Written by Claudia Ryks
Jumping of a waterfall can be exciting, loaded of full adrenaline, or even become a good anecdote to talk about. But at the same time, this can be pretty painful if you do it wrong. As I did. Meh...
For this reason, first I will share with you some tips of how to jump from a waterfall, or cliff, according to my personal experience, jumping from a 15-meter-waterfall in Moalboal, Philipiness (the highest I've ever done in my life).
Second, I will share what I did well, what I didn't do very well. And finally, I'll confess what were some consequences of not jumping correctly. So let's get started with these important tips.
6 Tips to jump from a waterfall (or cliff) without pain:
1) Practice jumping in a pool or from lower spots first
I know this is quiet obvious, but you need to know how to swim! In my case, I swim, but I am not an expert jumping from high cliffs.
For this reason, in the Kawasan Falls, I practiced jumping from a 3-meters-waterfall, and then from a 5-meter-one, before jumping the 15-meter-waterfall. This helped me gain confidence, and learn what I did wrong to improve on the next jump.
2) Take as much previous safety considerations as you can
These bullet points are the ones that I can think of according to the day of these jumps:
Depth: Whatever it is, either a waterfall, cliff, high rock, make sure the place you will jump to, is deep enough. You don't want to hit a rock or branches at the bottom, and ruin your holidays.
Popularity of the spot: If it is a popular spot where people always jump from, then that's a good start.
Expert friend or guide: In Philippines, they don't let you jump if you don't have a guide. Man, and I'm glad I followed their advice. The guide or a expert friend can tell you the best spot to jump from, and in what direction is better to jump.
Life jacket: This helped me getting out of the water way faster, and I didn't go too deep. Otherwise, depending on the depth of the pool, you may feel the bottom with you tippy toes.
Clear the spot: Check if the pool is clear of swimmers before you jump, and get out of the way after you jump, so others don't wait too long for their turn.
3) Observe how other people jump before you do it
Observing at others can give you more motivation to do it, because you may think, "If they can do it, then I can do it!." Observing will also let you learn from their experience/mistakes.
You will see how some people dived smoothly, and how others splashed in the water in a way that you can feel their pain.
4) Pencil-diving is the best way to jump for beginners
Make sure to place your feet well on the ground from were you will jump off (you don't want to accidentally slide, and hurt yourself). Then, bend your knees about 45 degrees, give one or two long steps forward, and pretend to be a pencil, yes, a pencil.
You need to be in vertical posture, put your hands next to your thighs, or cross your arms holding your opposite shoulder (In case you have life jacket, this is better). Put your legs together, and imagine you want to fall on your tippy toes like a ballet dancer.
Oh, and don't forget to use one hand to keep you nose closed, or exhale through your nose while entering to the water. (I rather use my hand) Otherwise, the water will destroy the inside of your nose.
5) Just jump!
Don't think about it too long before jumping. If you really want to do it, focus on doing your best jump, as it was the only option you had. And then just jump! Believe me, the longer you stay there, the more fear will come over you because your survival mode will be 100% active.
You may start thinking all stuff that could go wrong, and this may stop you from jumping. (This happened to me to the point that my legs were a bit shaky. I jumped anyway but with fear, that's why I did it incorrectly, and got hurt).
6) Celebrate it!
Guys, not everybody dares to jump of a high waterfall or cliff. So if you did it, you are pretty brave, and probably love adrenaline experiences. So celebrate it!, Scream, raise your hands, share a photo or video, or just keep it as a nice experience that will become part of your memories.
Now that I have shared with you some tips, I will share with you what I did, and didn't do well, and what were the small consequences of it.
To be sincere, the first days of pain after I did this big jump, I started to regret it but then I thought to myself, "Bueno, al menos lo hice y vivi para contarlo-Well, at least I did it and I'm alive to talk about it." So, now I actually don't regret it at all.
This is what I didn't do well:
As you can see the video, when I jumped, I "elegantly" crossed my legs, and then got in a sitting position right before hitting the water. WRONG! Dang, this was very painful to be honest, I hurt my lower back, my tail bone, and of course, the back of my thighs. When I swam out, I used mainly my arms because my legs, and bottom were very sore.
Consequences for not jumping correctly
The next day I got some nice souvenirs, two big bruises on the back of my thighs. In addition to this, I had pain in my tail bone, and lower back for almost two weeks after the jump, in special, every time I had to sit.
This is what I did well:
I got a guide, a life jacket, and I practiced jumping from lower spots before the 15-meter-jump, and after 10 minutes of that one, I went to jump a cliff that was about 10 meters high. Am I crazy? Maybe, but yes, even though I was sore I wanted to keep learning.
So this time I made sure I did the pencil-dive style, and walah! I didn't get hurt at all, and I was very proud of myself. Yeah baby!
Finally, after a few weeks, the pain and bruises went away, but the learned experience stayed with me to share it with you today.
In conclusion, I highly recommend to do your homework, and research more about how to jump, who to go with, when to go, and where to go before your first big jump, and if you feel ready, don't wait anymore, and go for it.
So, are you ready to jump now?