February 1, 2017

"Ten Meter Tower."

96 comments:

Big Mike said...

Gives you an appreciation for Olympic platform divers, doesn't it? They not only jump off the 10 meter tower, they perform twists and somersaults on the way down.

epador said...

You too could vote Republican for the first time.

Yeah, its really scary too.

Sebastian said...

"they perform twists and somersaults on the way down" -- and backwards, from a handstand. Still, yours truly can relate -- "it's higher than it looks."

Big Mike said...

My high school swim coach (50 years ago!) took a bunch of us to a summer AAU meet at an outdoor pool in Chicago that had a 10 meter platform and a very foolish member of our group couldn't wait to jump off. He went in feet first just a little off vertical and when he painfully made his way out of the pool his back was bright red. He told us it felt like jumping off a (3 meter) springboard and landing flat on his back. (He had done that, too, in the past so he was in a great position to compare.)

Jupiter said...

OK, Althouse. You got me that time.

Fabi said...

I've jumped off a ten meter tower one time. Some of those clips capture my experience well. I remember being told to not take a breathe to hold until I was halfway down. I wouldn't do it now for any reason -- scary.

Cooke said...

Wow. This is very thought-provoking--Kierkegaard's leap of faith instantiated.

I'm teaching a class on Greek History to 5th and 6th graders and bravery comes up a lot--why do the Athenian and Plataean hoplites chose to stay and fight? Xerxes before Thermopylae wonders why anyone would fight against a larger force if they weren't threatened with a lash. In a few weeks we'll be reading a version of Laches, the Socratic dialogue dealing with courage. I'm wondering now if I should have them watch this film.

MadisonMan said...

I've gone off the 10-m platform in my home town. Don't go in flat-footed, and don't have your arms out to the side. (Also, keep your legs together).

I didn't watch the whole video.

chickelit said...

I've been a cliff jumper since childhood. There is an abandoned granite quarry near Lohrville, WI where my late father used to go scuba diving. It had a nice 40 foot (12 m) sheer cliff with even deeper water beneath. Of course my dad checked the depth before letting us kids jump. He never jumped himself. A couple years later I returned the generational favor when our family was visiting the Big Island. There is a sheer rock cliff at South Point which is said to be about 40 ft. My wife refused, but both my teenaged kids jumped after they saw dad do it and survive. I thought the climb back up on a rusty, rickety steel ladder was scarier.

MathMom said...

Cooke -

Your 5th and 6th grade classes don't sound like anything I ever experienced. Your students are very lucky.

chickelit said...

BTW, I had no qualms about voting for Trump.

Clark said...

I've jumped from a height like this twice. Once at a limestone quarry and once off the base of a lighthouse. You say go; and something that is like a force of nature just reaches out and stops you. Each time it probably took me about 10 minutes to get up the courage to jump.

Steve said...

Legs together and arms at your side. No matter how hard yo flap your arms yo aren't going to land softly. It wasn't bad at 18 but I am not sure I could do it at 50. Everything seems to hurt more now.

chickelit said...

There are two physical sensations associated with jumping from such heights: first, the descent is long enough to really think about it; second is that you go deeper underwater and in a feet first position than you''re used to.

Cooke said...

MathMom--

You are kind. In my day job I'm a college professor, but these Fifth and Sixth Graders are a blast to teach--their arms shoot up in the air, almost out of their sockets, as they engage with ideas. They're at a private school that is completely unselective--no tests to get in--in a small city. I'm having a lot of fun teaching them.

Tank said...

I've been off a 20 foot board: (1) it looks way different from up top, (2) it was a board, not a platform, and I was so nervous, I almost fell off before I jumped, (3) there were people coming up the ladder behind me so, pretty much, I had to jump (4) then I did it again. Thinking back, walking to the end of the board was scarier than jumping off. Thinking back again, it was at the Old Mill in Paramus and Althouse might have been there.

I don't know if I could do ten meters, but, once I got up there, well, probably yes.

