Eighteen years ago, on a sandy shore in Thailand, Helly Hansen Ambassador JF Plouffe and a few of his friends rented a guide and the use of his long-tail boat for the day.
“Take us to the rocks”, they asked. Encouraging the guide to get as close to the rocks as he could, JF stepped off the boat and onto the vertical surface that emerged from the sea and he simply started to climb. It was this moment that launched his adventures of deep water soloing.
Deep water soloing (aka, solo rock climbing) is an activity practiced on sea cliffs at high tide where climbers rely solely on the base of water at their feet to protect them from falling.
JF explains that event though it is a physically and mentally challenging activity, it’s something he loves to do. “It’s an adventure right beside my house,” he says. “You are warmed up after paddle boarding, and then you are ready to climb.”
Of course, there are a few more technical precautions he takes before each climb: monitoring the tide, snorkeling to see if there are hazards near the base, moisture levels on rock.
But all this allows him to make the connection with nature that fuels him both physically and spiritually as he climbs the earth’s surface and as he falls into the sea.
After that first adventure in Thailand, JF has been practising deep water soloing on his own, with friends, and has recently introduced his family to it.
“You keep going up until you can’t, and then, you just fall.”
It’s just that easy.
Check out more from JF on Instagram: @jfplouffe
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