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.