The Worlds Highest Cliff Jump The Worlds Highest Cliff Jump

Our Roots

It all started from a passion for freefalling and jumping of things.  The creators of this master piece of rope technology are both avid rock climbers.  Hamish Emerson and Chris Russell spent years reconnoitring rock faces through every inch of the Wakatipu Basin, climbing, abseiling and swinging - fixing the rope some distance out from the rock face, and what began with dragging mates out in the wee small hours and using unique methods (a car as hauling winch) started the ball rolling.  

From ideas to action

The idea for getting a permanent (and legal) location sorted come from mates who enjoyed the buzz.  They needed their own setup to avoid dodging authorities and making hasty retreats.  A purpose built system that had a mix of free fall, cliff edge for ground rush and speed sensation was required.  As there was no other structure or activity int he world like it, it meant designing and engineering everything from scratch and a lot of testing.  What followed was a testament to kiwi ingenuity.  Three years of hard labour later (they built everything by hand), all the parts were carried, wheel-barrowed and dragged from the car park by Hamish, Chris and their mates and mates of mates who were paid in beers.  In the end over 1.5 tonnes of concrete and 1.2 tonnes of wire cable were moved by pure brute strength (and beer). 

Better than average

Not Your Average Backyard Variety Swing was the name hatched for the idea.  From then on the focus was on avoiding doing anything normal - common or 'average' this started with the jump styles.  All of the jump styles that exist today were dreamt up through creative dare devil testing and over a few quiet ales at the local pub.  Freedom of expression is a big ingredient along with trying to max out the sensation.  The cutaway boom was designed after having mates that couldn't jump off the bridges in the old days and the only way to get them off was to simply cut the rope.  This is one experience that is truly born out of 'kiwi can-do' in terms of its conception - designed and built by guys enthusiastic about sharing their sport (in total safety), but also good kiwi hospitality.

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The science of gravity

All that suff that bored us in high school physics had to be embraced.  The cable system is a dual 11mm steel cable each with separate rock anchors drilled 1.2 metres into the rock and held by 30mm reinforced steel rod, the platform was build by suspending the platform beams from the cable system, the entire building process took eight months for two people building full time, then followed another six months of testing with water barrels and satisfying local and government authorities and gaining paper work.

The fun

Once the first customers experienced the Swing, Hamish and Chris knew that all their hard work and ingenuity had created a truly word class adrenaline experience.  The swing officially opened on 2nd December 2002 with Linus from Hamburg, Germany being the first customer to jump off the platform and his girlfriend Julia the first female. they were the only people on the the inaugural trip.  Since then we've had a whole lot of fun sharing the Shotover Canyon Swing experience with travellers and locals alike.

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