Now that the Four of July is in the rear-view mirror along with many summer vacations, what are teenage kids going to do? There’s always the mall, a pool or maybe the movies. Some kids are playing sports but many teenagers are already bored.
With school still four to six weeks away, it is what many experts call a dangerous time. Teenagers may experiment with different ways to avoid being bored.
Finding these often risky activities is as easy as a surfing the internet. Dozens of websites are loading with videos of teenagers doing what many would consider dangerous.
“At first it looks cool,” said Cristian Medina. “That guy just jumped off a cliff.”
The teenager was referring to a video posted that showed kids jumping off cliffs into the water here in Arizona.
“I’d never do it,” said Medina.
Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake and the Salt River are popular spots.
“They jump from that cave in the wall there,” said MCSO Deputy Matt Multz.
The cutout is around 15-20 feet above the water but the target zone is sprinkled with large rocks.
“We have people jump for the first time and break bones, “ Multz said. “I have personally pulled a lot of people from here, lots of fatal (jumps).”
The risky behavior is often spurred on by friends and alcohol. Some teenagers will also attempt to climb much higher than the natural cutout and try to jump from a higher spot.
Thrillseekers have jumped from cliffs much higher at Saguaro and Canyon lakes. Guys and girls take a dangerous leap that can end with scrapes, cuts, broken bones and sometimes something worse.
A different kind of daredevil activity is taking place on Camelback Mountain. Teenagers are taking to their skateboards and flying down the side of the mountain at upwards of 40 miles per hour.
“It’s a thrill greater than anything I’ve ever done,” said Adam Astor.
Astor is no longer a teenager but he skates with many riders who are. Unlike cliff jumping, you don’t just decide on a whim to skate down a mountain at high speed, but the risk is no less.
“I describe it as inherently dangerous -- you are going to get hurt,” said Astor.
While Camelback Mountain is one of the more popular spots in the Valley, these daredevils will seek out places in other states, and on some hills they can reach speeds upwards of 75 miles per hour.
To be clear, most teenagers aren’t jumping off or racing down the side of a mountain but it does happen. So, any parents considering a science or space camp might want to book that now.
© 2017 KPNX-TV