Let the Ocean Be Your Safety Net: Deep Water Soloing

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.



article continues below

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


You might also like:


At the northwest tip of Vancouver Island lays one of the most rugged pieces of coastline in all of North America, the spectacular, and storied, Cape Scott. Established in 1973, Cape Scott Provincial Park’s isolated rainforest surrounds a wild, weathered seascape characterized by vicious storms, deadly scenery and a few secret surf breaks. It’s also an area steeped in history — for thousands of years the Nahwitti First Nations lived in respectful abundance amongst the Cape’s imposing natural beauty… Read more



SUPovernightTIPS FOR PLANNING AN OVERNIGHT SUP ADVENTUREIt sounds like a crazy idea: take a stand-up paddleboard on an overnight trip. But considering the crazy things people do with these boards (crossing Georgian Bay in the winter, yoga, fishing, etc.), it isn’t that out of line. And if you can muster up the gear, the time and the location, the second you hit the water you’ll know all the planning was worth it. Here are a few tips to get you overnight SUPing… Read more