Today we are sitting down with Sponsored Cliff Jumper Patrick Giannaccini to find out what drives him to Cliff Jump. This exciting athlete is always somewhere new, sending new tricks. The way he focuses and challenges himself is truly inspirational. Let’s see what he has to say about the sport and community.
What’s up Pat?
Not much, I’m about to head up to Sullivan Falls with this girl I just started jumping with. We are doing a little camping slash jumping trip. She did her first jump with me a few weeks ago.
Cool, that sounds mad fun, and it sets up my first question perfectly…Do you remember your first jump and what was that like?
Yeah, I remember. My first jump was at Ricketts Glen in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t really high or anything- it was around 15’. I got up and jumped several times that day. I couldn’t get enough of the adrenaline rush and was hooked right away.
What’s your favorite type of location to jump?
A Waterfall with nice, clear water.
Why a waterfall?
Because I love waterfalls! Haha. No, but waterfalls have nicely broken-up water making for a much softer impact when you land. Say I was jumping in a quarry, there isn’t any moving water in a quarry. The water just sits in one place, barely moving. The difference between the impacts of different water types is drastic. That’s a huge reason I love waterfall jumping.
How old are you Pat?
When did you start jumping?
Just a few years ago when I was 18.
What would you say your most comfortable height is?
It depends on the trick. Are we talking gainer? My comfort level changes depending on what trick I’m going to send.
Well let’s start off with this- what are your Favorite Tricks?
A gainer, a head first dive, an inward front flip, and a dub back.
Ok, so what would you say a comfortable height for your gainer is?
I’d say 60’.
I just have it dialed in.
How did it become so dialed in?
How long did it take you to get to 60’?
Rather fast, maybe two months. The succession over two years has been: a 15’, 30’, 52’, 60′, 71′, and an 85’er. I had made it comfortably to 60′ within about two months from when I started though.
What’s your most comfortable height diving head first?
30’, but I’ve done higher. I like 30’ because of the risk vs. reward factor. I have been practicing diving from cliffs for a long time, so I know I’m safe at 30’. Any higher and the risk becomes too great. If you make a mistake and land over your head with no protection, it could be super-problematic.
Why do they call you Beast Mode?
I’m not really sure, but I know it was made up during a trip I took to the Dominican Republic with a crew of jumpers. Everyone just started shouting “BEAST MODE” whenever I would send it. I like it.
Have you ever had a serious injury from cliff jumping? If not, have you witnessed one?
Thats insane considering how many locations you’ve been to and how many people you have jumped with. Why do you think you haven’t seen an injuries?
I have been lucky honestly. I hope I never see a serious injury, but this is a dangerous sport, and we all know it. First, we perform safety checks at every singe location jumped- that really goes a long way. Knowing all the dangers of a location is half the battle.
Second, if I see someone that I don’t think should be doing something, I will normally stop them, and talk to them. If they need instruction, I instruct. If they need to move down in height, I suggest it. It’s important to watch out for each other; speaking up could easily save a life. If you see something wrong, make sure it’s known. Even after performing all the safety checks you can and being as vocal as possible, there is always the opportunity for serious injury. I think of that often, and it keeps me humbled and concentrated when I’m out there.
What is the Cliff Jumping Community like?
That’s a tough question. What I do know about the community is that the jumpers are passionate. I connect well with everyone I’ve met, and we always have plenty to talk about. I love camping out… I’ve probably slept outside a hundred times over the past summer meeting dozens of brand new Cliff Jumping friends. The community has been really cool overall.
What is the weirdest thing you have seen while on a Cliff Jumping Trip?
What has the sport of Cliff Jumping done for you personally? Has it changed you in any way?
Absolutely, it has changed me. Cliff Jumping takes me to the most beautiful places- places I’ve dreamed of visiting long before I started jumping. I’ve been able to chase dreams and meet amazing people that share my biggest passion because I started jumping. Through these experiences, I’ve learned so much about myself and my abilities as a person.
It has opened me up to the possibility of world travel and adventure. Since I began jumping, I’ve had a boost in self confidence whether I’m standing on a ledge, or making a decision at work. Cliff Jumping has centered me in a lot of ways.
How do you do your part in the #KeepItClean process? Can you explain #KeepItClean and Adopt-A-Spot for us a bit?
I bring trash bags everywhere I go and spread the word about #keepitclean and Adopt-A-Spot. I have adopted my local location and clean it as often as I can. The best thing we can do to spread awareness is to get out there and clean up. The more we clean, the more people will help clean. It’s simple really.
