Deep Water Soloing
Here are some top tips to keep you safe and having fun when the deep water soloing season arrives.
Always go soloing with a group - the number of the team is up to you.
Check out tide times and weather forecasts, you need to know if there is going to be enough water to fall into and if there is going to be a big swell then stay away otherwise you risk not being able to get back out of the water.
If you are going to a new venue check water depth - you need at least 15 feet of water - obviously the deeper the better! You will also need to investigate exit points from the water and rig up a knotted rope if necessary.
Take it Easy
For the first time soloer try routes that are well within your capability - work up slowly to harder routes and think about traverses with low cruxes until you have mastered the art of falling.
Go Straight In
Falling - or more precisely landing is key to soloing. The ideal entry position is upright and straight with arms close to your body and legs together. Any flailing limbs will suffer from a good slap if not worse.
Pack Your Bags
Essential kit for a good days soloing:
- Shorts and bikinis (ladies - re-adjustment of bikini tops after a fall is best done under water to protect modesty!)
- Several chalk bags (less fluffy the better as they dry quicker) - don't fill them up just enough for a route.
- Several pairs of rock shoes - although they do still work when wet you might want a dry pair for your big send!
- Towel and warm clothes even on a sunny day it's cold when you get out.
If you are not a good swimmer, consider a lightweight buoyancy aid and friends with a dinghy.
Remember it's supposed to be fun - if soloing is not your thing enjoy the spectacle and the banter - heckling is all part of the day.