BASE jumping comes essentially form skydiving but is more radical in the sense that athletes jump form a fixed object. Fixed object jumping started to become popular in the 1980´s when skydivers were looking to expand their horizons and try something new and even more outrageous. The first BASE jumps were performed from high cliffs such as El Capitan at the Yosemite national park in California or the Troll Wall in Norway, the tallest sheer cliff in Europe. BASE jumping was long considered a sport for a few crazies and adrenaline junkies of the special kind, but it is really a separate discipline and has little to do with traditional skydiving. BASE jumping has enjoyed immense popularity in recent years and the number of athletes taking up the sport is growing consistently.
One of the most interesting aspects of BASE jumping is that it includes a combination of skills in order to practice it. Many BASE jumpers are attracted to the sport because you also need to be a good mountaineer, a decent climber and you have to enjoy nature, hiking and the outdoors in general. Looking at urban jumping you need to be a skilled canopy pilot, a decent acrobat, you need to know about wind and weather conditions in urban environments and you should also be in great physical shape in order to make the getaway! BASE jumping is of course also attractive because of its radical oddness in the sense that you actually hurl yourself into the abyss from a skyscraper or a huge mountain cliff. Thinking about something like that sends cold shivers down the spines of most people, however if you think about it a bit more, there is something attractive about it. Doing something so out there, so unthinkable and being able to do it safely, dam, there is something about that sport!
A very important aspect about BASE jumping is often not considered by an outsider, namely that BASE jumping is generally practiced with a very high concern for safety. Before embarking on a jump all possible scenarios of what can go wrong will be evaluated and only if they can be eliminated to a high degree will the jumpers climb to the exit point and actually realize the jump. And even on the exit point, often the decision will be taken to turn around and abandon a jump if the conditions aren´t right. BASE jumping is safer than most people will believe.