If you’ve ever seen a scuba diver enter the water then you’ll often notice that they roll backwards from their boat or other entry point, into the water, falling in on their backs.
Why do they do this as opposed to simply jumping in?
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What is the purpose of rolling into the water backwards?
Rolling into the water backwards prevents any entanglement of the diver’s gear and also keeps the regulator (breathing apparatus) from getting knocked out of their mouth and the mask from being torn from the face.
The other reason is that hitting water from height can result in injury, particularly when laden down with a heavy tank and other equipment.
By rolling in backwards this risk is significantly reduced.
What does the backward water entry achieve?
The backward roll is the preferred means of entering the water when scuba diving.
Rolling into the water backwards protects
The diver’s equipment
If a ‘swimmer’ type entry were adopted, such as jumping in feet first or diving in head first, then the risk of injury would be significantly increased.
Hitting the surface of water can be as hard as jumping down onto concrete and this is compounded when you are weighed down with diving gear.
The subsequent impact can have serious consequences for joints such as ankles and knees and, if you get it wrong, and don’t hit the water properly, then you can sustain serious injuries.
Entering the water headfirst carries it’s own risks and is potentially dangerous without diving gear – the risk is increased enormously when wearing a mask, regulator and tank.
Rolling into the water backwards is a recognised water entry technique for divers and ensures the maximum possible safety of the diver and their equipment.