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Mar 18

The Ejector Seat – you never know when you might need one.

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 in Little known facts, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

Have you ever been on one of these?


It’s the sort of fairground attraction that you glance at once, and state firmly to yourself  something to the effect of; “Fuck.  That.”  That was me last year.  This year however, I gave it some more rational thought while queuing for the kiddie-coaster.  I decided to myself that it was just something I would have to do, the curiosity so pure I just had to know… am I a wimp?  Is the Xtreme still within me?

So, when Best Bud and I discussed the idea, we found that we would both rather not, but would do it anyway just for the sisterhood.

“The reverse bungee (or catapult bungee, or Ejector Seat) is a modern type of fairground ride introduced by S & D Leisure in 1999 as a slightly more controlled, inverted version of the bungee jump.

The ride consists of two telescopic gantry towers mounted on a semi trailer, feeding two elastic ropes down to a two person passenger car constructed from an open sphere of tubular steel. The passenger car is secured to the trailer with an electro-magnetic latch as the elastic ropes are stretched. When the electromagnet is turned off, the passenger car is catapulted vertically with an acceleration of 4.8 g, reaching a maximum altitude of 55 metres (180 ft).

The passenger sphere is free to rotate between the two ropes, giving the riders a thoroughly chaotic and disorienting ride. After several bounces, the ropes are relaxed and the passengers are lowered back to the launch position.”

Apparently your body goes from 0-60mph in 0.8 seconds.  Much like being spat out of a Fighter Jet’s ejection seat, hence the name.  Coooool. We watched as others before us in the queue took off and laughed at the screams before each one.  All we could hear was a snippet, the voices disappearing within a fraction of a second;  “Shi-“!


A Thelma and Louise moment.

The suspense at the start was the worst.  Watching those elastic bands stretching and gathering that much potential energy and knowing you’re only stayed by a magnet under your arse… waiting for the magnet to be switched off… it’s horrifying.  Then without a countdown or so much as a 3…2…1…, POOM, you’re 180 feet in the air and your body is weightless.  At this point I became painfully aware of the safety belt as gravity kicked back in and we both were spun face-down as we began to plummet.   I was trying to say to Best Bud while we were being bounced that I thought the view was beautiful, but all my mouth could produce was; ‘OOOO FUCK FUCK OOOOOOOOOO FUCK FUUUUCK’, completely involuntarily.  It’s scary.

This is what the camcorder fixed to the inside of the cage might tell you it feels like, but it doesn’t give you the same sense of whiplash or gravitational chaos the real thing provides.

I feel like I’ve been in a car-crash, but it was worth it.  The Xtreme still abides within K8 the Gr8 and that’s good to know.

Bring on the comments

  1. susan says:

    You’re insaaaaaane. No WAY would I go up in that: I’m still struggling with an exercise ball. Bravo to you, and WOW.

    I do like your photo of the smiling lamby in the sidebar. More my speed, eh?

  2. K8 says:

    That is a picture of RandyLamb, this season’s mascot :)

  3. Maxi Cane says:

    The contents of my bowels would be left behind me.

  4. Baino says:

    Very brave, dare you to do it again after some fairy floss and a hot dog! You’re a prime candidate for bungy jumping!

  5. GrowUp says:

    No fucking way.

    Not a hope.

    Absolutely not.

    Not if Scarlett Johansson was in there nekkid shouting “Ride me at 4.8g”. Now if it was Charlotte Church I would, on the basis it wouldn’t get off the ground.

  6. TheChrisD says:

    Dare someone to bring on a large drink from McDs without the lid and see how many people get splashed :D

  7. Kirk M says:

    Okay…I’d do this. Just once for old times sake. But it would have to be soon cuz time’s running out.

    Who knows? It might actually cure what ails me. Or at least yank it the hell out of me and leave it behind.

    Wonder if anyone’s ever hurled on the camcorder?

  8. Nick says:

    Ooer, I don’t fancy that. If the elastic snapped I’d end up on the planet Venus. A roller coaster is quite enough for me.

  9. Jo says:

    You Mad Bitch!!

    ME and my daughter (5) watch it each year, and I feel my stomach lurching while my feet are planted firmly on the ground – meanchile she CANT WAIT to get big enough to go on it.

    I am 100% certain that mu whole stomach would come out of my mouth.

    Not for me, but I salute you!

  10. K8 says:

    I did it with a hangover, does that count?

    Point of note: It doesn’t cure hangovers.

    I’ve never liked the idea of bungee jumping, but now that I’ve done this, it seems easier!

  11. K8 says:

    I’m sure it would, but she’d just project you higher and snap the elastic cords, but hey what’s the worst that could happen? You could end up in Wales, Wales ain’t so bad.

  12. K8 says:

    The coin showers were gas… dropping from 180ft, they make quite the dent in the ground/head when they land. There was a small fortune lodged in the surrounding area.

  13. K8 says:

    Good on ya!!

    It’s really not a puke inducing ride, blind panic tends to distract you from everything else. I was impressed with the lack of ‘street pizza’ at the carnival yesterday. People in Bray have tough stomachs!

  14. K8 says:

    The rollercoasters in Bray are quite excellent… it’s not the ups and downs of it that’s scary, it’s the rusty cogs and grinding creaking noises. That’s what gives it the edge!

  15. K8 says:

    Puppychild was dying for a go too!!! Kids have no fear, you’ve gotta love that about them.

  16. Tinman18 says:

    It sounds like fun. I might try it.

    Not. A. Chance.

  17. *shudder*

    *still shuddering*

    There’s no way you’d get me in that. Dave made me go on the Pepsi Max ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach once and I was actually fairly convinced that I’d had a heart attack and died. I could hardly walk when I got off. Why anyone puts themselves through this stuff is beyond me!

  18. Brianf says:

    That looks like fun!

  19. Quickroute says:

    I went on that thing at the Stuttgart beerfest a few years ago. Strange mix of beer and fear but it was a lot of fun

  20. Ooh, there was one of those in Kells on Tuesday. Didn’t fancy it myself. The kids wanted a go but I told them that it’s a fact that carnies have been known not to tighten up bolts properly and they’re likely to land somewhere south of Mullingar if they get on.

    That did the trick.

  21. K8 says:

    Didn’t think you’d be interested, but sure you’re Xtreme enough as it is!

  22. K8 says:

    Because it’s good for the soul :) As Baz Luhrmann would say… ‘Do something that scares you every day.’

  23. K8 says:

    It is fun!!! Fight or flight has nothing to do with it so once you’re past the point of no return all you can do is giggle like a maniac :)

    It hurts a bit, but I’d do it again.

  24. K8 says:

    Savage! I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have a shot of something strong beforehand… I bet it would be great for preventing the whiplash.

  25. K8 says:

    Haha! That crossed my mind. Apparently one of the ropes did disconnect once (that I know of), and despite the cage hitting the side arms several times and shedding a bit of metal, nobody got hurt. Still though, dodgy.

  26. Granny says:

    Do that stunt again and I shall cut off your pocked money!

  27. Grandad says:

    ‘Tis amazing what they can do with a drop of spare knicker elastic these days?

  28. Being scared is one thing; being almost killed is quite another! And no, I’m not prone to melodrama… ;-)

  29. Holemaster says:

    I jumped out of a plane once. I’ve done my bit.

  30. Howya

    Glad to see that you tried that. I did that in the states a few years back and i have to say it was an amazing rush i still shake to this day just thinking about it. I hope your well.

  31. […] K8 was absolutely fucking mental. […]

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