4 Methods of Water Entry for Scuba Divers

When you took your open water training, you likely learned at least one method of water entry for scuba divers. But there are actually several ways a diver can enter the water, each of which depend on the location from which you'll be jumping in. There is no right or wrong method, but you may feel more comfortable with some than others — and sometimes you may not have a choice. Let's take a look at four of the most common methods of water entry for scuba divers.


via flickr/Agnee eviasziget.hu

Wading entry is performed from a beach or shoreline, and it is the only method of entry for a shore dive. You simply don all your scuba gear except your fins, and wade out to deeper water. Partially inflate your BCD, and continue walking until you reach a swimming depth, and then fully inflate your BCD and put on your fins. Shuffling your feet helps stir up the bottom a bit so any creatures within the substrate, like rays, will be scared off. Because shore entries are often rocky, it is advisable to wear dive boots to avoid injuries on your way out and back in.

Giant Stride

via flickr/Ruth and Dave

A giant stride is the most common method of water entry for scuba divers that are diving from a boat, pier, or jetty. After donning all your scuba gear, you step onto the platform from which you will enter. Put your regulator in your mouth, hold your mask and regulator in place with your palm, lift one leg out in front of you, and jump in the water. Once you surface, give the OK signal to your fellow divers or boat captain, fully inflate your BCD, and wait for all other divers to enter the water before you descend.

Back Roll

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Small boats, such as inflatable Zodiacs, will not have a platform from which to jump, so the back roll is the ideal water entry for scuba divers in this circumstance. Don all pieces of scuba gear, then sit on the edge of the boat facing inward. Put your regulator in your mouth, and hold them in place with your left hand, as in the giant stride instructions. With your right hand, hold the back of your head; this prevents your skull from smacking into the first stage regulator when you hit the water. Then point your chin toward your chest, and gently fall backwards. You'll do a little somersault and pop right back up. Don't forget to give the OK!


via YouTube

The controlled seated entry method is ideal for a few situations: when the water is too shallow for a giant stride; your boat or platform is almost touching the water's surface; or the platform is unsteady. After gearing up, put your regulator in your mouth, sit on the edge of the platform, and use both hands to push yourself up and out into the water. Be sure to really give yourself a shove so your tanks don't bang the platform on your way down. While this method of water entry for scuba divers is not as commonly used as the other three, it's a good one for brand new divers who haven't mastered the others yet.

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