Disclaimer: The activities discussed in this article can cause serious injury or death. Always proceed with caution.
The higher you are, the bigger the rush… with cliff jumping. One of the greatest thrills one can experience is a complete and utter freefall, no strings attached. Wind whipping, extremities twitching, heart pounding, knees wobbling, head swimming, eyelids peeling back, stomach reeling. It’s… well… different, but absolutely intoxicating. The first time you jump, Death’s there, sipping down a cold beer in a lawn chair, waving, texting his friends, waiting for the show. It’s… uh… it’s scary. Gravity’s never seemed like such a jerk.
The best advice for cliff jumping is simple… just jump
If you falter, stagger, stop mid-jump, there’s a chance you’ll slip and instead of a cliff jump… you’ll cliff fall. And you’ll regret that… a lot.
Before you jump, make sure the water you’re jumping into is deep enough. Swim down as deep as you can, feeling for rocks, ledges, and ironically enough – cars. Once you’ve made sure your diving zone is clear, climb up and dry off to avoid slipping,
Psych yourself up
Sometimes, it’s best to help calm your nerves by starting off at a lower ledge rather than going big right off the bat.
To jump in, jump out. Make sure you’re clearing any rock faces, boulders, etc. and you have a clear shot to the water. If you’re jumping from a cliff higher than 30 feet, the way you enter the water is imperative to your safety. The easiest way is a straight up pencil dive, feet hitting the water slightly angled with arms and legs tightly held into the body, and mouth closed. Hitting the water any other way can cause numbness, broken bones, or paralysis. Flips, twists, and dives are reserved for the vets and those trying to impress girls, so practice a few regular jumps before trying anything too wild for the ladies. Speaking of wild, the world record for cliff jumping into water is 300 feet, held by this guy.
Oh and one last thing
Leave your wallet and valuables in the car or have someone guarding your things at the top of the cliff at all times, because once you dive in, your stuff is easy pickings for any passerby (found this out the hard way).
There are a lot of great quarries, lakes, and ponds for cliff jumping around Massachusetts, but many of them are privately owned, so they won’t be detailed in this entry. Just poke around the Internet, they’re easy enough to find.