For most people who pluck up the courage to do the Emperor Swing, it will be the scariest extreme sports experience of their lives. From the launch platform, twin ropes extend horizontally to the anchor at the opposite side of the main cave. When the swinger jumps off the launch platform, he/she freefalls 30 metres (100 feet) and is then catapulted at high speed outside of the main cave entrance. This is the most extreme above-ground sports activity in Southeast Asia. Some people, after reaching the launch platform for the Emperor Swing, do not have the courage to jump. This is understandable and not a problem – we simply lower these people to the base of the main cave instead.
I wasn’t nervous to jump; I felt completely safe with the ropes and safety precautions. There are no words to explain the adrenaline rush of jumping off that platform and freefalling 100 feet. There was a point when I thought I had fallen enough and then I just kept falling more. I flipped upside down when I was swinging through the jungle and it was exhilarating.
Troy jumped first, then me and then our two friends. Cheering each other on was thrilling. We like to joke that this experience has bonded us for life.
The rain started right as we started to make our way back down the mountain. And once it started, there was no stopping those sheets of rain. The ladders, rungs and steps were wet and slippery and we were all covered in mud by the time we reached the bottom. The pickup truck driver was nice enough to let Kristine and me sit in the cab, but Troy and Jordan got pelted with rain in the back of the truck the entire drive back to the beach. We were on such a high that it just seemed to add to the experience.