I've been known to love jumping into water.
I really enjoy a nice plunge in any of the countless fabulous bodies of waters around the world. Delightfully warm or incredibly cold.
I'm game for all of it.
I have a great time making an exhilarating splash that signifies a fun ritual or just serves as the most efficient way to get in for a refreshing dip. I'm no daredevil, but I'll even take a jump from pretty high up off the right ship in the right spot -- like I did here with UnCruiseAdventures in Hawaii.
It's a lot of fun.
I recall -- decades ago -- tuning in with fascination to ABC's Wide World of Sports and watching the occasional cliff diving segments from scenic Acapulco, Mexico. It was a fringe sport then.
But it's got quite the following these days and full sponsorship. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is about to get going this summer with the first event June 4, 2022, in Boston.
The folks at Red Bull crafted this guide to help you with everything you need to know about this extreme sport. Maybe you want to check it out when it comes to your town.
What is Cliff Diving?
The sport involves athletes free-falling from up to 27 meters and combining with high-level acrobatics. That's the essence of cliff diving. Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for aesthetic action and dives of incredible complexity. It's packed full of exciting drama.
In each event, 12 men and 12 women compete, each earning crucial championship points along the way based on their final event positions. At the end of every season, a champion is crowned in both categories, and both are awarded coveted King Kahekili trophies.
What Is the History of Cliff Diving?
Although the World Series has only been in existence for 12 seasons since 2009, the sport originated hundreds of years ago in Hawaii. King Kahekili, after whom the championâs trophy is named, was a Hawaiian chief who first leaped from the holy cliffs of Kaunolo in the 1700s.
The old Hawaiian principles of mana and pono, power and balance, were crucial when lele kawa, which loosely translates as "leaping feet-first from a high cliff into the water without making a splash," was born on the islands in the midst of the Pacific in the 18th century. They are principles that have been upheld and today are prerequisites for the sport of cliff diving.
The Science of the Sport
Like many sports, cliff diving is often labelled an art, and understandably so. Behind the art lies a whole lot of science and numbers. Height, speed and g-force, as well as aerial awareness, timing and physical strength all play a huge role in creating the most perfect, aesthetic and, of course, safe dives.
A few fast facts about the science of cliff diving:
Take-off jump -- Up to 0.8 meters
Rotation speed -- 2.4 per second
Vertical velocity -- 22.5 meters per second
Time in the air -- 2.6 seconds
Water entry -- Up to 85 kilometers per hour
Impact deceleration -- 10 G
When it comes to constructing their dives, the athletes spend many hours experimenting to find the right formula to match their abilities. A choice from five dive groups governs their take-off stance, while an array of dive positions and components -- such as pike, tuck, somersault and twist -- can be used on the way down to impress the judges.
How is Cliff Diving Scored?
Each dive is scored from 0 to 10, in half-point increments, by a panel of five international judges. The highest and lowest scores are discarded, while the remaining three scores are added together and multiplied by the degree of difficulty (DD) of each dive.
Scores from all four rounds of dives are cumulated for the final competition result, with championship points awarded based on each athlete's overall position in the final event standings.
Popular Cliff Diving Destinations
A pure extreme sport, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is hosted in beautiful natural and historic locations where athletes launch from pure rocks, bridges, iconic buildings or beside waterfalls. Since the inaugural competition was staged in La Rochelle, France back in 2009, the cliff diving elite have displayed their skills across the globe, ranging from paradisical spots in Hawaii, Thailand and the Philippines to urban centers like Dubai, UAE; Bilbao, Spain; and Cartagena, Columbia.
This year, the World Series break new ground in Paris and Oslo, along with a surprise new stop for the grand finale, while fans can also look forward to old favorites in Mostar, Polignano a Mare, Sisikon and Boston.
Who Are the Cliff Divers?
Over the past 12 seasons, 85 athletes from across the globe have stepped onto the World Series platforms. The men have been competing since 2009, while the women's competition debuted in 2014, and for the most part both categories have been dominated by two individuals.
Gary Hunt, the British-born diver who represents France, has amassed astonishing numbers in his World Series career: nine titles, 43 victories, and 71 podiums in 84 competitions. The only other men to get their hands on the King Kahekili trophy in that time are Colombian diver Orlando Duque, Russia's Artem Silchenko and the Mexico's Jonathan Paredes.
Equally dominant in the women's category over the past five seasons has been Australia's Rhiannan Iffland. She has five World Series titles, 23 wins in 29 stops and two unbeaten seasons.
At every stop, the eight permanent divers in each category are joined by four wildcard divers who can earn championship points in the same way as the full-time athletes.
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series Schedule
This is the 13th season of the tour, with eight competitions planned at locations around the world. It all kicks off on June 4 in Boston.
1. USA, Boston, June 4
2. FRA, Paris, June 18
3. DEN, Copenhagen, July 16
4. NOR, Oslo, August 13
5. BIH, Mostar, August 27
6. SUI, Sisikon, September 11
7. ITA, Polignano a Mare, September 25
8. AUS, Sydney, October 15 ââ