Unlike a lot of daredevil sports, cliff diving doesn’t require any fancy equipment – just a pair of Speedos and nerves of steel. And with such minimal tackle, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that it isn’t a new sport either. The first cliff diver is said to have been Maui’s last king, Kahekili, who took the plunge back in 1770. As the story goes, his history-making leap from the cliffs of Kaunolu was from a height of 63 feet.
King Kahekili, who was nicknamed “Birdman”, not only reproduced the dive many times himself; he also made his warriors perform the feat to prove their loyalty and courage. We can only imagine how his men must have felt about these enforced leaps.