Published in Onboard Magazine Issue 121, March 2011
We don’t need Einstein or Newton to tell us what the problem is with the abundance of flat ground when it comes to urban jibbing. What we do need is an end to drop-in ramps, ski-poll tows and something that – unlike a winch – will fi t in a rucksack and not break the bank. Bungee cords - like those from Banshee Bungee and Feel the Planet - tick all these boxes: They’re changing the way we look at our surroundings and here’s how to use these human sling shots.
First up, you’re going to have to select yourself a good rail with somewhere to anchor your bungee, as well as shape yourself a little takeoff and landing.
2. Hooked Up
You’re going to need to find something sturdy to clip your bungee onto. Use a carabinar, climbing loop or random bit of rope to make secure the bungee. Note here the bungee is set on the outside of the opposite rail so it doesn’t whiplash the rider.
Now with some serious leg work stretch the enormous elastic band out. Two or three assistants usually does the job.
4. Hand Over
When handing the bungee to the rider, it’s better if they are sitting down with your heel edge fi rmly planted – it makes it easier when passing the handle or in this case have something solid to hang on to. Here Now pullers, get out the way quick or you’ll get knocked the heck out.
Now you’re rocking ‘n’ rollin’, make sure you keep your arms locked in front of
you, base fl at and let the bungee do all the hard work.
When you let go of the cord, throw it to one side; a bungee has a nasty sting in its tail...
Now it’s all down to you. The bungee’s done its part, time to destroy your jib. Enjoy!
BATTLE OF THE BUNGEES
For years, a jib day has meant spending ages sorting your ramp out and the rest of the time shredding.
But now the days of building drop-ins and hauling ass with a shovel or ski pole are over. Now anything that looks as if it may be jibbable – is. This is all thanks to the bungee.
The way the bungee works is simple; the further the cord is stretched, the faster the rider will be catapulted. It can be attached to anything stuck in the ground like a fence poll or handrail, or with a rope to poles, trees and the like.
It fits easily inside any rucksack and is considerably easier to grab and go compared to any ramp, and is a fraction of the price of a winch.
The Banshee Bungee is made up of three separate lightweight strands of rubber wound together, and the rubber used is vulcanized which means it prevents snapback.
The handle is the same as those used for wakeboarding. It takes two or three people to extend the cord and more than one handle can be attached for those who like a bit of steeze when pulling. The Banshee Bungee is available in two lengths. The 10- foot cord is for those who need to get up to speed in a confi ned space. The 20-foot cord is the one you’ll see in the promotional videos. It’s the big daddy of the Banshee Bungie family and it’ll catapult willing victims at a speed of up to 35 mph.
Feel the Planet Bungee
This Swiss outfit prefers the single strand bungee. They coat their cord with polypropylene for durability – the same stuff’s used to make kettles and water pipes, so you know it’ll last.
The uber protective cover doesn’t just protect the cord from getting slashed by a board, it protects the rubber from exposure to sunlight. A little FYI: when rubber’s exposed to UV rays it becomes brittle and more susceptible to breakage.
Feel the Planet’s handle isn’t as hi-tech as its Banshee brother, but after closer inspection attaching a different handle wouldn’t pose a problem.
This bungee is intended for use by all, from groms to pros, and more cords are used depending on weight and ability. Feel the Planet recommend kids use one or even two cords, and adults use two or three.
Banshee vs Feel the Planet?
Both bungees do exactly what they’re supposed to: fling the rider towards features in the most efficient way possible. The Banshee Bungee has plenty of steeze, with its wakeboard handle and sexy black pleated rubber. Feel the Planet doesn’t have the aesthetics or high profile of its American rival, but their bungees are harder than nipples in January and you’ll save yourself a penny or two.