Base Jumping: The Ultimate Guide

Base Jumping: The Ultimate Guide

Base Jumping: The Ultimate Guide

Base Jumping: The Ultimate Guide


This in-depth exploration of the history and culture of the sometimes illegal activity of BASE jumping provides historical and current information as well as a glimpse into the incredible adrenaline rush of the sport.

• A history of early attempts at human flight as well as a chronology of fixed object jumping

• Illustrations of jumpers, BASE jumping points, and equipment

• A glossary of key terms such as "burnt object" and "object strike"

• A resource guide with additional information such as numerous films and websites for BASE organizations


I can trace my sociological interest in extreme sports (a contested term) back to a fairly specific moment in my life when my academic interests and my personal passions met. It was the fall of 1996. I was, at the time, enrolled in an undergraduate program in kinesiology, on my way (or so I thought) to doing graduate work in exercise physiology. On the weekends, though, I would put down my books, head out to a local drop zone (skydiving facility), and do as many jumps as I could fit in and afford before heading back to the city and my next week of classes. As part of my degree program, I was in the process of taking two courses (one in kinesiology and one in sociology) on sociocultural aspects of sport. These courses were opening up a whole new set of research questions that piqued my interest. Around this same time, the most influential instructor in my young skydiving career—Keith—died as a result of a skydiving mishap. I was devastated. I recall spending hours in front of the computer, reading electronic testimonials to Keith’s passion, his commitment to the sport and his students, and his zest for life. I literally cried as I read these comments and thought back to my own experiences with Keith, wondering if I ever would have taken up the sport seriously had I not met him. My personal devastation, though, did not, it seemed, shake my resolve to keep jumping. The weekend following Keith’s death, I was jumping out of a skyvan (a 19-seat twin-turboprop aircraft) 13,000 feet over a beautiful valley near Kalispell, Montana. And it felt the same. Keith’s death, though it had impacted me personally, didn’t change my understanding of skydiving, at least not in a way that I understood at the time. To my newly developing sociological imagination, this was intriguing. How, I wondered, do people involved in risk sports make sense of the hazards involved? How do they come to terms with the possibility that some of these sports could cost them their lives? Do they embrace risk, manage it, compartmentalize it, or some hybrid of all of the above? Isn’t risk sport . . .
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.