Base jumping Information

B.A.S.E. jumping, also sometimes written as BASE jumping, is an activity that employs an initially packed parachute to jump from fixed objects . "B.A.S.E." is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: buildings, antennas, spans , and earth .

The acronym "B.A.S.E." was made up by film-maker Carl Boenish, his wife Jean Boenish, Phil Smith, and Phil Mayfield. Carl was the real catalyst behind modern BASE jumping, and in 1978 he filmed the first BASE jumps to be made using ram-air parachutes and the freefall tracking technique . While BASE jumps had been made prior to that time, the El Capitan activity was the effective birth of what is now called BASE jumping. BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than similar sports such as skydiving from aircraft, and is currently regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt.

BASE numbers are awarded to those who have made at least one jump from each of the four categories. When Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield jumped together from a Houston skyscraper on 18 January 1981, they became the first to attain the exclusive BASE numbers , having already jumped from an antenna, spans, and earthen objects. Jean and Carl Boenish qualified for BASE numbers 3 and 4 soon after. A separate "award" was soon enacted for Night BASE jumping when Mayfield completed each category at night, becoming Night BASE #1, with Smith qualifying a few weeks later.

Wikipedia, Base jumping, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_jumping (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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