This 'Chair of Death' Swing Drops You 360 Feet Into a Canyon
There's a beautiful moment in the modern classic film Fast Five where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker drive a Corvette Grand Sport Roadster clear off the side of a cliff and into a river below. Their characters survive of course, because it's a dumb (read: life-changing) action movie and because Diesel's ego would never allow for the alternative, but after watching that epic, artfully shot and executed scene, you can't help but wonder: How do I survive a bat-shit insane cliff dive like that and live to flex like Vin Diesel again?
The answer, ladies and germs, is the Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand. This swing is the world's highest cliff jump -- a death-defying drop that shoots you 360 feet into the canyon below, from a launching pad that overlooks the precipice like an ominous, suspended gargoyle. Participants latch themselves to a 650-foot cable before they careen off the pad, reaching speeds of up to 90mph in the fall before the cable catches them above the Shotover River below.
The adrenaline rush comes in a variety of options. If you choose to brave the swing, you can do so either freefalling, shooting off a slide, riding a small bicycle, or sitting in a plastic chair so perilous that the officials behind this thing have called the "chair of death."
"It’s all about you. We aren’t here to rush or crowd you," the Shotover Canyon Swing's promotional copy promises. "Our unique style of adrenaline and friendly service in a spectacular scenic location gives you time to relax in the surroundings."
Right before they shoot you into a canyon that is. Per the website, the experience costs just $300. Seems reasonable enough, especially given that a new Corvette like the one Vin Diesel drove would run you upwards of $70,000. Your adrenaline rush comes at a relative bargain.