Flow State – An Inside Look into the Lives of Northern California’s Professional Cliffjumpers

The Flow State is a documentary following a group of Northern California cliff jumpers, as they look for brand new adventures and challeneges

By Zach O’Brien

As Jay Briggs stands on a log perched 70 feet above the water in the middle of Oregon’s Koosah Falls, you can hear the fear enter his voice. “What the (bleep) am I doing? I’m standing on a (bleeping) log over a (bleeping) waterfall.”

Then, Briggs calms his voice, walks up the edge of the log, and says “this is going to be the greatest thing I’ve ever done.” He jumps, performing a slow rotating forward-motion flip, landing with his feet perfectly hitting the water. It’s a graceful dance in the air that soothes the soul and inspires imagination.

This is the type of unadulterated action you see in Flow State – Into the Mind of a Freestyle Cliff Jumper, a recently released film by Nick Coulter, showing the lives of the dedicated cliff jumpers living in Northern California. The movie dramatically follows the lives of these thrill-seekers, including Nick Coulter (@croulter), Robert Wall (@robert.wall), Jay Briggs (@brggsy), Travis Sims (@travissims), Alex Shirley (@alexsquirrely), Brandon Beck (@brandonnbeck), Chase Reinford (@adrenaline.addiction), and Rainhard Riede (@riede94).

Each jumper is different, with their own brand of style and grace. With each unique styles, they’ve created a massive online following, mostly on Instagram and YouTube, where they highlight their crazy stunts to their hundreds of thousands of fans.

If you’ve heard of Coulter before, he’s the man who famously cliff jumped off Burney Falls, which is illegal due to its danger. Coulter was slapped with a fine, but will now live as one of the few people who’s survived the jump:

Much of the film takes place in the Pacific Northwest, with the group hitting waterfalls all over Oregon and Washington, but most of the locations in the movie are in Northern California. From Tahoe to Burney Falls, the cliff jumpers see nearly every corner of the area, with one of the best scenes in the film this crazy scene from McCloud Falls:

They’ve caught the attention of the public many times, including segments on the Travel Channel and this clip on Fox News:

Their passion is standing on the edge of a 150-foot cliff, overlooking a roaring waterfall and fearing that significant injury or worse could be moments away. It’s that fear and overwhelming intensity that keeps this group of enthusiastic adventure-seekers always wanting more.

With everything I do I strongly believe in quality over quantity. When I’m older I want to look back at every single project I have ever created and have it put a smile on my face. My goal is to make it timeless! Videography is art that shouldn’t be rushed. I will never produce content for the sole purpose of keeping my subscribers fed. Busting out an edit every week will inevitably lean you toward quantity over quality. With that being said there is a reason this movie has taken me over a year. I have carefully gone through every single clip countless times making sure it’s absolutely how I envisioned it to be. There is always more to learn with videography and I am sure later down the road I will find some minor errors in this film as I continue to perfect this passion, but I am confident when I watch this movie when I am a grandpa, it will put a smile on my face. That’s what makes videography special to me. Capturing our greatest memories and turning it into art! To all my close friends who gave such excellent interviews and hucked their brains out for this movie I love you! Now get them tickets for April 7th! In my bio! 🎥

A post shared by Nick Coulter (@croulter) on

And once you jump off that cliff, your body smoothly flailing in the air and not knowing exactly what your landing will be like, that’s what they call the “Flow State”. Your mind shuts off and your body takes control, giving you a feeling of intense euphoria, the likes of which cannot be matched.

“It’s where the subconscious part of your body just takes over and tells your body what to do,” explained Shirley.

“Fear completely turns off and your true human reaction shines through,” added Sims.

Each jump presents its own set of challenges, with the height of the cliff to the depth of the water, every move must be carefully planned. To the displeasure of the frightened public, these cliff jumpers are showing the world how to push the limit, while using the best safety practices out there in order to survive. They use an array of cliff jumping safety rules every time they jump:

  1. Always check the depth of the water. Even if you’ve jumped off the cliff a 100 times, there’s many variables that can change the situation of the landing.
  2. Be a good swimmer and in many cases, where a life jacket.
  3. Have a spotter down in the water to check on the jumper after they land.
  4. If the conditions aren’t perfect, just say no.

The media portrays cliff jumping in a bad light for its raw danger, but with years and years of training and body conditioning, these athletes are no different than any other professional extreme athlete. They continuously work on their craft and keep their bodies in tip-top condition year-round.

Amateur or intoxicated cliff jumpers continue to make a bad name for all cliff jumpers, injuring themselves and decrying the sometimes dangerous sport. But these enthusiasts have found support and enthusiasm among their cliff jumping community and plan to continue to push the limit.

Watching these athletes talk about the sport of cliff jumping feels like the beginning of a brand new, mainstream extreme sport. They talk about using techniques from other extreme athletes, like skiing and snowboarding, in order to master their tricks.

In the end, these aren’t the famous professional extreme athletes like Shaun White and Tony Hawk. They live modest lives, hoping to one day cash in one their sheer passion and dedication to this under-the-radar sport.

Like the extreme pioneers before them, these thrill-seekers will continue to do what they love in order to push the limit. The Flow State is not only a look into the lives of cliff jumpers, but rather a look what humans are capable of with enthusiasm and a whole lot of guts.

Without further ado, here is the entire film - Flow State – Into the Mind of a Freestyle Cliff Jumper:

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get setup?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions
    or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  2. I’ll right away seize your rss feed as I can not find your email
    subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognise in order that I may just subscribe.


  3. May I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody that genuinely knows what they are talking about on the web.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people must look at this and understand this side of your story.
    It’s surprising you’re not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

  4. Thanks for every other informative site. Where else could I
    get that kind of information written in such an ideal manner?
    I’ve a project that I’m simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

  5. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am now not positive
    whether or not this post is written by him as no one else recognize such exact approximately my problem.

    You are incredible! Thank you!

  6. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally
    suggest to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this website.

  7. I’m very pleased to find this page. I wanted to thank you
    for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new stuff on your

  8. I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly I’m
    looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a lot of the
    subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  9. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a
    entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page
    layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  10. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

  11. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the
    pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button