In Things To Do, Travel

Which is Scarier: 15 000 feet or 440 feet?

You’re probably thinking that I just asked a dumb question because the obvious answer would be 15,000 feet. To put this question in better context, I am comparing if skydiving is scarier than bungy jumping or visa versa.

When I was in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to try both. In fact I had the opportunity to try every adventure sport you could imagine while living in the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’. So I did it all! But whenever I tell people that I went skydiving at 15,000 feet and bungy jumping off a highwire cable car at 440 feet, I’m always asked the same question, “which is scarier?”. To be honest, I wasn’t really scared of either of them. Don’t get me wrong, I was nervous while waiting for the plane to reach 15,000 feet and while my feet were being strapped together before I had to jump head first, but not enough to not jump. However if I were to compare which sport gave me the craziest adrenaline rush, I would say bungy jumping. Now some people would disagree with me simply because of the height difference but that didn’t bother me at all. Knowing that I was jumping out of a plane with a guy strapped behind me who was responsible for pulling the parachute was reassuring. Well… I didn’t really jump out of the plane, the guy strapped to me kind of pushed me out. So, I didn’t have a choice, nor did I have enough time to really back out. Whereas when I did the Nevis bungy jump, it was just me standing on a small metal plate (looked like a meat scale) where I had to jump on my own.

While I was skydiving I remember it being extremely loud as my tandem partner/instructor was twirling us around while we were plummeting to the ground, which made it hard for me to fully take in the experience. It also didn’t help that I struggled to keep my eyes open because of the suction from my goggles (see embarrassing photo below). All these factors made the 1-minute freefall seem really short because I wasn’t able to really notice how far we were off of the ground and to let my brain process that the ground was getting closer and closer.


When I compare it to bungy jumping, it was a whole different experience. I stood on the mini platform where I had time to analyze my surrounding. Ahead of me was the canyon, below was a river and I had to jump myself. I couldn’t even ask the bungy operators to push me because it’s against their rules, so I had to take everything in and jump.  The idea of being humiliated if I didn’t do it definitely helped, but once I heard the “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 jump!” countdown, I didn’t hesitate to just leap towards the canyon. I remember reaching for something ahead of me but there was nothing and it was a weird feeling not to being able to grab onto anything while falling. What a rush for only 8 seconds of freefall!

Would I do it again? I probably would skydive again if it was in a really awesome place (sounds snobby – I know), but it’s not something I’m itching to do again. But bungy jumping I would 100% do it again! Bring on the Verzasca Dam, Macau Tower and the Royal Gorge Bridge! Go big or go ho me, I’m ready to take my next leap!

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4 Responses to Which is Scarier: 15 000 feet or 440 feet?

  1. Ahh, I have been thinking about writing something exactly like this, but you covered it so perfectly that I don’t think I could follow, lol. I agree 100%. While skydiving is amazing, I am fairly certain that I loved bungy jumping just a little bit more. It gives such an adrenaline rush to make that jump on your own. I’ll probably continue to do both around the world, but I CANNOT WAIT to bungy jump again 😀

  2. Kat says:

    I’ve done both. For me bungee jumping is 1000x scarier because, well… I have to jump myself! I’m on the other side: skydiving for me! Does that make me a coward?

  3. Steph Chong says:

    The adrenaline rush you get from bungy jumping is AMAZING but it’s hard to describe to people when they ask. I can’t wait to do another one but HIGHER!

  4. Camellia says:

    I’ve only been skydiving before, but I want to go bungee jumping too. But similarly…the thought of bungee jumping makes me more nervous than skydiving. Maybe it’s because the ground is closer and you’re more aware of the danger…but I so want to do it!

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