The Ultimate Guide for Cliff Jumping – Best Places and Facts
Cliff Jumping? Surfing? Bungee Jumping or Rafting or Skydiving? Which one makes you feel alive?
My choice definitely will be cliff jump; it is a stoke factor for me. It is an adrenaline rush.
Jumping from a height requires an incredible amount of concentration. Good knowledge of mathematics is also necessary to control the body 100% in the air and to touch the water at the right time and the right angle.
I wanted to share a guide for cliff jump locations, facts, and FAQ in this article.
What is cliff jumping?
It is one of the extreme sports and is extremely dangerous for the inexperienced, but every year it attracts more and more thrill-seekers because it is also fun.
It is similar to diving but cannot be compared because the natural surroundings, the rocks, and the waves make the jump a lot riskier.
Just an unexpected gust of wind can have fatal consequences for the jumper
The speed reached by the jumpers who accelerate at 9.8 meters (32 feet) per second as they exit the platform is more than the acceleration of Bugatti. You can guess that it is not easy to exhibit those movements and calculate the moment of hitting the water while falling so fast.
Steve Lobue, with five somersaults, is the person who fits the straightest somersaults in the falling phase, where even milliseconds are crucial.
When they hit the water, they feel the gravity 2-3 times more.
The moment of impact is not easy at all. Athletes descend from 85 km/h to zero in less than a second.
When the muscles are locked, the body is ready to hit!
Locking the muscles just before diving into the water protects the body from injury. But even so, serious injuries can sometimes be unavoidable.
Jumpers dive into the water so fast that a bomb hole forms on the surface.
As soon as the athletes dive into the water, they start to slow down with friction and increase this effect by opening their arms.
History of cliff jumping.
The history of cliff diving dates back almost 250 years to the Hawaiian Islands. Legend has it that the King of Maui – Kahekili II – will force his warriors to leap their feet off a cliff, first descending in the water below.
It was a way to show their King that they were fearless, loyal, and brave. Later, cliff diving under King Kamehameha turned into a competition where decisions were made for style, emphasizing making participants splash as small as possible when entering the water.
Over the centuries, the sport would spread to other parts of the world as well, with divers spending countless hours perfecting their skills by their country-specific conditions. In the 20th century, the sport’s popularity increased dramatically, with competitions now taking place in various locations across the globe.
Today, cliff diving is still seen as a dangerous and somewhat niche activity that can generate severe injury or even death if not done correctly.
Modern cliff divers continue to push the envelope in terms of jump heights. For example, in 2015, a new world record was set when a Brazilian-Swiss extreme athlete named Laso Schaller pigeonholed more than 58 meters (193 feet) off a platform in Maggia, Switzerland.
Cliff Jumping Techniques
Cliff diving is a sport in which the athlete jumps into a body of water. The height is at least 10 meters. It is an interplay between human forces and the physical laws of nature. The athlete cannot influence the latter, so every jump carries a particular risk. Many jumpers are afraid of making mistakes before the jump phase.
The minimum drop-off height is 10 meters (32 feet) for safety reasons. At this distance, when cliff diving, the jumper reaches a speed of 50 kilometers per hour within 1.5 seconds, depending on his body weight. This is because the load that acts on the jumper is three and a half times his body weight.
When submerged, the water’s surface offers a counterforce—the water masses below slow the very high speed of fall to 0 within tenths of a second.
However, these values change if the jump height changes. Although the jumper has a few more seconds to jump, the fall speed multiplies rapidly.
For example, at a cliff jumps height of 26 meters, the fall time is 2.5 seconds. But the speed when diving is more than twice as high as when jumping from a 10-meter cliff. This is because the force of the impact is nine times as strong. It takes four meters of water to slow down the speed.
As with Olympic high diving, the athletes in cliff diving show different jumps assigned to varying degrees of difficulty and are rated by a jury according to a point system (0 points = the wrong jump; 10 points = perfect jump). It is usually from heights between 13 and 22 meters at European championships.
At world championships, the athletes must prove their skills from a height of 28 meters. With his three world championship titles, former diver Orlando Duque (Colombia) is considered the Michael shoemaker of cliff diving and enjoys legendary status among cliff divers.
Cliff jumps involve many risks. On the one hand, the athlete must master the technique and body perfectly. On the other hand, ideal competition conditions are a prerequisite to preventing life-threatening accidents. These include
- rock platforms overhanging far enough
- Dry take-off surfaces and
- Sufficient water depth.
