Royal invite to plunge through the air

2016-05-18 06:00

HAVE you ever wondered what it would feel like to be a stunt person plunging from a four-storey building?

Have you ever looked down from a height and felt the thrill of vertigo, and that pulling sensation enticing you to jump?

Well now you need wonder no more. You can take that step into the void and experience the sensation of falling through the air unfettered, when you go to the Royal Show this year.

A new and exciting attraction awaits visitors at Pietermaritzburg’s biggest annual event - the free-fall bag jump.

Open to the public throughout the show, the free-fall bag jump allows you to jump from a platform onto a giant inflated cushion. It’s like bungee jumping, but without the bungee cord holding you back.

Darryl Burmeister of SevensevenSports, the organiser of the jump, explained that the three-metre deep cushion contains 11 air channels and three air chambers, as well as a safety bladder, and says the landing it offers jumpers is “very forgiving” - much softer than landing in water.

Even though jumpers will reach almost 60km/h when jumping from 14 metres up, Burmeister said that there has never been any injuries in the more than 300 000 jumps they’ve supervised since 2013.

“We have a 100% safety record,” said Burmeister, a fact that he attributes to the structural design of the jump and the safe working methods he employs.

“We are owner run and managed, and I am a qualified safety manager with a 17-year background in freestyle motocross and stunts.”

Burmeister said he had been head judge at Freestyle Motocross South Africa and had run stunts and FMX events since 2009.

He has also run major national expos and festival stunts and freestyle shows in every province.

He confirmed that while there have never been any injuries, there are always medics on standby during jumps and jumpers are given instructions on how best to jump and land.

“Due to the soft inflation of the air bag, all landings are very forgiving,” said Burmeister.

“We have had children as young as four do the jump and recently an 82-year-old man enjoyed the experience.”

Additionally, the jumping platform is housed on a scissor lift, enabling jumpers to choose the height from which they are most comfortable jumping.

To find the Freefall Bag Jump, see the Royal Show map at

- Supplied.

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