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Cliff diving - Safety measures

Cliff diving is an amazing sport that allows you to go over your fears and discover overwhelming sensations.
However, it can be extremely dangerous. This page will guide you through some precautions you can take to reduce the risks of getting injured.

1 - Check the depth

The first and therefore the most important rule, check how deep the water is before jumping into it.
Even if you know the spot, the water levels can change (rise or decrease) and rocks, wood etc... move under the water as well! This is even more important when you don't already know the spot.
Grab a diving mask and explore the water, make sure it is at least 3 to 4 meters deep if you are planning on jumping from less than 10m, higher rocks require at least 5m of depth.

2 - Go upwards gradually

Going higher and higher can be very exciting but as you increase the height, you also increase the risks (you reach deeper waters, a stomach landing is more brutal etc...). You may want to do the same jumps as your favorite cliff jumper, that you saw on youtube the other day, but it is not that easy, they don't always show it but they have a strong training background and which is why they are able to perform these dives.
As you are climbing up, the impact when entering the water gets harder and more severe. You may not notice anything under 10m, but the strong impact comes quickly. This leads us to the next point.

3 - Never jump alone

It is easy to end up in a situation that you didn't plan ahead and being with other people is necessary. You can always slip on a wet rock, step on an unstable rock or do a flat landing. The best option is to have at least two people in the water waiting for you in case something bad happens. Professionnals are not immune either so as you gain confidence, you should continue taking precautions.
By watching videos of experienced cliff divers, you will always see their friends waiting for them at the bottom, which is not something to ignore.

4 - Condition your body

If you are planning on jumping from high rocks, you definitely need a strong body to go through the impact. Cliff jumpers participating in the Redbull cliff diving competitions are entering the water at nearly 80km/h and have to go back to 0km/h in 4.5m; that is very tough.
You can prepare your body with bodyweight exercises very easily and with no special tools required.

Conclusion

The goal of this is not to scare you but rather to encourage you to jump with the potential risks in mind. You can drastically lower the risks but they will always exist. Also, keep in mind that this applies to everything in life; driving a car is considered as a normal activity nowadays but it can also be very dangerous, just be aware of what can happen and do the possible to avoid the bad!

"It is always better to prevent than to cure"

I wish you some safe and great cliff diving sessions !