Nowadays, deep water soloing, aka psicobloc, has been gaining in popularity as more places are opening up for climbers to take part in this unique sport and this article will cover all of the different topics about deep water soloing and hopefully answer any questions that you may have. You have to think differently about DWS if you’ve been bouldering or lead climbing for awhile. The class will cover when to go psicobloc climbing, manmade areas, the types of gear you’ll need, deep water soloing safety, and areas around the world that are known for deep water soloing.
How does deep water soloing work? It is often called psicobloc climbing when it involves climbing a rock face from a boat, knowing deep water will be a cushion in case you fall. When you fall into the water, you will fall directly into the water, so you’re basically free soloing. Psicoblocs, which are manmade climbing walls over swimming pools, have yearly tournaments and are often used for climbing. With deep water soloing as with most other types of climbing, there are different hazards than most other types, for example drowning. You need nice weather and warm water.
Deep Water Soloing or Psicobloc
The act of deep water soloing involves climbing a large rock face on your own, but if you fall, you fall into a deep pool of water so as to protect yourself from injury. Apparently, DWS has been around since the 1970s when a climber named Miguel Riera and his climbing friends observed that the bouldering spots on Majorca were overcrowded and therefore a new activity was needed. Until the early 2000s, it wasn’t popular.
When DWS is conducted, the routes climbed are typically quite difficult. There are a variety of places to practice deep water soloing outdoors, such as cliffs, reservoirs, rivers, and manmade walls over swimming pools that are all over the world. Psychoblocs are man-made climbing areas. As people enter increasingly more psicobloc tournaments as well as as more tournaments are created, it is quite obvious that deep water soloing is gaining in popularity.
Climbers who participate in deep water soloing are known as daredevils even though the activity sounds relatively safe. There are no ropes attached to the wall, so climbers taking this risk understand they could fall more than 100 feet into a body of water below if they fall. We’ll discuss more safety precautions needed if/when you fall because injuries (or even death) are not uncommon.
It is not only an adrenaline rush to participate in deep water soloing, but you can also explore parts of the world that would be unimaginable to the normal public. As you climb or make your way to the rock face on the boat or dinghy, you can appreciate the beauty surrounding you. Also, the thing about deep water soloing compared to bouldering or normal free climbing is that you often hear the sound of the water lapping, which can really put you in a state of mindfulness while you’re climbing. Those who like travel, the outdoors, and a bit of adrenaline could find this an ideal activity.
How to safely solo in deep water
Safety should always come first when deep water soloing. DWS seems to be a completely harmless activity… after all, if you fall in the water, you’ll be fine, right? But trust isn’t exactly created by trust. It is possible to sustain horrific injuries or worse yet, even die as a result of hazards. If you practice climbing without taking the time to ensure you are doing so safely, the chances are pretty much the same.
Hazards to be aware of
When diving deep water solo, what hazards are there? The main danger is drowning. Deep water swimming is a must – this is imperative. If you are participating in DWS, make sure the water is the right temperature because lowering the water below 70°F (21°C) could actually cause cold water shock. In a cold water shock your breathing becomes uncontrollably rapid, causing panic, fainting, and even choking.
There are also hazards in the form of objects in the way, such as parts of the rock face that could interfere with your fall and hit you on the body part as you descend. A person who hits their head and gets into the water will likely be unconscious and drown. The reason DWS should be done with a group is to ensure everyone gets the most out of it. Make sure your boat isn’t in the fall zone if you have one.
The body part may also become trapped by a crack in the rock or a tree branch on the rock. In addition, a wrong entry into the water can result in a burst eardrum depending on how fast you fall.
There are a few precautions you can take before deep water soloing
How do you prepare yourself for solo deep water swimming in a given area? The requirement that you be able to swim goes without saying. Make sure that nothing is blocking your landing. It’s best not to have any boats or natural debris blocking your view. Water must be at least ten feet deep below and rocky areas should not be in the fall zone.
Whenever you fall into the water, you need to enter it correctly. The most effective way of falling with the least amount of harm to yourself is called “Coffin Entry” – not because you’ll need one after you’ve entered the water, but because of the shape your body takes to absorb the fall. During this time, you step first into the water and your arms follow behind you. Don’t look down – even a slight glance down can tip your body forward, leading to a less than vertical entry that can cause injury to your ears, eyes, face or nose.
If you go deep water solo, make sure you have someone with you who knows how to use the first aid kit you will definitely bring and abetter option than needing something and not having it is to have it and not need it.
It is important to remember that your fall will be harder the higher you climb, due to the greater velocity of your fall. When you climb high, you must be able to fall from great heights perfectly.
In conclusion, here is what this section says:
- You should know how to swim in deep water.
- Make sure no boats, debris, or rocks are in the zone of impact.
- The water should be over 10 feet deep.
- Make sure you enter the water using the coffin entry. Keep your eyes on the water when you fall.
- Have someone with you when you enter the water.
- Know how to use a first aid kit when you get into the water.
- You will fall harder if your height is higher.
Traversing the sea level
If you’re unsure you’re ready to climb great heights but want to go deep water soloing, you can always traverse at sea level. It’s great that sea level traversing allows you to practice deep water soloing, but if you fall you’ll only have a short distance to travel. Climbing deep water on your own is the safest way to do so, but it isn’t the most satisfying.
The best places to solo in deep waters around the world
Are you wondering where you can go scuba diving deep water alone? Then you have surely come to the absolute right place. you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are just a few of the most well-known or best places in the world for deep water soloing.
