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Bridge Day

This page is a chapter in 'BASE Wiki Sites and Events'

New River Gorge Bridge
Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event and the largest gathering of BASE jumpers in the world, held on the third Saturday in October every year in Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA. 450 BASE jumpers, hundreds of rappellers, and up to 200,000 spectators are typically expected to attend Bridge Day every year. The New River Gorge Bridge, 876' tall and the world's second longest single arch bridge, is the launch point for at least six hours (9am-3pm EDT) of legal, safe BASE jumps.



Spectators are permitted to walk the length of the bridge and watch jumpers leap from the bridge railing, enjoy the fall foliage, or patronize hundreds of vendors who sell everything from handmade crafts to funnel cakes. For additional information on Bridge Day BASE jumping or to register for a jump slot, please visit www.bridgeday.info.

If you're planning on making your first BASE jump at Bridge Day, please read the First Timers page to see if you qualify (you'll need at least 100 prior parachute jumps). If you're happier with your feet on the ground, there is plenty of information for spectators as well at the official web page: www.officialbridgeday.com/

For answers to common questions, please read the Frequently Asked Questions page.

The following are a set of guidelines that are STRONGLY recommended to help keep everyone safe at Bridge Day. This is not a joke, and should not be ignored! This information is compiled by seasoned BASE jumpers. The jumpers that have contributed to this information have learned many things that will help those without experience to avoid going home in a cast.

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Recommendations

  • Training.
    While there are several options during the event for first time (or low time) jumpers to get basic training on BASE jumping specifically tailored for Bridge Day, it is recommended that you seek out additional hands on training prior to the actual day of the event.
  • Currency.
    Canopy control is just as important at Bridge Day as it is with any BASE jump. Do not let the festive atmosphere lull you into a false sense of security. Make sure you are current with your canopy skills and comfortable with sinking your canopy into a tight, demanding landing area.
  • Protective Gear.
    BASE-Jumping landings are far more demanding than Skydiving. There can be any type of weather change from second to second. You may be forced to land in extremely constrictive areas that make for some hard landings. Hard helmets, knee pads, sturdy shoes, pants and long-sleeve shirts should be a minimum. Elbow pads, wrist guards, and ankle protection is also recommended. We also suggest the use of a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) to help with these more demanding landings.
  • Packing Techniques.
    You should use an approved BASE Packing technique for BASE-Jumping from such a low bridge (876'). This is far different than a 3000'+ skydive. Your canopy must open quicker because of the low altitude and should open as on heading as possible.

Requirements

  • Register
    You must be registered with the event coordinator in order to jump during the Bridge Day event.
  • Minimum 100 ram air parachute flights.
    This recommendation is to ensure that everyone has the experience to land on a small rocky beach line in very erratic weather conditions. Almost every injury in BASE Jumping is due to landing. There are several exercises that you can perform while skydiving, to prepare you for BASE jumping.
  • BASE specific gear
    Only gear specifically designed for BASE jumping will be allowed at Bridge Day unless prior arrangements have been made with the event coordinator. This recommendation is in place because the nature of landing in congested areas. All 9-cell, experimental, high performance and Zero Porosity canopies are not advised for BASE Jumping under any circumstances! They have very touchy flight characteristics and have caused several very serious injuries in the past.
  • Age
    You must be 18 years of age on or before the day of the event.
This is only a partial list of requirements, for the full, up to date, Bridge Day Requirements visit here: Bridge Day Requirements

Statistics

2010: 363 jumpers made 1,030 jumps in 6.5 hours.
2009: 369 jumpers made 871 jumps in 6 hours.
2008: 383 jumpers made 1,062 jumps in 7 hours.
2007: 377 jumpers made 876 jumps in 6 hours.

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouoqaEuqb6k


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