CLOSE
Original image
Thinkstock

How to Cliff Dive

Original image
Thinkstock

What could be more majestic and interesting than sailing through the air before gracefully landing in the water? You get to look awesome while gravity does all of the actual work. Here’s how to successfully turn a cliff into a diving board.

1. Grab a Friend

Cliff diving isn’t a solitary activity. Make sure you have someone with you who can pull off a water rescue if the situation calls for it. Better yet, make your first dives with a trained instructor.

2. Work Your Way Up

Confidence and experience can be huge helps when cliff diving, so before you tackle a towering rock face, put in some practice platform diving into a pool.

3. Lower Your Sights

When it comes to jumping off a cliff, bigger isn’t always better. Plunging from too high will make hitting the water just as dangerous as slamming into asphalt, so look for a cliff that’s less than 60 feet tall.

4. Go Deep!

Your landing spot is just as important as the cliff itself. Find a spot with at least 40 feet of water depth and no submerged hazards like rocks or trees. Ideally, the water will be calm and clear, which will enable you to time your entry more precisely. It’s also a good idea to make sure there’s an easy way to exit the water after you stick your landing.

5. Put Your Best Food Forward

Headfirst dives may be breathtaking, but they’re also much more likely to result in concussions or neck injuries. Hit the water feet first with your body as close to vertical as possible and your arms held tight against your sides. Slightly angle your toes toward the water.

6. Always Blow It

When you hit the water, keep your mouth closed and exhale through your nose; otherwise you’ll end up flushing your system with a bunch of unwanted water.
* * *
Once you’ve dried off, celebrate your leap with a cold Dos Equis.

Original image
How to Shave With a Straight Razor
Original image

Our Be More Interesting series will teach you new skills to wow your friends. Today, Max Silvestri learns to shave with a straight razor. 

Original image
ThinkStock
How to Cross a River Without a Bridge
Original image
ThinkStock

Need to cross a roaring river? It’s always best to find a bridge, but if you absolutely must make it to the other side on your own, a few easy steps can keep you high and relatively dry.

1. Scout Around

Invest a little time in finding the best place to make your crossing. Avoid bends in the river, where water whips around the fastest. Once you find a suitable spot, walk downstream a few hundred feet to make sure there aren’t any hazards. It’s always good to know about the pesky 30-foot waterfall around the bend.

2. Don’t Be Narrow-Minded

They look tempting, but narrow crossings can be the most dangerous—they’re often the deepest part of the river. Look for the widest section instead. Keep an eye out for mild ripples—which are safe to cross—and avoid whitecaps, which can be treacherously slippery.

3. Ditch Your Duds

If the water will reach your knees, strip down to your skivvies - your pride isn’t worth getting hypothermia from wet clothes. Even if the river is shallow, remove your socks and put on a second pair of shoes if you have them. If you’re backpacking, unbuckle your front straps so you can quickly slip out of your pack if you fall.

4. Shuffle Up

Face upstream, lean into the current, and move across the river with shuffling sidesteps. You’re less likely to fall while sidestepping since you don’t lift your feet as high. If you’re with a group, link arms. The technique creates more contact points with the streambed and gives everyone a more solid footing.

5. Become a Bump on a Log

If the rapids are too fast, shuffling across may be a bad idea. Look for a log that spans the whole river instead. But don’t walk on it! Wet wood can be dangerously slippery. Instead, straddle the log and scoot along until you reach the other side.

6. Float Away

In situations where the river is deep but the current isn’t very swift, a football or soccer ball can be a handy improvised flotation device. Tether it to your wrist and grab on when you get tired of swimming. Or hug it with one arm as you sidestroke for extra buoyancy.
* * *
Once you make it to the opposite shore, dry off and toast your successful crossing with a round of Dos Equis.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios