I once saw a guy jump off of a 40-foot-high platform into a kiddie pool of water. My first thought was “this guy is crazy.” But then it occurred to me that this guy did know what he was doing. In his own way he was, in fact, a waterman. He had to know the medium he was jumping into. Sure, it wasn’t what some might consider a waterman to be, but he did have a certain amount of style and grace as he leapt from the top of the platform and floated out evenly as he dropped. The splash into the water was every bit as calculated and skillful and experience-derived as the smoothest and most confident bottom turn or aerial move by a surfer at Pipe or anywhere else. Without water, this waterman would be nothing but a bunch of broken pieces. He had to learn how water behaved, how much it gave and how much it took. The water saved his life every time he jumped.
Okay, maybe this is a one-trick waterman. Yes, the graceful leap becomes a belly flop about a second and a half later, but it’s still a man and it’s still water. And it’s pretty damned impressive when you consider the feat. And when the Guinness Book of world records is a phrase bandied about you have to figure that few people have the stones even to attempt this. And it’s not just a matter of attempting it; it’s about learning how water works to support you. It is a matter of life and death. What may seem like a throwaway stunt is for this waterman daredevil a process that requires thoughtful consideration and experience. Nothing can be taken for granted. It’s no different from any other endeavor in the water by any waterman. The water needs respect. In this case, the respect is in the life-sustaining support the water gives to keep the waterman in one piece.
Come to Original Waterman for apparel suitable for watermen of every stripe. We’ve got you covered whether surfing, free diving, kitesurfing, paddling, or leaping into shallow plastic pools with colorful cartoon ducks on the side. Check out our full line of waterman apparel and other gear at originalwaterman.com or call us at 760.492.4