Cliff diving is the purest extreme sport on earth. Take a high cliff, deep water and courage. What you get is all you need. No additional machinery, no protection whatsoever, just absolute concentration and complete body control. The equipment – a swimsuit – fits into your trouser pocket. The principle is simple; the complication is your own experience. Diving from heights of around 27m, the equivalent of an eightstorey building, has a long tradition but remained largely in the shadows until the start of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in May 2009, featuring the world’s best high divers.
At the moment, the official list of dives includes 149 different ways of combining somersaults and twists. Each diver has to choose his four competition dives from this list – with two required dives and two optional dives. The required dives have a set degree of difficulty (3.6) and must be performed from different take-off positions. The two optional dives must be from different dive groups and must be performed in alternating order for every competition throughout the whole season.
As the qualifiers wrap up for the start of the 2012 season, we look back at 25 jaw-dropping photos from the 2011 season that saw Gary Hunt (GBR) take home the crown for the second year in a row.
CHECK OUT THE CRAZY FACES PEOPLE MAKE WHILE DIVING