“Thoughts of new dives, or potential possibilities, give me the feeling of freedom, and in the end, that’s really what cliff diving is all about‒ the freedom to adventure and the freedom to fly.”– Genevieve Bradley
Name: Genevieve Bradley
Occupation: Professional Cliff Jumper
Hails From: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Currently Resides: Honolulu, Hawaii
Sponsored by Big Swings on: January 6, 2016
We asked Genevieve a bit about herself and her Cliff Jumping history ‒ here is what she had to say:
When did you start Cliff Jumping?
I knew cliff diving was the sport for me when I came to University of Hawaii and started to discover all the amazing cliff jumping spots the islands had to offer. I was a springboard and platform diver in college, but I couldn’t wait for the weekends when we would go freestyle dive off the cliffs.
Do you remember your first Cliff Jump?
I don’t remember my first cliff jump specifically, but I do remember that when I joined the diving team, it was mandatory to jump from this cliff called Spitting Caves. There was a run and jump from the top, and I was plummeting 15m to the ocean below. Once you jumped, you could play around on the lower ledges that lined the wall above the cave. We went to that spot almost every weekend during my first semester at school. The danger and adrenaline of that jump never wears off. I think it’s better that way. I will never get tired of that spot.
How does it feel when you walk into a new spot?
Going to a new cliff jumping spot is better than Christmas morning. The rush of excitement, fear, and nerves are only surpassed by the first jump. I feel the rumble of excitement in my chest when we get close, when I hear the waterfall, or when we park the car. I usually can’t help but pick up the pace or twirl around uncontrollably. Thoughts of new dives, or potential possibilities, give me the feeling of freedom, and in the end, that’s really what cliff diving is all about‒ the freedom to adventure and the freedom to fly.
How does it feel when you actually step to the ledge to jump?
I usually get a wave of calm as I step up to the edge of the cliff before doing a dive. All of the variables have been accounted for: measuring the height, checking the depth of the water, and planning what dive I’ll be attempting. So, in the moments before I take off, I know the only thing left to control is my mind. I believe having fear is good. It keeps you humble. In cliff diving especially, you need to respect the elements. I don’t try to push the fear from my mind so much as to justify it. This is what keeps me calm enough to leap from the cliffs with faith that my mind and body know what to do to safely land me in the water‒no matter how far below the water may be.
What’s your favorite kind of jumping location?
The best kind of jump spots are ones that have little or no clearance as far as how far you need to jump out to clear the rocks. The deeper the water the better. I also prefer places with good, easy get-out spots because that is a luxury. And of course, beautiful places are nice 🙂
What’s your personal favorite trick to do?
My go-to trick is a backflip. I’ll backflip off almost anything. But I think my favorite tricks are flips with friends whether it be synchro, pinwheels (opposite direction flips), or people flying over me; diving is better with friends.
What is your all-time favorite location visited?
My all time favorite location I’ve ever visited would have to be the cliffs of Ponte Brolla in the south of Switzerland. World High Diving Federation (WHDF) has a competition there every summer, and that is how I was able to visit this place. The river has carved its way through these smooth gray rocks leaving jumping spots of all heights into crisp, clear, deep, beautiful, fresh water. It’s breathtaking, and so much fun!
Have you ever had a serious injury while Cliff Jumping?
I have been landed on and concussed, I’ve jumped into the water when it was too rough and needed to be rescued, and I’ve done dives incorrectly and come away with many bruises.
What did you learn from those experiences?
I have had many injuries from cliff jumping. It is a very dangerous sport‒ not to be underestimated. Many people think that water can not hurt you because it is liquid, but they are wrong. And the higher the cliff; the harder you hit the water. When cliff jumping, you need to take all the elements into consideration before deciding to jump. That is: the depth of the water, the height of the cliff, the obstacles of reaching the edge and getting out safely, and your emergency plans if something does not go according to plan. Never go cliff jumping alone, and learn from your mistakes. But more than that, learn from others mistakes so you don’t have to make them also.
Are you willing to contribute in our ongoing efforts to educate the public about keeping the jumping environments safe and clean?
Do you have any accolades you would care to share?
High Jump 2015 Women’s Champion and WHDF 2015 3rd Place.
How can the public get ahold of you for more information?