If you’ve already gone ziplining, skydiving, and bungee jumping, now you can add “human catapult” to your list of extreme adventure activities to try.
The Nevis Catapult is the latest invention from Henry Van Asch, a cofounder of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, who opened the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site in 1988.
Van Asch told News.com.au that he dreamed up the concept for the catapult almost 30 years ago “after seeing a guy skydiving out of a plane with his bike, we wanted to try our bungy version of that.” Although it took decades of development and millions of dollars to build, the Nevis Catapult finally opened on August 7.
Located in the Nevis Valley just outside of Queenstown, New Zealand, the Nevis Catapult uses a “high-tech winch system” to shoot riders 492 feet out across the valley floor where they will feel 3Gs of force and reach speeds of up to 62 mph in 1.5 seconds. After being propelled across the valley, riders will then experience a massive vertical drop, followed by a series of bounces.
Australian thrill-seekers and GoPro ambassadors Sam Evans and Kurt Tilse were the first to try the Nevis Catapult last week before it opened to the public on August 7.
Here’s what it looks like in action.
last week myself and the @goproanz crew were the first people in the world to experience the brand new @ajhackettbungynz “Nevis Thriller” – we also spent three days touring NZ and shot it all on #GoPro, check the link in my bio! – @sarahs_day / @kjtilse / @logan_dodds @edringwood / @barekiwi / @caiocastro – / @olivergohl – this doesn’t belong here – @purenewzealand / #NZMustDo A post shared by sam evans – content creator (@samevanslife) on Aug 7, 2018 at 2:32pm PDT
If that video doesn’t completely terrify you, you can try out the catapult yourself if you’re also at least 99 pounds and 13 years old. The whole experience, which can be booked online, costs NZ$255 (about US$172 at press time).
For those who prefer their thrills to be a little less extreme, the Nevis Swing provides a similar experience without the 3Gs of force at the same location.
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Lyndsey Matthews Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.