- by John McMahon
- Apr 1st, 2016
- 2693 Views
There are only so many things around the world that can be the fastest, longest, bigger and highest. To be able to say in a casual bar conversation that you’ve conquered the highest bungee in the world is an opportunity you cannot pass up.
As far as crazy shit goes this is way up there, and still within the limits of your normal average Joe. You don’t have to be a Red Bull athlete to pull off this stunt.
A.J. Hackett’s jump off the Macau Tower in the People’s Republic of China is to date the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at 233 metres in height.
Alan John Hackett, the New Zealand entrepreneur who is reassuringly still yet to add a casualty to his company’s safety record, opened the jump in 2007 and took the Guinness World Record the same year for the highest commercial jump in the world. Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge technically still remains as the world’s highest, but not just anyone can give it a go as it’s only opened for professionals and competitions on very rare occasions.
Controversy over the legitimacy of the jump as an unrestricted free-fall bungee was debated during its application for the record. The jump involves a series of guide wires on either side of the free-faller to ensure the horizontal swing doesn’t make contact with the tower. It was found, however, that the guide wires do not restrict the rate of decent, and therefore, Macau Tower continues to hold the world title for the highest freefall rush on the globe.
There are only so many sources of adrenaline that can be purchased for a price by anyone and everyone without a special skill set. Skydiving is perhaps the only other adrenaline activity I can think of that remotely comes close to the thrill of throwing yourself off a building.
For starters, you’re already incredibly fucking close to the ground rather than 14,000 feet up. You’re literally staring in the face of death, with only an elastic rope pioneered by some loopy guy in the 1980’s catching you 30 metres above the concrete below.
It’s a surreal but satisfying feeling balancing yourself on the edge as you raise your arms only seconds before throwing yourself off into nothing. Your toes creep out over the platform. The jump master kicks the harness off the side and it falls underneath you as they hold you tightly, stopping the weight of it from taking you over prematurely.
The countdown begins before you even have a chance to look directly down and mentally psych yourself up for it. As the numbers hit one, you lean yourself forward only slightly and the weight of the rope, harness and gravity do the rest.
Your brain hardly realizes what is happening until you’re half way down, your facial reactions are about 3 seconds too late. The ground rushes up to meet you, a feeling I can still confirm is the greatest rush I have ever felt – and I’ve had my fair share of adrenaline-packed experiences.
The gradual tightening of the harness is a reassuring feeling as the rope expands to its maximum length and flings you right back up to where you just fell from. The force of the wind, gravity and sheer shock of what you have just been through make your eyes water and a part of you wants to shed a tear anyway out of pure joy.
You’ve done it, and you immediately want to do it again. It’s that simple.
It’s the greatest rush I’m almost certain I will ever experience, and I would have happily done it again if it hadn’t of completely destroyed my travel budget.
Regardless, it was worth it all. If you’re into this sort of stuff and you’re on the fence whether it be because of pricing or simply rerouting your plans to get to Macau, stop hesitating and just do it.
I’d do it again tomorrow. I still regret not doing it again 10 minutes after the first time.
You can be part of a world record, you even get a lame t-shirt to prove it.
Where: Macau Tower, PRC. Access via TurboJet from Hong Kong, only 45 minutes away.
When: All year, ideally a clear if not sunny day is perfect to appreciate the views.
Cost: 654 AUD (at the current exchange rate), aka expensive AF. If you have the dosh just do it though, it’s worth every cent. Every additional jump is around 100 dollars, so don’t make the mistake I did and jump again while you can.
Book here: AJ Hackett