A Beginner’s Guide to Deep-Water Soloing

A Beginner’s Guide to Deep-Water Soloing

In the climbing film King Lines, Chris Sharma showed us a vivid (and altogether stirring) portrait of the world of deep-water soloing. His picturesque scaling of the arch in the Balearic Sea known as “Es Pontas,” was a significant benchmark for free solo climbing over a body of water. It also might be one of the unconscious reasons you love jumping off of cliffs and bluffs that line seas, lakes and rivers.

Deep-water soloing (DWS) or psicobloc (literally translated as “Psycho Bouldering”) as it is also known, is free soloing over bodies of water.

DWS has been around since the ’70s and has major roots in Majorca. Like most new ideas, DWS was borne out of necessity. After being crowded out of popular bouldering and aid climbing spots on the island of Majorca, climber Miguel Riera and a few like-minded friends, found solace solo rock climbing over the sea. Nowadays, DWS has expanded from the cliffs of Majorca, to the rivers of British Columbia, the coast of Dorset, the lakes of Austin, Texas.

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