One of the common concerns of scuba diving newbies is how to enter the water safely and efficiently. There are several ways that a diver can enter the water correctly from a boat or a platform. Don’t worry if your choice of entry method differs from another diver you know because some divers may feel more comfortable in some methods than others. The actual entry method may be affected by the type of boat you’re diving from, depth of the dive site, condition of the water, and others.
Four scuba diving entry techniques to master
If you’re a beginner or intermediate diver, here are the four entry methods worth mastering to make each dive a worthwhile adventure.
1. Giant-stride entry
The giant-stride entry is a popular choice when diving from a flat bottomed boat or a pontoon and entering deep water. Aside from being a popular technique, the giant-stride entry is also easy and convenient. To do this, your boat must have a platform or an open deck, otherwise, it is not advisable to do a giant-stride entry from a high edge.
How to do a giant-stride entry:
- Stand near the edge of the platform or open deck of the boat.
- Make sure that all your diving equipment and scuba accessories are in place.
- Put your hand over your regulator and secure your mask with your fingers then take one big step forward. Remain straight and look at the horizon while doing so. A large step will prevent your tank from hitting the edge of the boat.
- Don’t forget to signal to the boat crew that you are okay before proceeding with the dive.
2. Backward roll
The backward roll is often used when diving from a small boat, inflatable boat, or dinghy.
How to do a backward roll:
- Gear up and put your regulator in your mouth and BCD halfway inflated. Then sit at the edge of the boat facing inward so that your tank is on the outside edge.
- Gather your accessories on your lap to prevent them from snagging as you back roll.
- Just before doing your backward roll, look over your shoulder to make sure that the entry area is clear.
- Use your palm to secure your regulator and put your other hand at the back of your mask strap to protect your head.
- Next, bring your knees to your chest and fall backward. You are expected to land flat with your tank absorbing the impact.
- Just relax and breathe normally. Let your positive buoyancy and BCD bring you back to the surface.
- When you reach the surface, check if your gear is properly in place then give your OK signal to the boat crew and you’re good to dive.
3. Seated entry
Entering the water from a seated position is ideal when the water is too shallow for a back roll or giant-stride entry or when the surface is unsteady.
This technique does not create a big splash or too much noise when entering the water, unlike other methods. This can be useful when diving in an area where there could be sharks or other marine creatures that you don’t want to disturb.
How to do a seated entry:
- Put your gear on and sit on the edge of the platform with your fins dangling in the water.
- Make sure that your gear is secured properly then partially inflate your BCD and put your regulator in your mouth.
- Place the heel of your right hand at the edge of the platform with your fingers pointing away from the water.
- Bring your left arm across your torso while twisting to the right, pivoting on the right hand and transferring your weight on your arms.
- At this point, both your hands are on the platform with your fingers pointing to the deck. You will be leaning slightly forward, facing away from the water.
- Slowly lower yourself in the water and you’re good to go.
4. Wading entry
The wading entry method comes in handy when diving from the shore or the beach. This technique is not advisable when water conditions are rough and the surface is muddy.
How to do the wading entry:
- Put on your scuba gear except for your fins and wade to deeper water by walking backward.
- Shuffle your feet along the way to prevent stepping on sharp objects like rocks and to drive away bottom-dwelling creatures such as rays.
- Wade until the water reaches your waist or deep enough where you can float.
- Put air into your BCD so you can float with your mask on and put your fins underwater.
This blog article is not intended to replace formal scuba instruction. If you’re diving in Dubai, you can enroll in a diving course at Nemo Diving Center. If you’re a beginner, we’ll teach you all the basic scuba skills including different entry methods. Aside from beginner courses, we also offer advanced and professional diving courses.