They had to take the 20 foot board down because of ... lawyers.

chickelit said...

I admire the people who can dive headfirst from such heights. That takes practice. I've tried diving head first from lower heights but never learned enough control to remain headfirst.

John said...

I don't see the big deal. In high school there was a cliff on the potomac about a mile or two Great Falls. Face off cool kids would go there swimming in the spring and summer one Cliff was about 30 feet high there was another thatwas 50 or 60. The Potomac flowed pretty well at that point so you had to surface and start swimming pretty quickly.

In the Navy we occasionally had swim call when at anchor. You jumped crom the main deck which was 3 decks above the waterline. So probably 10 meters.

John Henry

Curious George said...

I've done as part of NROTC qualifications in college. Supposed to simulate going over the side when abandoning ship. Toes pointed, legs crossed, and arms tight against your body with hands cupping your crotch. Didn't think twice about it. Hell, I did the Marine Corps OTC Confidence Course in Quantico. Platform was a high as that 10 M one, but terra firma below. No way I would do either today. My sons did some cliff jumps on Rainy Lake at about that height. I wouldn't jump from the top of the House Boat. Major fear of heights now, weird.

Jupiter said...

Cooke said...

"In a few weeks we'll be reading a version of Laches, the Socratic dialogue dealing with courage. I'm wondering now if I should have them watch this film."

It has nothing to do with courage, unless you have done it before, and know what it feels like. It has to do with biology. Which just makes it more amazing. Because what it means is that our ancestors evolved an incredibly powerful aversion to leaping from heights. Keeping in mind, that we are descended from the ones that didn't leap. Our reluctance to go into battle is nowhere near that strong. Probably because battle has only been lethal for a relatively short time, by evolutionary standards. You have to tell yourself that battle is deadly, but your nervous system already knows about heights. In fact, it looks as if there are three or four separate fail-safes you have to override to get your body over the edge.

Bill said...

How fitting that the vid was by Maximilien Van Aertryck. Air trick, indeed!

Harold said...

Curious George said...
I've done as part of NROTC qualifications in college. Supposed to simulate going over the side when abandoning ship.


Well, that's what they told you because that's the weak excuse used to defend the jump as a graduation requirement for the US Naval Academy. Sued by a women who couldn't graduate because she wouldn't jump. USNA was losing too many women due to that oen requirement, while losing on the average one or two males every few years.

It's an exercise in conquering fear. If you can't conquer fear after you've watched a bunch of other people do it successfully, how will conquer fear when a real emergency occurs that requires you to run toward the problem instead of away for safety? You won't. Cut and dried. The only person I ever saw freeze at the entry to the fire filled compartment for firefighting training in the Navy was a female officer. Wouldn't enter to put the fire out. I'll bet dollars to donuts she didn't jump. She was assigned to a ship, but not sent packing after that. A male officer would have been gone in a heartbeat.

David53 said...

If you didn't watch until the end of the film you missed the point.

Seeing Red said...

BANZAI!

Patrick said...

I was like "Hooray for that girl that jumped!"

Gahrie said...

I'm wondering now if I should have them watch this film.

I'm showing it to my History and Government classes tomorrow.

ceowens said...

55 years ago I was 14 and my brother 10. I'm guessing that the bridge adjacent our swimming hole was about 7 meters high. He climbed up and it took him a couple of minutes but he dove off. It was early afternoon so I had two or three hours to compensate. It was bad enough that I hadn't gone first but there was no way in Hades that I could go home without doing the deed. It was done and thereafter not too big a deal. The hard part was at the top. It was a steel "I" beam on its side with the web about 5 inches wide. You had to kind of stand sideways before the push off.

Now I have to drive the 10 miles and measure the height. I wouldn't want to exaggerate.

LYNNDH said...

Harold, yeah conquering fear is major feat. So you Navy guys, you go to Nuke/Bio class? Did mine in Norfolk, just after fire fighting school (a way another story). We had to put the atropine needle into our leg and the instructor would come around flick it with his finger to make sure it was in. Now this needle is no small thing either, not a shot needle. Big ol you know MFer.

