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Why base jumping can be misconstrued as an extreme sport.
Base jumping is not an extreme sport. It must categorized as a "VERY EXTREME SPORT". Unlike skydiving, bungee jumping etc., it is not uncommon for people to die. This is because the thrill of these other sports is actually very well controlled whereas base jumping is not.
It might surprise you that jumping from a cliff or a very tall building is far more dangerous than skydiving even though the distance to the ground is little in comparison. It is the close proximity to the ground and of course the structure that you are jumping from that is cause for alarm. A gust of wind can slam you into the side of the mountain or building knocking you unconscious. If your chute does not work you don't get a second chance with a backup chute.
Base jumping is a fairly recent sport. It started illegally when some people decided to jump from buildings in highly populated cities not just for the thrill of it but for the attention they could draw. Of course there was a police officer waiting for them to land. What the heck, what is a small fine compared to the the thrill. After all there was no fee for this. These people took it amongst themselves to arrange this surprise for the city of their choosing and the fine was like paying a fee for let's say skydiving.
From this first beginning, people began finding sites where they could jump from cliffs in an area that would not draw the attention as the illegal activity occurring in the city did. This does however put a limit on the people participating in this sport as these natural structures are not found just anywhere. It is important to know that you must give yourself sufficient distance from you to the ground to make this sport fun and semi-reasonable. For this reason, there just aren't that many base jumpers. This might be good because the fewer the people doing it the fewer the people who splatter themselves on the ground below.
So, base jumping might sound like fun but you can get the same thrill from skydiving and bungee jumping. For some this isn't the same because they are not taking enough risk but for most it's the thrill they want not the risk. Also, most insurance won't cover such activities. Let this VERY EXTREME SPORT for those who are enjoying life to the maximum but really don't feel a need to extend their life for years to come.
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About the Author: Lawrence Pounds writes from Pattaya, Thailand.