Celebrating Two Decades

For over 20 years, since A.J Hackett and Henry Van Asch’s first tandem leap of faith in 1988, bungee jumping has poured more than $1 billion into the New Zealand economy. On November 12, 28 thrill-seekers queued up to pay $75 for the chance to jump off the Kawarau 140ft bridge with only a rubber cord tied around their ankles. Despite scepticism that bungee jumping would ever catch on with the wider public, those customers were the first of several million ordinary people who would perform the modern version of an ancient Vanuatuan manhood ritual. Now a global leisure  phenomenon, Hackett has opened sites in Europe, Australia and Malaysia, recently targeting Chinese adrenalin junkies by opening the world’s highest bungee jump, the 760ft drop from the Macau Tower. Van Asch recalls the first jump: “We didn’t have too much time to think about it, to realise what we might have started. Some thought we were mad and that we’d never last, but with the response we started to get an idea we were onto a great thing.”

Tags: AJ Hackett  Bungy Jumping  Henry Van Asch  Telegraph (The)