How do scuba divers enter the water? This is one of the most common questions asked by beginner scuba divers. In fact, there are four prominent methods that scuba divers use to enter the water. While they might prefer one above the other, the actual entry method will also depend on the type of the boat they dive from, the water conditions, the depth on the dive site and so on. Here is a list of the four methods that scuba divers should master in order to enter the water and embark on another exciting scuba diving adventure.
1. Seated entry
Seated entry method can be considered as the most popular and preferred method used by scuba divers when entering water. If the water is too shallow or the surface of water is unsteady, you can think of following this method. It’s really simple. You will gear up on the boat and sit at the edge of the platform. Put your fins and mask on, put the regulator in your mouth as well. Then you should lift up yourself with the help of your hands and lower your body into the water. Mind the tank on your back though. You can also follow this method when you are scuba diving in an area where there are shallow reefs in order to stay away from getting injured.
2. Back Roll entry
If you are entering water from a small boat, this is one of the best methods you can follow. In order to do so, you need to be fully outfitted and seated at the edge of the boat with your behind sticking out. Hold your mask with one hand, make sure all your equipment and accessories are in place and they won’t accidentally hurt you. Also make sure there is no diver at the surface below you. On the count of your guide or buddy you can roll backwards into the water. Along with this roll, you should make a complete somersault in water as well. It may look a bit difficult, but it is very easy to perform and looks kinda cool too. You can even perform the back roll synchronized with a group of other divers.
3. Giant-Stride entry
This is another common method followed by scuba divers to enter water. It also considered a convenient and easy method. The boat you are diving from needs to have a platform or an open deck. Taking a giant stride from a high edge would be both dangerous and highly unpractical. This method should be followed when you are entering deep water. You should stand near the edge of the platform or the boat deck. Similarly to the first method, make sure all your equipment and diving accessories are in place and hold your mask. All it takes is to take a big step forward to make sure your tank won’t bang the edge of the boat.
4. Wading entry
This entry method is performed while diving from the shore. In here, you will have to wade out to the dive site either through backward walking with your fins on, or with normal forward walking with the fins in your hand. Either way, you need to keep on shuffling your feet and take small careful steps, to keep your balance and not hurting yourself by falling or stepping on something sharp. This may look like an easy method to enter the water. However it is quite difficult when compared to other methods. It can get especially tricky when there are big waves are or the type of shore you enter from is not a flat sandy beach. You will have to spend a lot of effort in order to wade in while wearing all the scuba equipment.
When diving in Padangbai, we at OK Divers diving resort mostly use the back roll entry. There are some Bali dive sites (e.g. Bali Tulamben or Kubu) where we do shore diving, hence we use the last mentioned entry method. Whatever dive site, our skilled PADI instructors will explain what to do and how, to enter the water safely for an enjoyable scuba diving experience.
What is your preferred method and why? Let us know in the comments below.