Lyle said...

the 70 year old woman did it the right way. just breathe mindfully and walk off. awesome.

Quaestor said...

He went in feet first just a little off vertical and when he painfully made his way out of the pool his back was bright red.

I was like "Hooray for that girl that jumped!"

Unfortunately, that girl who did the running start probably landed ass-first. If your feet get in front of you, you're almost certain to rotate a bit on the way down.

CWJ said...

Cooke,

Sorry. I don't associate Athenians with Xerxes and Thermopylae. Is this what you teach?

Asking for a friend.

Achilles said...

I wonder what videos would look like of jump school. 10 meters is almost at max fear height. It is somewhere around 40 feet. At that height you are pretty sure you will die but any higher than that and you are less afraid because the ground is too far away. There are several drills where you have to exit a 40ish foot tower.

The tower chute drops are at 250 feet. They basically string you up and lift you to the top and drop you with an already opened shoot. That gets some screams.

The fast rope training towers are all at 45 feet too.

Mark O said...

We had no 10 meter boards where I was a kid. We would jump from cement stairs into a mill pond.

My kids, city kids, were on swim teams from 6 on up. They loved to do different dives from the high board. I scared me to watch them. They would love that board. Nowadays, with insurance rates high, there are no 10 meter boards anywhere near.

I sent them the vid. They will mock those who didn't dive. That would include me.

Quaestor said...

When I did my first 10m platform what scared me was the illusion that it was possible to miss the water and land on concrete, or overshoot the 12-foot deep diving area and bottom-out on the slope. The emotional left-brain just won't listen to the analytical right.

Achilles said...

At Ranger school one on water day you had to climb a 40 foot ladder to a platform then walk across a 6 inch wide beam 40 feet to another platform over water. They put 2 steps in the middle of that and the whole thing swayed in the wind. Then you had to climb out on a rope hand over hand to a sign, hit it, then hang there until the RI's said drop. Then you dropped into the water.

After that you had to climb a 75 foot tower and jump off holding a zipline and drop off into the water. After climbing that ladder my grip was burned.

Not everyone made it. It was 38 degrees that day too. You never really lose your fear of heights either. I have respect for people who can dive head first off those 10 meter platforms.

madAsHell said...

Major fear of heights now, weird.

It's all those dreams of falling, and realizing that you are truly fucked.

Heights didn't bother me as a kid.

Now, when the ski lift sails out over a gully, and the drop goes from 10' to 50'. If you listen carefully, you can hear my sphincter snap shut.

Oh, yeah.....that Peak-to-Peak gondola at Whistler. Do not get on it alone. Especially, the cabin with the glass floor.

William Koekkoek said...

Big Mike- At a college swimming & diving meet one of our divers screwed up his entry form. The dive he accidentally signed up for was one he had never practiced or even attempted. If he had done the dive he had practiced he would have been disqualified for not performing the proper elements.

He took almost as long as some of these folks up on the tower going through each and every element, every twist, somersault, and position in his mind practicing the motions and evolutions.

Took the dive and landed flat on his back from ten meters up. They pulled him out on a back board, but luckily he wasn't seriously injured. Seriously hurt, on the other hand?

SukieTawdry said...

I wouldn't do this. I wouldn't even bother to climb up there because I know I'd never jump off. I stood at the top of an Olympic ski jump take-off ramp once. I wouldn't do that either. I've been parasailing and hang gliding and would jump from a plane (in tandem with my instructor), but would never consider bungee jumping. Remember when Felix Baumgartner did that jump from outer space? I was hyperventilating just watching the video.

EDH said...

A number of those who went seemed to have the same instinct: step down off the platform passively rather than jumping, as if to avoid adding any height to their eventual decent.

BJM said...

Remember when Felix Baumgartner did that jump from outer space? I was hyperventilating just watching the video.

Yes, me too...even thinking about it now makes me catch my breath a little.

