Phillip Wong // The Articles

The Simplest Option Wins

9th March 2014

A jumper leaps from the Kawarau Bridge Bungy.

A J Hackett brought bungy jumping to the masses when he jumped from the Eiffel Tower in 1986. One year later he would set up the first commercial bungy jumping operation in Queenstown on the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge.

Fast forward to 2014 and Kawarau Bridge is a hive of activity. The stream of paying customers is never ending with a throughput that feels something in the region of one every 10 minutes. It’s a well oiled machine with a slick crew and high tech equipment.

That is until you reach the bottom.

How do you collect a jumper once gravity has brought their ride to an end? The simple answer is by boat and that’s exactly what happens. Two young gentlemen, with possibly the best job in the summer and possibly the worse job in winter, swing into place underneath the thrillseeker. But how does the crucial connection get made between the two parties? In the midst of this high tech setup, a piece of plastic pipe is the answer. Of all the options available to hook up with a swinging human being, the simplest option of holding up a giant stick reigns supreme.

Jumpers are collected with the aide of a plastic pipe.


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