Roof tops, night skies, ski-lifts and more.

Action Asia - - CONTENTS -

JUMP­ING FROM build­ings is trend­ing. So­cial me­dia buzzes with ea­gle-eye panora­mas shot from masts and tow­ers around the world. Mag­i­cal sun­sets snapped from fresh view­points draw le­gions of Likes and Shares, es­pe­cially when the sight­see­ing ends in the shared adren­a­line-surge of a plum­met from the heights – rooftopping as it’s known, the ur­ban ex­ten­sion to BASE jump­ing. The sub­stan­tial cov­er­age reaches tra­di­tional me­dia when city ex­plor­ers’ tres­pass­ing leads to ar­rests or else, tragic falls to the death. That in turn has caught the imag­i­na­tion of brands, ea­ger to latch onto any trend that grabs the at­ten­tion of fickle mil­lenials. Nike ap­parel ap­pears in a num­ber of 24-year-old Rus­sian model Angela Niko­lau’s au­da­cious poses (right), along with sig­na­ture high heels and sum­mer skirts. Dan­gling high from sky­scrapers, her an­tics have bagged her 468,000 Instagram fol­low­ers. A Chi­nese travel com­pany even paid her and an­other rooftop­per to snap them­selves atop the coun­try’s most ver­tig­i­nous struc­tures. Main­stream me­dia has la­belled the fad as a pas­time of at­ten­tion-seek­ing, reck­less teens, but pro­fes­sional sky­diver and BASE jumper, Jeb Corliss (shown be­low), prefers to call it a jour­ney of self-dis­cov­ery. He says rooftopping de­serves more recog­ni­tion. “Rooftopping is what BASE jumpers need to do in order to gain ac­cess to launch lo­ca­tions in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments. I would say rooftopping could be con­sid­ered a com­po­nent of one clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the larger BASE jump­ing dis­ci­pline,” he said. “[So­cial me­dia] has given peo­ple a way to share their ex­pe­ri­ences with the world in a way that just didn’t ex­ist 20 years ago. Now the av­er­age per­son from any­where in the world can go out and ex­pe­ri­ence amaz­ing things…it shows peo­ple a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of the world and en­vi­ron­ment they in­habit.” Most tra­di­tional BASE jumpers focus on a con­nec­tion with the out­doors, re­spect­ing the nat­u­ral world and its role in their ex­plo­ration of the bound­aries of hu­man po­ten­tial. Ar­guably, th­ese are val­ues that to­day’s ur­ban ex­pres­sion of BASE also holds dear, as rooftop­pers say they ad­here to an un­spo­ken motto of “take only pho­tos, leave only foot­prints”. Psy­cho­log­i­cally, Corliss be­lieves rooftoop­ers and BASE jumpers share goals, ones that have noth­ing to do with a few snatched sec­onds of fame: “That’s a very small view from a per­son that doesn’t un­der­stand why a per­son would want to do some­thing like this. There is al­most al­ways a much big­ger pur­pose be­hind the ac­tion even if the per­son do­ing it is not 100% aware of it…i think the peo­ple do­ing th­ese things are ask­ing them­selves [ques­tions] in a phys­i­cal way. In th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties, they are try­ing to find them­selves even if they don’t re­alise that’s what they’re do­ing.”

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