I can relate to the fear of peering over the edge of the ten meter into a deep pool of water, especially if you're not a strong or regular swimmer, and some of the people in the video were obviously not. Our swim team coach insisted that everyone jump off the 5 and 10 meter platforms once at the beginning of every season. It was rite of passage.

openidname said...

When my dad was 12 -- which was during the Depression -- he made a few bucks for his family by doing a high dive off a 90-foot-high board. He quit because, according to him, if you do it too long, there's a risk of brain damage.

MaxedOutMama said...

We used to jump from about that height at a quarry when I was a kid. It was scary, all right, but a LOT of fun.

Watching the video made me wonder if I could do it again today?

The thing I remember that surprised me is that the first time, it was fear. I think the first day I jumped I did it three times. After the first time it was more thrilling than anything else. Then we went back, and I was surprised that it was again hard to jump the first time again. I think it is instinct. The first time you jump the fear goes - after that, you are battling an instinct.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

What is about quarries & jumping off the cliffs?

I, too, would regularly jump off a 22 ft cliff at a quarry were we would swim as boys in northern Alabama. A kid in my 7th grade class jumped off a 30 ft cliff at a quarry, landed wrong, & broke his arm. Needless to say, those quarries could be death traps for the inebriated, stoned, or foundationally stupid.

Macho courage was a big part of being a boy/young man in Alabama. I wasn't the bravest of the bunch, but when I think back on what even I did -- aiy-yi-yi! The old joke really is true:

What's the last words out of a redneck's mouth?

"Hey, y'all -- watch this!"

Andrew Pardue said...

Apple shows us that this is easy and very cool if you have the right music on iTunes and an iPhone 7.

Earnest Prole said...

Beautiful

Yancey Ward said...

I was an avid tree-climber from childhood until I was a young adult- from experience I can tell you that heights are psychologically multiplied when you are looking down from them when compared to looking up, and I have no real fear of heights at all. I can imagine it is even worse for people for whom being up high like that is nerve-racking.

harryo said...

I remember the first time I did that. I had no choice after climbing the ladder. I would never live it down. While standing there, I wished I never climbed the ladder.

I cheated though, I didn't dive, I just jumped in feet first. It was about the third time I actually dove, and I almost forgot to raise my hand elevator and not strike the bottom.

I think all kids love it after the first time. The low board is for style. The high board is just for the enjoyment of the drop.

harryo said...

Yancey Ward said...I was an avid tree-climber from childhood

We had a forest behind our neighborhood in the 60's. We built our fort at the 50 foot level. My older brother actually fell out and landed on his arm and put a compound fracture in it. It didn't bleed much, but it was cool seeing a bone sticking out.

We had another tree we loved to climb to the top, and the wind would whip us back and forth. It was great fun.

The funny thing is, we used to jump off the roof and do parachute landing falls. Now I'm scared I will break my legs, and look like a grandma climbing the ladder.

Yancey Ward said...

Harryo,

I never once fell out of a tree, but my cousin who often climbed with me did from about 25 feet- probably would have died but for glancing off/grabbing at a lower branch at about the 10 foot level that slowed his impact just enough save him. All he ended up with was a dislocated shoulder that he popped back in on his own- that made me want to vomit.

Kyzernick said...

Highest I ever dove into a pool was 5 meters (though the sign on the stairs said 15 feet, I later learned it was slightly higher). I've dived into rivers and lakes from higher, but I really don't know exactly how high up. What always got me was the fake-out that my body would pull on me the first time. I mentally counted to five, and then closed my eyes and try to step off the branch (limb, really - it was a semi-fallen tree that perched over part of the Mohawk River). Took a few seconds to realize that I hadn't even loosened my grip on the tree. A few taunts from my friends got me to overcome it and do it, but the instinct to not plummet to my death was a powerful force that was not easily overcome. Unlike MaxedOutMama above, it never really seemed to get easier for me, each jump took multiple seconds of first convincing my skeptical brain that I was not about to pancake into dirt but rather plunge deep into more forgiving water.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger chickelit said...
. . .
There is a sheer rock cliff at South Point which is said to be about 40 ft. My wife refused, but both my teenaged kids jumped after they saw dad do it and survive. I thought the climb back up on a rusty, rickety steel ladder was scarier.

