Skydiving and bungee jumping are commonly considered in the same category of experiences. They both have a leap of faith, a free fall and can inspire chills just watching someone do it. A common question is whether to bungee jump or to skydive, and there are a number of differences between the two. This article compares the two in a battle of the experiences!
While both skydiving and bungee jumps are very safe when performed correctly, fatality statistics suggest bungee jumps are slightly safer.
The Australian Parachute Federation conducted a report in 2017 which looked at the ratio of jumps per fatality. While it varies significantly, it averages out to about 1 fatality for every 350,000 skydives. This equates to about 2.5 fatalities per year.
Bungee jumping statistics assume 1 fatality for every 500,000 jumps. Over the last 20 years, there have been 23 bungee jumping related deaths, which equates to around 1.15 deaths per year.
The price of the experiences depend on a number of factors, including:
All else equal with comparative factors (as above), bungee jumping is cheaper than skydiving. In fact, it's almost half the price! For example, a bungee experience in Cairns costs $179, whereas a 14,000ft skydive in the same region will cost $295.
A question like this is mostly subjective, however a skydiving is generally a better experience. This is based on 5 reasons:
The specific numbers will vary, however a skydive is always from a greater height, meaning longer and faster free falls. And the parachute ride gliding back down to ground is also great fun on a skydive!
We asked this question to 20 people who have experienced both jumps and 90% said bungee jumping is a scarier experience than skydiving. Three of the main reasons cited are:
Both are fantastic experiences which will push you well beyond your comfort zone. While both activities are extremely safe, statistics suggest bungy jumping is slightly safer. Considering you're more likely to be killed by a bee sting, this shouldn't exactly be front of mind when making your decision.
A skydive is a longer and more diverse experience which will cast you off into the air with a longer free fall. You'll get better views on both the way up and way down. You'll get a longer drawn out adrenaline hit and you'll reach faster speeds than you will on a bungee jump. For these reasons, I usually recommend booking a skydive instead of a bungee jump.
There are some points that go to the bungee jump, mostly related to price and the increased fear factor. As discussed above, a bungee experience is usually considered more frightening due to the freefall proximity to the ground and other environmental factors. It's also worthwhile considering the price benefit it has over skydiving. If you're on a tight budget or have already been skydiving, then a bungee jump is probably a better choice for you.
As a general rule, skydiving is more expensive than bungee jumping.
Cairns is the only location to bungee jump in Australia. Conversely, there are more than 20 skydiving locations across the country, with at least one in each capital city. There are several bungee locations in New Zealand, however.
The main reason there are hardly any bungee jumping businesses in Australia is mainly due to high insurance costs. A few businesses have started to eventually close down due to unreachable demand requirements to meet the high outgoings.