What does your mom say when she see’s videos of you sending big cliffs?
She gets pretty upset… umm, she doesn’t like it.
How do you respond to that?
I kinda tell her I’m gonna do it no matter what. “Mom, I’m just gonna send it.” She has gotten better though…giggles. She just doesn’t want me to get hurt, or worse. It does help she knows the Big Swings crew goes to all extent when it comes to safety checks, that helps.
I know you’ve been to a lot of locations, but what spot has been your favorite so far?
Fuc* me, I like some locations for the cliffs themselves and some for scenery. Like, I really like Nay Aug Gorge in Pennsylvania; there are a lot of jumps to send that are just good to go. There are a lot of different heights that are safe to jump with great take-offs and nothing to clear below you. But, Blue pools in Oregon is the most beautiful place I’ve been to, or MAN!, maybe McCloud Falls in California- that 70’er at McCloud is pretty mint. It’s hard to say really, but those are my favorite so far. I think.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Sending Cliffs, haha. Living on the road, jumping off cliffs.
What would you say your top jump is? Like, the jump that you are most proud of?
I just threw an 85’ Gainer at Bangor Quarry I’m stoked on, or my Nay Aug 58’ Dive. I’m not totaly sure.
Tell me about your worst fail?
Double Front Flip off a 32’er at Peace Rock. I did it once and landed flat on my back, like dead flat. I got up and did it again landing directly on my belly. Reluctantly, but confidently, I took position for the third time and ripped the landing. I was weary because of my last attempts, but after feeling the rotation go wrong twice, I felt strongly that I would be able to stick the rotation the third time.
So, it was my worst fail but a great example of not giving up, and learning from my mistakes. It’s crucial to know your limits and learn from mistakes quickly while progressing in this sport, but your limits will change as you get better. It’s a fine line we walk in this sport sometimes.
What has been your worst experience while Cliff Jumping?
On one of my trips this past summer while we camped in the Delaware Water Gap, PA. We often pull over and camp in the woods. Being an East Coaster, this isn’t exactly legal in most states. This particular day we arrived around sunset at a spot we had camped a few times before. We parked our cars and hiked the mile back into the woods to set up. After a few hours of eating and talking cliff jumping, we hit our hammocks for bed. Just before we did crash, we cleaned up any trash lying around and appropriately put out the fire.
We woke only a few hours later with flashlights in our face. Two fish and game officers were on-scene, and super pissed off. They got us up and made us pack our gear, forcing us back to our cars. Even with complete cooperation they demanded to search our cars. After the hour search, and them finding nothing, they hit us with close to a thousand dollars in tickets for illegal camping. Very sad day indeed. Maybe this should be the answer to the last question too, haha.
What have been your top experiences since you’ve started Cliff Jumping?
I’ve had some pretty memorable moments Cliff Jumping. Two highlights actually came on the same day. One of my friends Eric Phelps sent a 104’ backflip twice in a row at Bangor Quarry. I threw an 85’ gainer from adjacent cliffs. That was a serious day; I will never forget it.
Other than that, I’d say the two big trips I did with Big Swings. The first trip we went to the Dominican Republic on a 7-day Cliff Jumping adventure. It changed all of us I think. The second trip we traveled from Washington State to California in a 40′ RV sending cliffs everywhere we could. It was freaking epic.
Why do you Cliff Jump?
At this point I don’t know how not to. How does one not Cliff Jump? The only way I wouldn’t is if I physically couldn’t.
How did you get to that point?
There was always just so much room to improve. I kept going out, and it became part of me really. The drive to get better and reach new destinations inspires me a lot.
What do you like to do when you aren’t cliff jumping?
Plan cliff jumping trips, hahah. No, I like to go to concerts. I love photography, and I work full time. On the weekends I go camping and jumping normally.
I know you love hammock camping, where is the coolest place you’ve slept in your hammock?
Sullivan Falls is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s beautiful and has great trees. As I say that, I’m thinking about Alstead Mica Mine though; we slept on the peak of a mountain there basically. Yeah, I’d say Alstead was the best hammock camping I’ve done.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Pat. Is there anything you’d like to say at all?
Yes. I’d love to thank my sponsors Big Swings. Make sure you check out our many travels on the Big Swings Youtube page! Aside from that, #StaySafeStaySendy! Make sure you guys are being careful out there, and clean up after yourselves! Always check the water, and use a spotter!! Peace out!
Check out Pat in-action in his Big Swings Introduction Video