Beforehand, it’s fair to say I’m feeling somewhat reluctant.
I’m handed the assignment of riding AJ Hackett Bungy’s new Kawarau Zipride after writing about its official finalisation a few weeks back.
Thing is, I tend to fulfil my adrenalin urges in other ways. And let’s face it – given the punishing, breakneck pace of my professional and social lifestyle – it doesn’t take much to get the heart racing.
Ironically, one of the few local adventure activities I’ve undertaken is AJ Hackett’s most extreme bungy, the Nevis Highwire. It wasn’t something I did willingly – it came about after being set up by company co-founder Henry van Asch.
Still, I approach the Zipride, alongside the company’s original Kawarau Bridge bungy site, feeling slightly unnerved.
To calm myself a bit I watch another punter take the ride first.
When I quiz her afterwards, she’s buzzing about it but telling me she’d never bungy jump – exactly the market Van Asch is aiming at.
After being weighed – better not tell my personal trainer my weight – I get harnessed up and shuffle awkwardly to the zipline.
Nerves set in a bit as I contemplate the void I’m about to ride into.
My friend tells me my voice suddenly goes a higher register.
There’s no way I’m taking up my supervisor’s invitation to zip backwards, upside down or Superman style.
Seconds after I’m released, however, I’m cruising down the line and enjoying it – till I come to a slightly shuddering halt.
Eventually, after my friend joins me on a separate line, I’m hauled back to the bungy-viewing deck.
The promo material says you’ll be rotated 180 degrees for the ride up but I’m told it’s not yet a happening thing.
In the excitement later, I forget to pick up my pre-signed certificate,
Afterwards, it’s fair to say I’m quietly chuffed with it.