bridge Day jump coordinators Vertical Visions have mapped out all the requirements for first timers in a FAQ that has pretty much everything you could want to know if you're considering a jump.
First timers can't register for Bridge Day without having at least 100 other parachute jumps (skydive or BASE). That's a good start to the experience needed to jump off the bridge.
And do you need to have gone skydiving before BASE jumping? Well, let's just say that it's a really, really, very, extremely good idea. Why? Because BASE jumping without knowing how to skydive first is stupid :-)
I think we can all agree with the logic there.
There's one more great reason for first time BASE jumpers to chose Bridge Day: The New River. The gorge is lined with trees and boulders, and the actual landing zone is room enough for seasoned veterans, but a river landing for a first timer is a great option.
Why? Because the water is soft, and, as far as being a target, it's easy to hit. Oh, and the river is full of what might be the most experienced river rescue team in the world. It's said that the folks in the boats below the bridge on Bridge Day can get a jumper from the water before their head gets wet.
I'm sure there's some truth to that, in most cases. But what it really means goes back to the whole reason Bridge Day is good for first timers in the first place: Safety.
Anyone out there going for their 1st jump at Bridge Day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments...