The Do's and Don'ts of Cliff Jumping, 20 Tips:
1) Start slow, start small, you want to be around to jump another day.
2) The jump always looks much higher when you’re up there, if you don’t feel like you can fully commit, then don’t, you can always do it later in the day or the next time you go up.
3) Don’t mess with the cliffs. A good thing to do at the beginning of the jumping season, slap the rocks, feel how hard they are and appreciate what it will be like to hit them when free falling.
4) Listen to people that are familiar with the spot, listen to the local jumpers.
5) Check the water and the depth. Climb down and go for a swim. Is everything clear down there? Are there lots of floaters around, logs in the water, some may be below surface. Are there areas you should avoid landing? Make sure you know where they are when you go back to the top.
6) When standing, don’t turn your back to the cliff when you’re on the ledge, unless you have one knee down and a hand on the ground.
7) Overhang cliffs are the best, and remember, jump away from the cliff, push off and clear it, go for maximum distance away from the wall/rocks, unless of course your jumping in a narrow zone, i.e. between walls, then don’t.
8) Learn how to swim well, I’ve met a lot of people that weren’t good swimmers and realized real quick that they had to become better.
9) Don’t do medium or large jumps solo, have backup. Even the best jumpers land wrong at some point.
10) In general, try to stick with the jumps that you only need to take no more than a couple of steps to clear, the ones that you have to run to clear are the most dangerous. You can stumble, trip, etc… Over time I’ve come to avoid these jumps.
11) During the jump stabilize with your arms, but when hitting the water you want to be straight, solid, tighten up, it’s about the core. Realize that you are about to take a hit, prepare for it.
12) Don’t hold your nose, don’t have your hands in front of your face, and I tend not to cover the jewels. I would rather not have kickback.
13) Wear jumping shoes, usually older lightweight shoes or swimming shoes.
14) Rivers, Lakes, Oceans…. order of danger. I gear towards oceans.
15) Don’t look at the water during impact. Center your head, look straight into the horizon.
16) Arms on the side during impact. Protect yourself.
17) The impact is hard; recuperation time may be long, or never. Be careful.
18) There are multiple ways to get winded. You can get winded even on medium jumps. This is extremely dangerous. Make sure you are strong enough to take the hit. If you get winded, head straight to a wall and hang on. If someone is there with you, they better be in the water trying to save your life.
19) When you hit the water, open up, open arms, legs, slow down. Try not to go too deep.
20) I don’t do rope jumps. Those are the ones that I’ve seen some of the worst hits. Even pros can have the rope rap around their legs or ankles.