I've been there (I live on the Big Island). Pretty brave. The water there is too wild for me, I've never gone in. My brother used to go scuba diving with a spear gun off of South Point. The water drops off fast, so the big fish come in close to shore. The currents are wicked and the sea can change fast, so sometimes it took a miracle to get back on dry land without getting battered.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Had to do that at USNA - didn't especially enjoy the process, but didn't have a problem doing it. Occasionally there is someone who spends hours on the platform before doing the jump.

MadisonMan said...

If you didn't watch until the end of the film you missed the point.

You don't need to watch -- it's from the NYTimes -- so the point is known: Hillary would make a fine President.

I'm not sure how that is explained via jumps from 10-m platforms, but the Times Editors can invent well.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Lol Mad.

Yeah Dave, could you just tell us the point then, because after three or four instances of the repetitious beginning, I got bored. Why should I trust a filmmaker to value a quarter hour of my life? Answer is I don't. Certainly not one working under the New York Times' aegis.

Curious George said...

"Harold said...
Curious George said...
I've done as part of NROTC qualifications in college. Supposed to simulate going over the side when abandoning ship.

Well, that's what they told you because that's the weak excuse used to defend the jump as a graduation requirement for the US Naval Academy. Sued by a women who couldn't graduate because she wouldn't jump. USNA was losing too many women due to that oen requirement, while losing on the average one or two males every few years.

It's an exercise in conquering fear. If you can't conquer fear after you've watched a bunch of other people do it successfully, how will conquer fear when a real emergency occurs that requires you to run toward the problem instead of away for safety? You won't. Cut and dried. The only person I ever saw freeze at the entry to the fire filled compartment for firefighting training in the Navy was a female officer. Wouldn't enter to put the fire out. I'll bet dollars to donuts she didn't jump. She was assigned to a ship, but not sent packing after that. A male officer would have been gone in a heartbeat."

"exhelodrvr1 said...
Had to do that at USNA - didn't especially enjoy the process, but didn't have a problem doing it. Occasionally there is someone who spends hours on the platform before doing the jump."

I did it freshamn year, all incoming freeshman were required to do it. I can't remember anyone not doing it, or hesitating for long, but it was back in 1975 so memories fade. And it wasn't just jumping. You had to swim the length of the pool underwater, clearing the surface with your hands when you came up for air. The idea as I said was simulating abandoning ship. You swim underwater to avoid burning oil and debris on the surface, also why you "clear" the surface when you come up for air. Good times. I was actually more concerned with the requirement to tread water for an hour, and then endurance swimming in the pool. Not a strong swimmer. But I passed.

David said...

It's a great video. I really liked the girl in the orange shorts for the way she encouraged the guy she was with and then just jumped without hesitation when it was her turn. And the old(er) ladies.

Larry J said...

When I was in high school, a large water park opened up in Decatur, AL (Point Mallard). They had a diving tower with 3 platforms. IIRC, they were 5, 10, and 15 meters high. I went off of the highest meter platform a few times (feet first). It took a while to hit the water, so there was time to think about it. Since then, they've blocked off the highest platform. I think the liability was just too high.

When I went to Jump School at Fort Benning back in 1975, the second week of training was called Tower Week. We had these 32 foot towers that we jumped from countless times. We wore a harness and clipped into some straps that ran to a pulley and cable above. It was used to practice our body position while leaving the plane. We had to do our 4-count and simulate checking our canopy as well. They built them 32 feet high (pretty much 10 meters) because that was high enough to cause a fear of heights. Going off of that tower repeatedly was used to help people overcome their fear of heights. The 32 foot tower had 8 sets of straps so we could practice jumping quickly like we had to do when exiting the plane.