- The East coast of Majorca has many spots for deepwater soloing and was the supposed birthplace of deepwater soloing. If you’re planning on diving deep in Majorca alone, you’ll want to book your flights between July and October, when the weather is hot and the water is warm. It is a favorite spot of one of the world’s most famous climbers, Chris Sharma, who has completed many of the difficult routes in that area. This region is known for its challenging routes that require strong fingers. If you’re not climbing at the grade of 6a or more, don’t even think about coming here. In Majorca, “King Line” is the most famous deep water solo climb, as well as one of the hardest.
- On the south-east of the island of Malta you can find an area called the Blue Grotto. Several sea caverns can be explored and climbed here.
- Tonsai Beach, Thailand is a fantastic place for deep water solo diving. If you’re renting a boat, be sure to tell the boatman in advance what you’re doing and where you’re going. Make sure the tide is high.
- One of the best diving destinations in the United Kingdom is Lulworth Cove and Conner Cove in Dorset. Since it’s the farthest south you can go in the UK other than Cornwall and Plymouth, the water is warm and the weather is usually good in the summer.
- The US tourist can start at Lake Powell, Utah. There are countless routes that can be sent by climbers of any level. This wall is not allowable to bolt anything to, but you have 2000 miles of rockface to choose from so you can deep water solo to your heart’s content once you find the perfect spot. For the most out of your time at the island, you can also rent a boat.
- There are plenty of routes to try out at South Point, Hawaii, most of which are over deep water.
- On the Kincaid Lake rock face, which is 500 feet long and more than 60 feet high, climbers venture into Jackson County, Illinois. You can access the rockface by boat or by foot, but it is recommended that only more advanced climbers attempt this deep water soloing area.
- Lake Travis, which is actually located in Texas, united States, has limestone cliffs where deep water soloing is great for climbers of all levels, whether they’re beginners, intermediates or experts. In this area, a boat is necessary, but it is worth the investment, since this is one of the best spots in the United States for deep water soloing.
- A boat is a must if you want to get the most out of Summersville Lake, West Virginia. There are sandstone routes for novices and experts. This is a great spot for deep water solo climbing so I’m sure it will be worth it.
- Solo underwater trips in Turkey are available in a few places in Olympos. During the Petzl RocTrip 2014 tournament, Olympia was one of the areas that hosted. Boats are needed to access the area.
- The climbers of all grades can take advantage of the deep water soloing available in Ka’anapali, Maui. The routes are located on black rock beach and cater to both beginners and experienced climbersand this is also a great place to go sightseeing.
The World’s Psicobloc Walls and Competitions
In the world, there are a few different kinds of artificial deep water solo walls. Competitions are typically held every year, with hundreds of fans in attendance. A psicobloc competition was played for the first time in Bilbao, Spain in 2010. During the Psicobloc Masters Series, which takes place every year, competitors compete in deep water solo competitions and cash prizes are awarded at the end of the competition. Taking place at Utah’s Olympic Park, the prize for 2018 was $20,000 and the venue was the Olympic Park. This is where the Psicobloc Masters Series is usually held.
In 2019, Marseille hosted a deep water soloing competition.
In addition, there are other independent competitions for deep water soloing, such as the Deep Water Solo Tuck Fest.
There aren’t many artificial psicobloc walls in Thailand, but if you’re interested in visiting you might want to check out the REBEL psicobloc climbing wall.
Recommendations for soloing in deep water
Deep water soloing has the advantage of not requiring much equipment. With just a rock climbing shoe and some chalk, you could get started. But you should think about bringing a bit more than that. It will be obvious that you’ll be falling in water so you don’t need crash pads. Make sure you’re wearing clothes you can get wet. There is no need for ropes, carabiners, harnesses, etc, but you can bring a helmet if you like, but most climbers don’t. Chalk and climbing shoes are also important.
Prepare yourself for getting wet first. Wear water-resistant climbing shoes. Because of this, I would pick rock climbing shoes with synthetic materials instead of leather for deep water soloing. When leather is wet, it stretches, and it takes much longer for it to dry than synthetics. A typical pair of rock climbing shoes for deep water soloing is La Sportiva Oxygyms, since they’re synthetic and machine washable.
Second, it can be quite challenging to provide advice on what chalk to bring and how to administer it when it comes to chalk. Some people bring 20+ chalk bags with them with small amounts of chalk in them, since they know that once they’re in the water those bags are useless until they’re dry again. Another option is to bring liquid chalk with you, which you can apply on the inside of your thighs or on your forearms halfway through your climb, as needed. If you don’t like liquid chalk and don’t want to risk damaging your chalk bags, this can also be done with normal chalk. Additionally, there are purists who think all parts of deep water soloing should be experienced with chalk.
An emergency kit and a means of communication (a cell phone or flare gun) are essential. In the event of an accident, you don’t want to be caught out in a body of water while being severely injured.
You will also need a change of clothes and a towel if you’re going to fall into water. If it’s hot and the sun’s out, you might want to consider climbing in a t shirt and shorts while lathering yourself up with sunscreen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How high can you deep water solo?
This depends on the route, but it could be as high as 20 meters. The cliff top is easily accessible for all routes. There are also several options for deep water soloing in southeast Asia’s aquatic karst topography; notable areas include Tonsai, Thailand and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
How safe is deep water soloing?
As a result of the sudden nature of immersion as well as potential trauma, drowning may be even more of a risk in DWS. When exposed to cold water (70° F and below), people may suffer cold-water shock, which results in uncontrolled gasping, rapid breathing, panic, or even lethal heart rhythms.
Where can I deep water solo?
You can do deep eater soloing in the following places:
Does deep water soloing in climbing shoes?
Yes we can do deep water soloing wearing climbing shoes, and the water won’t ruin them just they will get fade.
Where can you solo deep water in the US?
In US you can deep solo in the following places: