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3 Things to Keep in Mind While Cliff Jumping

I love cliff jumping. That said, conditions aren't always safe. So, do some research before you drive out to your favorite spot!

Who doesn’t love a good day of cliff jumping? Ok, quite a few people aren’t big on the whole heights thing, but for those of us who enjoy this simple rush, here are a few simple things that I’ve learned to enhance your cliff jumping experience.

#1 The Tide

This wasn’t always obvious to me, but for some spots, a few feet of water can make all the difference. About a half a year ago I went to a favorite spot of mine with some friends and quickly realized the importance of tides when my feet seemed to instantly hit the bottom right as I hit the water. Granted, I went up and did that jump a few more times while being conscious to bend my knees as soon as I touched, but If I had not timed my jump to the swell of the water I definitely would have gotten hurt.

Not all cliff jumping spots have to deal with the changes in tide, but for those that do, I always make sure to check the tides now. This can be done with a simple google search, or if you’re like me you can download the free and always helpful app, Tides Near Me. There are several reasons why you may want to keep an eye on the tides (Did someone say Grunion Run?). So, having the app on your phone will make a lot of things a little bit easier.

#2 Local Laws

The unfortunate fact is that many cliff jumping spots are actually illegal to jump due to the risk of injury. It is important to keep in mind that these rules are in place because of injuries that do occur at particular cliff jumping spots. However, some of these illegal spots are also quite popular. Just know that if a Life Guard Truck or a Park Ranger Boat is right next to you when you jump off that cliff it will likely result in a fine that will really put a damper on your day of adventure.

#3 Fear of Heights

As I said before, cliff jumping just isn’t for everyone, but regardless of who you are, you will feel a little fear of heights especially on your first time. Know that this is natural and that this same fear is what gives cliff jumping such a rush. Once you understand that you will be afraid there are somethings you can do to increase your chance of overcoming those fears and jump.

Like with any fears, you can work wonders by simply establishing a premeditated route to safety. Utilize the time spent on your way to the cliff jumping spot to imagine yourself jumping off of the cliff – having a blast – and coming back up safely. Convince yourself that you can escape the danger of the cliff not just by stepping back, but by jumping into the water. Repeatedly go through the process in your head of how you will run off of the cliff and safely make it down to the water; concentrate on how good you’ll feel when you do it.

In addition, It’s good to know what’s underneath you, but once that’s settled the more time you spend standing on the edge looking down the less likely you’ll actually jump. If you really want to jump, rip it off like a band-aid. There aren’t too many rational reasons to jump off of a cliff, so if you get stuck thinking about it odds are you’re going to talk yourself out of it.

I was in 6th or 7th grade up by Shaver Lake the first time I ever cliff jumped. I didn’t go right away. It wasn’t until probably my 3rd or 4th count down until I ran and jumped off. I even took a couple of runs that resulted in one of those sudden “I definitely made a mistake” stops. Even if you don’t jump the first time stick with it. The harder it is for you to jump the prouder you’ll feel when you actually do.

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(This post was originally published on camandtheoutdoors.com).

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Cameron Catanzano

Blogger and avid lover of the outdoors!