There were also some 250 foot towers that were used later in the week. They clipped a special parachute to a ring and lifted us 250 feet into the air. At command, it would release us so we could experience the last 250 feet of coming down under a parachute. It was fun. We were supposed to go off of it twice but as I was in harness waiting for my second drop, the wind shifted and blew a Marine into the tower. His chute fouled on the tower. The instructors (Black Hats) stopped operations and had to go recover him. It was an impressive thing to watch. You can see both of those towers in this photo.

Larry J said...

Here's a better link to those towers at jump school.

Laslo Spatula said...

Only watched the first few seconds.

Did any chick lose her top when jumping?

I am Laslo.

AprilApple said...

Big Mike said..

Gives you an appreciation for Olympic platform divers, doesn't it? They not only jump off the 10 meter tower, they perform twists and somersaults on the way down.

with tiny little micro-splash.

Chickelit @ 9:03 - excellent. Very cool.

AprilApple said...

I doubt I'd have the nerve to do it. If I did it, I'd have to hold my nose.

rehajm said...

One jump from the top of Canajoharie Falls.

The water level was down a bit the day I jumped. Feet first in sneakers I hit the water and ended up hitting bottom so softly it was as if I had jumped off the curb.

Mark said...

Surprised that this didn't get a #DavidFosterWallace hashtag, Professor.

http://artsites.ucsc.edu/faculty/gustafson/FILM20P.W11/readings/forever%20overhead.pdf

exhelodrvr1 said...

Curious George,
"Good times. I was actually more concerned with the requirement to tread water for an hour, and then endurance swimming in the pool"

Same here! The mile swim in flight gear in flight school wasn't especially fun, either! Learning how to make flotation gear out of your clothes was good, though - I taught that to my children!

dbp said...

There is a kind of skill one can learn when it comes to overcoming instinct. You know, on an intellectual level, that you won't be hurt from jumping from 10 meters--you see all the people ahead of you survive. And yet it takes some doing for your intellect to overcome your instinct. The first time is hard and then it gets easier the more times you do it.

I used to go with friends from school when I was at Washington State University down to the Snake river. There were cliffs about 30 feet high and lower ones, so you could work your way up to the highest gradually. If you were willing to swim across (about 1/4 mile) then there were higher and better cliffs on the far side. On the near side you had to jump out, not far, but you could theoretically hit rock on the way down. On the far side there was a considerable overhang and I even did that trick the young woman did at the end of the video.

I wish they had GoPro back then. Here is dbp jumping into a cenote around Christmas this year. Only about 20 feet high, but into a dark, water filled cavern.

David53 said...

@Madisonman

"You don't need to watch -- it's from the NYTimes -- so the point is known: Hillary would make a fine President.

I'm not sure how that is explained via jumps from 10-m platforms, but the Times Editors can invent well."

Thanks, now I have a mental imagine of Hillary cartwheeling uncontrollably off the top of a 10-meter platform.

dbp said...

Sometimes the editing of the Times video gives away the plot: They do a split screen where you see the jumper on one side and an underwater shot on the other: Jeez, I wonder if this person will actually jump?

Watch for yourself to see the answer!

mockturtle said...

I don't remember if it was ten meters or not but, as a teen, I did jump off a high platform once, entered the pool slightly askew and ended up with a colorful bruise the full length of my thigh. I was slightly surprised that water could be so punishing.

Curious George said...

I was surprised by the people who Jumped after hesitating. In my experience the longer one stands at the edge the less likely to jump. Of course the one kid was with his girlfriend, so that's a strong motivator.

SayAahh said...

Outstanding!
Best thing I have seen via the NYT in over 10 years.
Thank you for posting it.

David53 said...

@Bad LT

"Why should I trust a filmmaker to value a quarter hour of my life?"

If you got bored then you shouldn't watch to the end. After watching 3 or four jumpers fast forward to the end. The last dive was simple yet spectacular. I loved it.

Cooke said...

