Rap Jumping is a forward abseiling technique stemming from a form of rope work started by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. Facing forward allows soldiers to shoot their guns as they scale cliff faces or vertical surfaces.
It was known in military circles as the Carabina Rundown and internationally known as the Aussie Rappel. The Fire Brigade and police services use the system in their operations.
Peter Mackail, a former SAS soldier, coined the term Rap Jumping to describe his style of recreational forward free-fall jumping. His commercial operation began in Cairns in 1989 and led to jumping from high rise buildings throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Getaway and the intrepid Dermott Brereton visited Macka at his current operation in Urban Central at Melbourne's Southbank.
Dermott was relieved to know that Macka has a 100 percent safety record and has had around 400,000 rap jumpers under his guidance. He uses a single rope technique with an anchor system on the roof.
At the top of the building, jumpers kit up with a helmet, harness, gloves and anchor/break system comprised of a carabina and figure eight.
It only takes around five minutes to set up and Macka instructs the jumper from the top of the building. A break man is at the other end of the rope and he and the jumper have control of the break which works so that when the jumper's hands open they go, and when they squeeze the rope, they stop. The break man generally controls the break until jumpers have confidence to release the break themselves.
The average jumper takes up to 30 steps in 10-15 seconds to get down Macka does it in one big jump in just two seconds.
Urban Central is a new, clean and friendly budget accommodation option and not only is it a great place to stay, guests receive a great jump rate.
The backpacker-style accommodation has a maximum of four in dorm rooms. They also have private double and family ensuite rooms. All are air-conditioned and heated and have individual security swipe cards. All have oversized lockers and individual power points.
Rates include linen, towel, breakfast, tea, coffee, luggage storage and Skybus airport transfers for those staying longer than three nights.
State-of-the-art facilities include bar with plasma television, pool tables, computers, laundry, tour desk, book exchange, reading area, board games and chill-out zone.
Rap jumping at Urban Central is $66 for two jumps and $15 for additional jumps. Guests at Urban Central pay $55 for two jumps.
Urban Central accommodation: four-share dorm rooms cost $23 a night per bed, or $20 a night on a weekly rate. They are $28 or $32 with ensuite facilities. Double rooms with ensuite are $99 a night on Friday and Saturday nights and $89 on other nights. Family rooms with ensuite are $129 a night on Fridays and Saturdays and $119 on other nights.
Prices correct at June 21, 2007
Southbank in Melbourne's centre
For further information
Urban Central Accommodation
334 City Road
Ph: (03) 9693 3700
Fax: (03) 9682 7554
Rap Jumping at Urban Central
Ph: (03) 9693 3704