Put down your phone, turn off your Netflix, and step outside. Yes, that thing you feel is heat. The Oklahoman sun is calling your name and can’t wait to see you sweat. Outdoor Tulsa is a new experience just waiting to be ventured.
Tulsa alone offers many outdoor activities. There’s hiking, biking, boating, longboarding and many other things that can get the heart pumping. If you’re looking for an epic adrenaline rush, take a leap of faith right off the edge of a cliff.
Josh Pernell, junior accounting major, has gone cliff jumping over 10 times in the last few years in Oklahoma, New York and Massachusetts. When picking a jump location, Pernell stresses choosing a cliff that rises straight out of dark water. The darker the water, the deeper it is.To test water depth, Pernell suggests swimming down as far as you can in order to find the bottom of the lake bed. If you can’t feel it, you are safe to jump from a medium-sized cliff. From there, you can work your way up to the big cliffs.
“I like the thrill and expanding my boundaries. There’s no restraints,” said Pernell. “It’s a great stress reliever too.”
His advice to beginners: “Make sure you’re a good swimmer, and keep your body tight.”
Cliff jumping did not start out as an extreme sport, but rather as a way to honor the gods of the Hawaiian Islands. In the 18th century, Chief Kahekili of Lele Kawa challenged his warriors to jump off the Hawaiian cliffs to prove their bravery as warriors. It was just as dangerous then as it is now. Cliff jumping is not something to take lightly.
“Never think it’s easy. Never attempt to dive if your mind is not feeling completely clear,” said 2008 British Olympian diver Blake Aldrige. “And never think you are invincible.”
When you’re choosing a jump spot, make sure you pick a legal location. Visit airabovewater.com to find safe locations by state and country. Look before you leap. Make sure the water is clear of people, jutting rocks, trees or objects before you jump in. Always stay smart; don’t try to out-do your friends with cool tricks and flips. It’s not worth the neck injury.
Ready to jump? If so, grab some friends and a bathing suit and head out to Lake Tenkiller, just an hour and a half from campus. Take pictures and videos and send them to The Oracle (firstname.lastname@example.org). Stay safe, and have fun.