CWJ--

I understand that you fear I might be teaching a lie--the Athenians were not, as you say, at Thermopylae. Please set your mind at ease: I was writing sequentially about the recurring questions that come up in class. So the sentence about the Athenians and Plataeans refers to their courage at Marathon--as I'm sure you recall, they surprised the Persians by attacking at a run.

Today we're doing Salamis

Meade said...

Overheard just now at Meadhouse:

What made you laugh?

MadisonMan

I want to be the one who makes you laugh.

There. You just did.

rhhardin said...

Numbers. You hit at 32 mph jumping from 32 ft. I'd guess that's easy to remember. 32 dominates gravity problems.

You have to go four times the height to double the speed.

So 16 mph from 8 ft.

8 mph from 2 ft. Drop a pencil and see.

Jumping begins to seem inadvisable at about 4 ft (over land), which would be an instinct to avoid 11 mph landings.

CStanley said...

Don't think I could do it.

I never realized I was afraid of heights till I visited the Tikal ruins in Guatemala. Climbed up a pyramid, no problem going up- big problem coming down! Something like 30 meters high, steep stone steps with nothing to hold on to.

I sat at the top for a good while gathering courage, realizing there were no alternatives (the thought of rescue helicopter came to mind but didn't seem realistic and would be too embarrassing) so I slowly started to make my way down, sitting on my bottom and sliding from step to step.

Big Mike said...

@YoungHegelian, you're almost right. The full final words start with "Hey, Bubba, hold my beer." Then comes "Hey, ya'll, watch this!"

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

I enjoyed that vid very much. Especially the very last girl who just falls over backwards and lets gravity do its thing.

readering said...

I read at one point paratrooper training including jumping off an 8 foot wall. I don't think I could do that.

uffda said...

Linus and Frida were delightful! So considerate and supportive of each other.

The platform was scary the first time I jumped at about 12 years old. But the worst was when I first went off the regular high board at age six at the city pool. I dove and chickened out in mid-air, tried to get feet first and did a belly flop. It felt like my skin had ripped apart.

harryo said...

readering said...jumping off an 8 foot wall. I don't think I could do that.

The height is not material. It's the technique of landing. It's called a PLF or parachute landing fall. You keep your legs and feet together, and as you hit, you twist to one side and roll over. Kind of like forming a parabola and using one side to absorb the impact.

You do this in 2 inch sharp gravel, so that any deviation causes pain. If you have pain, you are doing it wrong.

rhhardin said...

you twist to one side and roll over. Kind of like forming a parabola and using one side to absorb the impact.

It spreads the stop out in time, rather than space, actually.

Static Ping said...

Back in the day I would jump off the 20-something foot cliff at Action Park. It was one of my favorite attractions because the line typically was not very long. Jump off, run back up to the top, jump off again, etc. I once did a semi-flop which was not pleasant but I was back on the cliff after I recovered. I suspect 60 feet is a lot less forgiving, but it is still the same idea.

As to the 10 foot boards, the one in the town pool I was growing up in was removed for insurance reasons. The reason was, yes, it is possible to miss the water. You have to be pretty stupid to miss the water, but stupidity is not hard to find with kids and adults who act like kids. Some would aim to get as close as possible to the edge of the pool. The best part of the board was this one guy who would do "watermelon" dives. It was basically a normal dive except he would over-rotate at the end. The effect is he would spray a wave of water out of the pool with his legs. We would gather up at the end of the pool to enjoy the experience. For the record, covering yourself with a towel did not get you any less soaked.

Scott McGlasson said...

The highest I've ever gone off of are the cliffs at Johnson Shut Ins state park in Missouri. I was 14 the first time and it was terrifying. Then it was absolutely the best thing ever for the rest of the day.

This was the best video I could find showing the height. If memory serves, the highest peak you could safely (meaning, not smash into rocks at the bottom) was 46'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqc-IMbY8vk

Ann Althouse said...

"It's a great video. I really liked the girl in the orange shorts for the way she encouraged the guy she was with and then just jumped without hesitation when it was her turn."