Forward and backward somersaults can be done with
- Various screws
- Dolphin or Auerbach jumps
Before the jumper dips into the water with an as little splash as possible, he takes his feet first and puts his arms close to his body.
This is not done since the risk of head injuries would be very high with head jumps.
In the competition, the jumps are judged by the competition judges according to specific criteria:
- Jump off the platform
- The position in the air
- Diving into water
These criteria are valid for women as well as men. In addition, 0 to 10 points can be awarded in each case; this is done in half-dot intervals.
Jump Elements are not permitted.
- Stretched: stretched body throughout the jump
- Pike: bent hips, straight legs
- Crouched: crouching position, legs were drawn up
- Free: usually stretched first, then pecked
- Forward somersault, half twist
- Flying jumps: from at least one complete somersault to a straight position, which changes to a pike or crouch position
- Screw: turning around an imaginary vertical axis; up to four turns are possible
The level of difficulty results from the following criteria:
- Type of cliff jump
- Posture during the somersaults
- Diving type
The Dangers of Cliff Jumping
Injuries become a real possibility when they fall into the water because divers can travel more than 60-70 miles.
Most injuries include bruises, abrasions, pressure fractures, concussions, common injuries, or spinal cord injuries.
If you’re thinking about becoming a cliff diver, consider seeking advice from athletes who are already experienced in the sport competing in extreme competitions around the world wide. They emphasize the importance of being technically trained, being in excellent health, and diving many times from a lower height before diving from a high cliff.
Then, many other factors need to be considered, including weather, waves, and terrain—both on the cliffside itself and in the water.
Wind conditions, in particular, can play an essential role in safe landing, although the placement of rocks and other obstacles is necessary for divers to be aware of.
The Best Places for Cliff Jumping in Europe
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Croatia
A popular place for a cliff jump in Croatia is in the southern part of the Istrian peninsula, in the nature reserve Cape Kamenjak. In addition to a breathtaking environment, the nature park also offers adrenaline junkies a multitude of cliffs up to a height of 15 meters, which invite you.
It is also possible near the entrance to the port of Veli Losinj. The beautiful rocks there offer different heights, where the local children like to perform their acrobatic jumps.
Dubrovnik also has many places for cliff diving. It is also the most scenic place in Europe.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Germany
There are hardly any natural rocks you can jump with official approval in Germany. At Aschau, however, you can let yourself fall from a height of up to six meters into the Weißenbach, a Prien tributary. Artificially created rocks in nature adventure pools are more common in Germany. One of them is in Schöllkrippen.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Switzerland
In a gorge near Ponte Brolla in the northwest of Locarno, you can plunge into mountain water from rock up to twenty meters high. In addition, there are numerous rocks from which vacationers can jump into cold, deep, and crystal clear water. There are also good opportunities for rock hopping in the canton of Bern, for example, on the Aare or Lake Lucerne near Lucerne. For Switzerland, there is even a cliff guide for the brave: “Pied à la lune” (foot to the moon) comprises 206 pages full of tips.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Greece
Near the millennia-old temple of the goddess Hera on the Gulf of Corinth near Loutraki, people can let themselves fall from rock directly into the sea. There, one larger and two smaller cliffs are waiting for the vacationers. Just a few kilometers away, water rats can swim in a canal in which the water changes direction every six hours.
There are lots of beaches for cliff jumping in Greece. Matala, Vai, Palikastro, Navagio are the other suitable spots.
Santorini would be another good spot. You can dive in the sunset, but don’t drink wine before jumping 😊. It is one of the most scenic places in the world.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Corsica
It is an adventurous path that leads to the ten-meter-high jump rock of Solenzara. The daring have to walk down to the Fiumicelli river at the level of the bridge “Pont de Fiumicelli” and swim a bit. After an hour of wading, you will reach a place with intense water. Even if you don’t dare to plunge into the depths, the river hike along smooth rocks and small bays is an unforgettable experience.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Austria
You can jump into the depths of the Weißensee surrounded by idyllic mountain scenery. In a postcard motif, the rocks at the lake, surrounded by coniferous forests and houses with red bricks, tower upwards. If you want, you can book a “jump rock afternoon” with cliff diving experts for around 20 euros and plunge from two to 18 meter high cliffs. Participants receive a wetsuit and expert advice. Such a course is also suitable for young people.
