Blake Aldridge on the World’s Hardest Dive
Blake Aldridge is one of the most technically advanced cliff divers on the scene and constantly pushes the limits on what was previously thought to be possible. His portfolio boasts two of the world’s hardest dive’s that he alone can perform. Check out his ‘reverse double somersault with five twists’ here and get an insight into what goes through his mind mid-dive in our latest Q&A:
What’s the highest you have ever dived from?
I did 32 meters in France, it smashed me to bits! I’m not looking to do that again any time soon! 27-28 metres is about the border line. The impact increases massively when you go even a little bit higher than that. If you do go higher, you can’t get as much done as the speed you fall at counteracts the extra height and the impact increases the risk of injury so much more.
What’s your favourite dive?
It used to be my ‘backwards handstand with two and half somersaults and four twists’ but I’ve recently just completed the new hardest dive in the world which is a ‘reverse double somersault with five twists’. It’s the hardest dive that has ever been done and it’s also the most twists that have been added to a dive. So I’d have to say this is my favourite dive but also the scariest!
Twist dives seem to be your specialty. How did this come to be?
I don’t know really. I performed twists well when I was an Olympic diver and I suppose the technical side of the twist is very similar off the dive board as it is in cliff diving. Obviously there’s a lot more height so I can fit in more twists. It took a while to build up the courage to add that many twists to my dives but it seems to be working as I have two dives that no one else in the world can do.
What goes through your mind mid dive?
Mid dive is when I come out of the dive and I have to brace for this huge impact on my body. It’s a really funny sensation you go through total hell on the platform trying to get off the board then there’s a really calming sensation as if you’re flying like a bird and everything goes into slow motion. It all happens so quickly! Our senses as divers are so fast and quick to adapt to what we see. Then you go through absolute hell when you hit the water and as you come up you’re exhilarated and you just want to do it all over again! It’s a feeling I can’t compare to anything else in my life. I’ve done a solo sky dive and a 190 metre bungee jump and nothing compares to standing up there with absolutely no safety at all. Once you take off there’s no going back! With the bungee rope you have that to save you, with a free fall once the parachute kicks in its boring. With cliff diving there’s nothing boring about it! You’re scared, worried and excited all at once and you have masses of adrenaline running through you. Then you brace for the impact, which is massive on the body, it’s exciting as you never know if you’re going to get injured or not! You’re always on the limit of what’s going to happen, you’re always on edge, it’s raw, it’s just a super sport and I love it!
See Blake perform the world’s hardest dive for yourself at the next Red Bull Cliff Diving event in Italy.