You might have heard the joke:”Why do scuba divers dive backwards? because if they rolled forwards they will fall into the boat”But why do divers go backward into the water? Why don’t they go forward?

This article will dive into why divers go backward rather than forward along with three different diving techniques used by divers and how they do those techniques which include the giant stride, the controlled seated entry, and the wading entry diving method.

Why do scuba divers dive backwards? 1

Diver preparing to dive into the ocean from a yacht with his underwater camera.

Backward rollis only used if the boat is less than three or four feet from the surface.

If you want to know how to do a backward dive on your vacation, here are the steps to do a safe and perfect backward roll:

  1. Divers need to equip their gear on the deck or the boat.
  2. Then they need to get ready for entry by sitting on the gunwale(the side of the ship).
  3. They then check around them: they want to make sure they are not diving on anyone else or any other hazard below.
  4. From there, they place their right hand on the regulator to hold it in place.
  5. They then use their left hand to make sure the equipment will stay while going into the water. Then, once they do that they dive into the water!
Fish in the aquarium. Beautiful decorative fish in the water.

Fish in the aquarium. Beautiful decorative fish in the water.

While the backward roll is the preferred and common method when diving into the water, there are some safety concerns with it. Because divers wear heavy equipment when going into the water. this can make the boat unstable and can cause problems for everyone on board.

Another safety concern is diving on someone else in the water, however, this can be avoided if they look around them before diving into the water.  Now that it’s mentioned on what the backward dive is and how to do it.

Why is it the preferred method?

Here are a few reasons why this is the case:

  1. It Helps You Have Control Over the Equipment: When diving backward. you have control over your equipment. You won’t be able to lose the equipment and you can keep hold of your face mask and hoses. If entering forwards, divers will have water filtering up in their mask and it might cause the mask to loosen and be taken off of the diver, so its best to dive backward.
    Longhorn cowfish. yellow fish on coral background

    Longhorn cowfish. yellow fish on coral background.

  2. It Stabilizes the Boat: If you have RlB(which is a rigid inflatable boat) or a smaller boat, it’s best to do the backward dive because smaller boats tend to have a smaller or less sturdy gunwale which prevents you from standing or stepping into the water. Stepping off of these boats can also impact the boat if you exit from the gunwale since it can rock the boat. If you are performing the backward roll, then it will lessen the boat from rocking.
  3. Falling Backwards is Easier on Your Body: Falling forward with your equipment, especially if you have a heavy tank on your back, can be very painful and can lead to a smack in your face from the mask your wearing. When falling backward, you don’t have to worry and avoid these painful experiences.

Aside from the backward roll, there are two more alternative methods when diving into the water.

Lionfish with Sunburst on a blue background

Lionfish with Sunburst on a blue background.

These include the giant stride and the controlled seated entry. The giant stride uses a stable platform which includes a pier, an edge of the pool, or a dive boat. Here are the steps when doing the giant stride:

  1. First, you want to put on all of your necessary equipment and gear.
  2. You wantto inflate the BCD(stands for buoyancy control device) halfway so you can float while diving into the water.
  3. When checking for everything before you dive, you want to balance yourself either with a rail or another scuba diver. You don’t want to take a dip before you are ready.
  4. Before going into the water, you also want to check for other divers or hazards.
  5. After all this, you can now dive!

As for the controlled seated entry, here are the necessary steps to do it correctly:

  1. If your ship has a gunwale or a platform that’s close to the surface, get all of your gear on and sit at the edge of the gunwale with your legs down into the water.
  2. Check for space next to the boat to be sure you not going to land on anything potentially dangerous and make sure your gear is working properly.
  3. When doing the controlled seated entry, you are going to lift your body over the edge with both arms and spin so you are facing the boat. The reason for doing this is to be sure that the cylinders don’t graze the sides.
  1. And that’s it, you can now dive into the water.
a man in a wet suit, with an aqualung, mask and a balloon. A diver in diving gear is preparing to dive.

A man in a wet suit, with an aqualung, mask and a balloon. A diver in diving gear is preparing to dive

This method is preferred if you have limited space due to reef or a shaky surface. Another diving technique that you can do when going scuba diving is the wading entry method. Wading has you walk backward while you shufle your feet to prevent sharp rocks or scaring bottom-dwelling creatures.

This method is mostly performed from a beach or the shore and unlike the other diving techniques. this method is not as easy considering you have a lot of equipment with you. When wading, you want to have your BCD slightly inflated and keep regular in your mouth, once the water gets to the waist, you can then begin to swim.

One thing to avoid when doing this method is that you don’t want to this when conditions are rough and the surface is rough because you can lose one of your fins.

These are all of the techniques regarding diving into the water. One important thing to keep in mind if you are wondering about which method is the best, think about the type of platform you taking the dive from, which one your comfortable using, and determining which one is the best depending on the conditions. Have fun diving!


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