Wolfgangsee Lake is one of the best spots in Austria. Water is colder than in southern Europe, but it is still fantastic experience. Lakes are similar to waterfalls but according to my experience, waterfalls are colder.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Turkey
In Turkey, cliff diving is not a very common sport. For example, there are no spots in Istanbul’s biggest city. However, there was base jumping from the highest building in Istanbul, named Sapphire, in the past.
In Turkey, you can do it in Çıralı, Olimpos. You can jump from the rock and fall into the amazing Mediterranean Sea. It is great fun to swim after a great vibe. There are also many historical places to visit and lots of spot areas surrounding water that are not known yet.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Italy
Portovenere is a great spot in Italy. The water is excellent, the wind is below average in summer, and a historical place, great shore.
Positano is another good spot. You can also swim after jump; it is a great vacation spot.
Polignano a Mare is another excellent spot.
If you want to try lake, you can go to Lake Verbano.
Before closing the Italy page, I also want to mention Terre. It is a fantastic coastline with epic cliffs. Italy, in general, has excellent spots for cliff jumping due to its nature. Unfortunately, it would take pages to write all places in Italy.
Italy is lucky to have great heights. In my opinion, the most beautiful scenic places are probably in Italy and Greece for cliffes.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Malta
Every cliff jumper knows about Gozo, Valletta, and Bugibba in Malta with lots of rock bridges, cliffs with different heights.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in France
Massif des Calanques in Cassis is an excellent spot for cliff diving in France. Like Austria, the water is cold, but it is a great experience.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Cyprus
Do you want to jump in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea? Then yes, this is one of the spots for you. You can feel the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea in Cape Greco.
Best Cliff Jumping Spots in Portugal
I most like two things about Portugal. One is Algarve with great cliffs, and the other is Cristiano Ronaldo. You can sit and watch both in hours.
His name stands for 13 world championships and two world records – so it’s safe to say that Orlando Duque has already made some breathtaking jumps in his life.
Please take a peek at a selection of his best jumps here, for example, from stacked shipping containers in Hamburg, and meet a few hammerheads in Colombia.
The Blue Grotto
Where: The Blue Grotto, Croatia
Height: 13 meters
What he says: “You can only see something cave grotto when it’s sunny outside. Otherwise, it’s pitch black. It’s also tough to climb to the right jump point. The height was good, about 8 meters, but I only really enjoyed the beauty of the cave when jumping from a lower elevation. “
- As a tradition
Where: Stari Most Bridge, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Height: 28 meters
- Jump off a boat
Where: The ARC Gloria, Colombia
what he says: “It is not a waterfall.”
Height: 27 meters
- In the shadow of the Guggenheim Museum
Where: Bilbao, Spain, during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Height: 27 meters
What he says: “It was a great jump, and the fans were thrilled with it, which made the competition even better.”
- A jump into the Amazon
Where: Amazon Rainforest
Height: 35 meters
What he says: “Usually the leap is the dangerous part, but here you are jumping into the Amazon, and you don’t know what’s going to happen! But it was fascinating! “
- A remote Colombian island
Where: Malpelo, Colombia
Height: 27 meters
He says: “Before the jump, there was a 40-hour boat trip to reach the island in the middle of the sea Colombia. I could see hammerhead sharks swimming under me; it was great. “
- Build your jumping-off point
Where: A workshop in Hamburg, from shipping containers
Height: Locals jumped 7.20 meters, Orlando jumped 25.20 meters.
What he says: “That was brilliant. Amazingly, you can build a jump-off point in ten minutes; it’s fantastic. I love the untouched beauty in nature, but here you can stack a few containers on top of each other and jump off! “
- Jump out the window
Height: Six stories
He says: “Hamburg is a fantastic city, there are bridges and canals everywhere. You can look directly at the water from the windows, so we looked for a window that was the right height and under which the water was deep enough, and we jumped out – it couldn’t be more fabulous! “
Has anyone died cliff jumping?
It is a hazardous sport but fun. And the answer is yes, people died while making it.
What is a good height for cliff jumping?
The water should be 8 meters deep or more profound. Heights are different and range from 15 meters to 28 meters.
Where is the best place or spot to go for cliff jumping?
We already mentioned about best places. If you need more details about those places, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Is it safe to go cliff jumping?
No, it is not a safe sport. It is not a game of chess; it is a risky activity.