With summertime comes a change of pace and scenery in our daily lives. With lots of sun and warm weather, there will be plenty of opportunities for water-based activities. For some, this time of year is perfect for performing adrenaline-pumping feats such as bridge jumping or cliff jumping.
Diving off of a bridge or cliff, or even just watching someone dive, can be an exhilarating experience. Unfortunately, bridge and cliff jumping are both dangerous activities, especially when jumping from a height of 20 yards or higher. In some cases, these activities have even proven fatal.
In order for you to get the most out of your diving experiences, it’s important that you learn how to evaluate your surroundings to ensure safe diving. Here are some tips on how to jump off a bridge or cliff safely.
Make Sure You are a Strong, Confident Swimmer
This tip might seem pretty obvious, but it is especially important to make sure you’re quite capable at swimming when cliff diving, whether you are diving into a lake, river, or ocean. You need to know how to enter the water correctly, hold your breath for a sufficient amount of time, and of course to be able to get back to shore.
If you aren’t confident in your swimming capabilities, bridge jumping or cliff jumping may not be for you.
Never Jump Alone
Bring your buddies when you go bridge or cliff diving. If you dive by yourself, who’s going to take that sick photo of you mid-dive?
Bringing someone along with you is also a good idea for safety reasons. Even if you take all the right precautions, accidents can still happen. Having someone nearby if something goes wrong with your jump could be a lifesaving decision.
Inspect Your Bridge or Cliff Jumping Area
When going cliff or bridge jumping, it’s crucial to look before you leap.
Make sure to inspect where you are about to dive. You should never dive into water that is less than 4 yards deep, or you could seriously injure yourself. If you are jumping into a river, you’ll need to take into account how strong the current is.
Water transparency is also key. You need to be able to see if there are rocks or other hazardous materials in the water before you jump. If there are rocks at the bottom, be extremely careful. They may appear deeper than they actually are.
Make Sure You are Willing and Able to Dive
Cliff jumping and bridge jumping are dangerous enough without impairing yourself in any way, such as with alcohol. If you’ve had too much to drink before performing a jump, you are simply being reckless with your own life. Best to get a few jumps in before cracking open the beer. You need your wits about you.
Assume a Correct Diving Position
Diving correctly is incredibly important when jumping off of a bridge or cliff correctly.
First, always jump feet first. Unless you are a trained professional, jumping head first can have some serious consequences and may even prove fatal.
Second, make sure that you are in control of your body when jumping. This means no flailing of your arms or legs. This will ensure that you don’t tip and land horizontally, which will be painful. Keep your legs together. Now’s not the time for a thigh gap. You can either keep your arms close to your body or hold them straight upwards, just so long as they aren’t flailing about.
Third, make sure to breathe out through your nose when you hit the water. This will help you keep water from rushing up your nose and deal with the added pressure from the water.
When bridge or cliff jumping, it’s imperative that you are 100% committed to jumping. If you have doubts going through your head, that could be disastrous. There’s no problem with not jumping. If you’re going to do it, fully commit to doing it right so you don’t get hurt.
It can be pretty easy to psych yourself out about the height before your dive. A simple solution to this is to look just long enough to assess the height and then don’t look down again.
Increase Your Confidence as a Swimmer
If you are looking to increase your confidence as a swimmer and solidify your skills, sign up for lessons with SwimJim in Houston or New York City today! Our expert instructors can help you become more efficient and safe while swimming.