Yes, that was wonderful.

It was also part of the immense variety in something so simple. That was the longest sequence, and the sequences had varying lengths and story arcs.

I loved the simplicity and detail and meaning in the storytelling. It was always visually interesting too, partly because of the abstract art of the background but also because of the peculiarities of human bodies.

And I learned for the first time how to pronounce the name Linus.

It's not LINE-us. It's LYNN-us.

art.the.nerd said...

Really, Ms. Althouse? You want me to watch a sixteen minute video without even a two-sentence explanation as to why it is worth my time? And from the NY Times at that?

harryo said...

art.the.nerd said...You want me to

She doesn't want you to do anything. Well, except maybe brush your teeth. Take a mint. Really...

Larry J said...

readering said...
I read at one point paratrooper training including jumping off an 8 foot wall. I don't think I could do that.


I've seen video of WWII paratroopers being trained in the field by having them jump from the back of moving trucks to simulate parachute landings. Here's a brief video about their training back then. Tough breed.

Wilbur said...

A few observations:

I went off a 20-foot diving board when I was about 12. A board is scarier than a ledge because you have to walk out there. The first time I did it feet first, then eventually got to where I was springing off of the board. The first time was definitely the hardest.

Heights. I still find it difficult to walk up to the edge of a roof, flat or slanted, and look over.

Ladders. There's nothing scary about climbing a ladder. The scary part is getting back on the ladder to descend, especially off of a roof, especially onto a damn rickety ladder, especially when you've experienced ladders falling under you before.

uffda said...

For those intending to try the PLF one important part has not been mentioned. Do NOT hit with your knees locked. A little flex will save a painful injury.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A 10 meter tower, 30 ft isn't all that much, as long as the water below it is deep enough and you know how to dive correctly.....not belly flop or cannonball or slap with the flat of your feet. Once you enter the water, like a knife, you immediately curve upward and kick toward the surface.

You also build up to that level of platform and not just jump off, cold turkey. I admire those who in this video have conquered their, justifiable, fear assuming this was their first leap. It really is quite exhilarating.

Source: was on swim team in high school. The only sport that I was actually good at :-)


Static Ping said...

Semi-related, back in the Commodore 64 days of gaming, there was a game called "World Games" that featured cliff diving as one of the events. It was actually one of the more amusing events as the diver could experience various cartoon-ish injuries, such as belly flopping into the water, which resulted in the diver sinking to the bottom like a leaf coming off a tree, or not pulling up after hitting the water, which resulted in his head getting buried in the sea bed. There was even a witnessing seagull that would make silent commentary on the dive.

Bill said...

Everyone should have a friend like Frida, though I think she indulges Linus a tad overmuch.

rcocean said...

When I was younger i hid my fear of heights. Now that I'm older I don't care. My daughter still teases me about the Cable Bridge in Kauai. We were supposed to walk across the bridge to the other side and back. The kids were having a blast, getting the thing to rock back and forth.

We got half-way, and I told her we were back for ice cream. I was scared to death. I would have rather jumped in the river than walk over it on that swaying bridge.

Larry Day said...

In my youth I was a climber, not a watersports person, and definitely not a diver. But just before I turned I rafted the Grand Canyon with some friends. Tying up our rafts at the mouth of Havasu Creek we walked and waded up the creek, where my friends (the river guides for our trip) encouraged us to jump from the cliffs into the most beautiful pools of sky blue water I'd ever seen. We started jumping from about 25' and it took everything I had to do it. As I walked up to the edge my thighs felt like quivery masses of jelly. Damn! I couldn't do that first jump until maybe the third try. After that it wasn't bad at all. After a while we were jumping from 40' and I made a final jump that the guides said was about 60'. That was enough for me. No way I'd ever dive from even 30'. Near the end of this video is the highest cliff I jumped from. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=clif+jumping+at+havasu+falls&view=detail&mid=E9A7ED19776731E86135E9A7ED19776731E86135&FORM=VIRE

Larry Day said...

Before I turned 40.