Move over bungee jumping, a new adrenaline kick is about to take over – and it involves no cords. Now you can free fall down into an abandoned powerplant stack with only a net to catch you.
SCAD, or suspended catch air device, is the name of the game – willing participants are placed in a controlled free-fall harness, which is essentially a belt clipped into a quick release hook. Five seconds later you’re dropped, falling 70 metres down the tower towards a suspended safety net. The elaborate catching device is made of air-filled tubes and a sophisticated brake system so it’s completely safe and you’ll barely feel a thing as you plummet backwards towards the base of the tower. Cue the Tom Petty.
The Orlando Towers powerplant is one of two empty cooling towers found a short drive from Johannesburg’s city centre. They’re each about 100 metres high, so this is technically the highest free-fall SCAD device in the world.
If falling backwards down a darkened tunnel isn’t your thing, you could always try bungee? Outside on a platform between the two towers is bungee jumping facilities where you can take the “easy way” out and plunge with a rope attached this time. There’s no shame though – some of us just are cut out for free fallin’.