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Cliff diving is a popular activity among thrill-seekers due to its inexpensive nature. While there are no set rules that govern the activity, there are various competitions held around the world that have legitimized it as an extreme sport.
The basics of cliff diving are simple: find a cliff near a water body and dive into the water from the highest possible point. All it takes is finding that perfect spot, and of course, a deep enough water body!
According to some sources, the roots of cliff diving can be traced as far back as the 18th century. Back then, King Kahekili of Maui jumped from a 63 ft cliff into water without creating a splash. Known as "birdman," Kahekili even encouraged his soldiers to jump off cliffs to prove their courage and loyalty!
In the 1950s, Cameron Swazye, a spokesman for Timex used cliff diving to conduct various tests on watches. After that, this activity was slowly revived by modern adventurists. The mainstream soon started showing cliff divers in action in everything from movies to 30-second commercials.
With the formation of various organizations, cliff diving championships were established. And today, skilled divers participate in these with gusto, and even seek the perfect diving spot by traversing the globe!
It goes without saying that one must absolutely not attempt cliff diving unless they're properly trained in the sport and they are entirely confident about the water body they're diving into!
In case you happen to be a trianed cliff diver, here are some basic tennets of the sport that will stand you in good stead:
- Don't go cliff diving by yourself--always take a group with you in case of any emergencies.
- Make sure no one's in the water before you take a leap.
- Use olive oil or silicone to protect your ears from extreme pressure.
- Make sure the water is deep enough--don't even think about a dive if it's less that four meters.
- Breathe out through your nose when you're about to hit the surface of the water.
Here's some competitive cliff divers in action:
-Pictures courtesy Reuters-
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