How to Stay Safe When Cliff Jumping


When faced with a cliff, most people turn around and find an alternative route. A select few are happy to launch themselves off that edge — as long as water is at the bottom. These adrenaline junkies are known as cliff jumpers. This could be the ideal activity for you if you’ve always wanted to know what flying is like.

Here are some tips to help you have fun and stay safe when cliff jumping.

1. Never go cliff jumping alone.

If you want to hike alone and scout out jumping spots, that’s great. However, before launching yourself off that first cliff, ensure you’ve got a buddy. This is cliff jumping safety 101. Always bring a friend in case something goes wrong and you need someone to call 911 or haul your lifeless body from the water. 

OK, those might be worst-case scenarios, but it’s always better to have someone on hand if something happens and you end up hurt. 

2. Check depth before you jump.

Cliff diving spots don’t always have the most transparent water, so you never know what you’re getting into until you dive in. That’s why it’s vital to check the depth before you jump. You can accomplish this in various ways, from using a rock on the end of a string to hopping in the water and swimming as deep as possible. You could also ask a regular at the spot whether it’s deep enough to jump safely. Jumping off a cliff into shallow water is the stuff of nightmares, guaranteeing a quick ticket to the hospital and the end of your cliff jumping career. 

3. Always jump feet first.

Diving head first is never recommended for first-time cliff jumpers. Even experienced jumpers should not do it because of the potential for injury. If the water is too shallow, you risk hitting your head and causing traumatic brain or spinal injuries. The water will feel like hitting concrete if the jump is more than 25 or 30 feet, and you could be hurt without hitting the bottom. Jump feet first and point your toes to break the water’s surface. 

4. Save the tricks for later.

Flipping off the cliff before landing in the water looks cool, but save the tricks for later if you’re just starting. A lousy landing could leave you seriously hurting. Sure, it could give you a crazy injury story to tell at parties, but do you want to go through all that pain just for a bit of an ego fluff?

5. Wear appropriate footwear.

Rocky shorelines usually surround the best cliff jumping places. Wearing water shoes or something else to protect your feet can make climbing out of the water easier once you land — and hike back up the trail if you decide you want to jump again.

6. Jump as far as possible.

Once you get over the pit in your stomach, you’ll want to jump off that cliff faster than most guys jump into relationships. Give yourself a running start and leap as far away from the cliff as possible. The closer you are to shore, the bigger the risk you’ll hit a rock or obstacle once you land. 

7. Wait your turn.

Having friends hype you up is great, but make sure to wait your turn. Even if you aim your jump ideally, there’s still a chance you might land on your pal, hurting you both. Give them time to get out of the landing zone before you launch yourself into the sky.

The idea of jumping off a cliff is terrifying — but that’s half the fun. If you’re planning on taking that leap, ensure you do everything necessary to stay safe.

Photo by Ian Wagg on Unsplash


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