AJ Hackett’s is the face that launched a thousand flips, and the gob-smacking (metaphorically speaking) Macau bungy jump he devised from the top of the Macau Tower is poised 233m above the ground – making it the highest bungy jump in the world.
Highest Bungy Jump in The World
No matter whether you’re a bungy virgin or if you’ve jumped before, standing on the edge of the platform, suited and booted, it’s difficult to appreciate the panorama that encompasses the city, the sea and the People’s Republic of China stretching away to the north.
Your thoughts are entirely concentrated on what is immediately below.
Everyone is told that the bungy cord has a breaking strain of 2.2 tonnes – that’s strong enough to hold an elephant. But, at the back of your mind, there’s always a smidgen of doubt.
“Yeah, I hear you, but what about if…”
There again, it’s the element of danger that keeps people queuing up for a bungy day after day. That, and the sheer exhilaration of flying through the air with the greatest of ease.
Are you sold on the idea yet?
Need to know more? Watch this video for insights into the psychology of the jump.
Macao Tower Bungy Jump
In order to make the Macau Tower bungy jump a reality, a specially designed bungy cord, as well as guide cables, and a recovery system had to be developed.
Hackett and his team masterminded the new design and testing of all equipment, coming up with a final result which is referred to as the second-generation bungy cord.
Essentially, its design is sphere-shaped, making it larger at the top than at the bottom, so allowing a jumper’s weight to be evenly dispersed over the entire length of the cord when jumping from 233m above the ground.
As jumpers accelerate toward the ground, the bungy slows their progress, then rebounds them back up.
The guide cable system ensures they do not make contact with the tower and allows bungy jumps to take place in nearly all weather conditions, apart from typhoons. The prime concern is safety.
How Macau Bungy Began
The world’s highest bungy jump had a curious genesis. On a visit to Auckland, New Zealand, Macao casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-Sun was so impressed by the city’s landmark Sky Tower that he commissioned a similar one to be built in Macao.
It opened in 2001, and five years later AJ Hackett himself – together with film star Edison Chen Koon-hei – made the first jump from the tower, giving it a well-earned place in the record books.
The procedure for jumping at Macau Tower is dominated by the paramount need for safety.
After riding up in the lift, jumpers are weighed, checked for loose items, and carefully briefed on what they need to do.
Every bungy jumper at Macau Tower is secured by two points of contact, with a traditional foot tie around the ankles as well as a waist harness.
Bungy jumping questions
The staff are utterly professional, exuding confidence and calm, friendly and reassuring, and well used to answering every question under the sun.
Q: “Will I hurt my back?”
A: “Nope, the cord’s made of elastic and stretches with you – you’d feel more of a bump jumping off a chair.”
Q: “Will my retina detach?”
A: “Nope, the effect’s the same as if you sneeze.”
Q: “Are you sure it’s safe?”
A: “We’ve done more than 2.5 million jumps around the world over 25 years, and never had an accident – the odds are pretty good, eh. Now, relax.”
The memory that sticks in every jumper’s mind is the moment when they step up on the platform and the phrase “thin air” suddenly assumes an incredible potency.
Nobody gets pushed off, no matter how long they dither, and indeed most jumpers take a leap into the unknown immediately at the end of the countdown: “5,4,3,2,1 – BUNGY”.
It’s contrary to everything you’ve ever been taught. Yet you do it. And plummeting through space, even though it lasts only seconds, is something that stays with you for the rest of your life. You’re flying.
Why go bungy jumping?
If the moments before a bungy jump are filled with trepidation, and the jump itself passes in the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, for hours afterwards you feel not so much on top of the world but as if you’re soaring above it.
“I’m alive – and it feels incredible: breathing, seeing, feeling, in fact, I am aware of every single one of my senses.”
Add to that the feeling of achievement – not quite an Olympic Gold Medal, but very close.
You’ve diced with a close cousin of death, and come out the winner. If you can bungy jump, you can do anything.
Not for nothing is it said that bungy jumping is the equivalent of five years of therapy. Try it! And if you’ve done it before, there’s always the option of taking a leap in the dark, as night bungy is available at Macau Tower from 6pm in winter and 7.30pm in summer.
How much is the bungy jump in Macau Tower?
AJ Hackett Macau also offers the Macau Skyjump, Macau Tower Climb and Skywalk Macau.
Who invented the bungy jump?
Bungy jumping is a relatively new sport. AJ Hackett from New Zealand did the first bungy jump from Greenhithe Bridge in Auckland in 1986.
What is a bungy jump?
Bungy jumping is an extreme sport where you jump from a bridge or a tower with an elastic rope tied to your ankle. The rope stretches to allow you to bounce back up and not hit the ground.
What else is there to do in Macao?
If you’re travelling with the family, here are more things to do in Macao for kids. Macao has a growing collection of luxury resorts and a vibrant nightlife. Check out Macao’s hippest neighbourhood – Taipa and wander the back streets to discover the city’s European charm.