Scuba diving water entry methods

By Julius
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Scuba diver rolling backward off of boat

Getting into the water safely at the start of each dive is important for all scuba divers.

There are many different places we can dive, and just as many means to get to the dive spot.

Most ones are from shore at a beach, boats, or even walls.

Here are the most common scuba diving water entry methods you should know and practice.

Giant Stride

Scuba diver jumping off of boat

The Giant Stride is among the most popular entry techniques of most divers and can be used at a majority of dive sites around the world.

It’s also arguably the easiest one in terms of physical ease of entry.

It is particularly useful when diving from boats and when liveaboard diving, as you can get into the water with just a few steps.

This is how PADI teaches the Giant Stride water entry method:


Scuba divers doing backroll to enter water

The backroll is almost self-explanatory, however, the execution can be somewhat tricky for beginners.

Divers sit on the side of the boat or anywhere else where the wall or barrier is not too high and fall backward into the water.

As always, cover your face with your hand and hold the regulator and mask tight.

Here’s a training video by SSI on how to do the scuba backroll correctly:

Walking In

Social Diving members walking into Lake Starnberg

Walking in is as simple as it sounds: We walk or wade into the water from shore.

This is very common at freshwater and altitude diving destinations where we dive in lakes.

They are usually accessible from most sides from shore and the entry is easy.

However, there are certain ocean dive spots where rift currents and high waves can be encountered that can make walking dangerous. Follow the suggestions of your dive guide to be safe.

Walking in and out can be done with your fins on or off, however, it’s usually best to keep them off.

Not only will this make walking in faster, but it also prevents falling over and getting hurt.

Seated Entry

Two divers sitting on plattform

The seated entry is an easy water entry technique reserved for boats, platforms, and small walls.

Just sit down and glide into the water but be careful not to hit your tank and regulator against anything.

This entry method is great for first time divers who might be a little afraid of the giant stride order backrolling, but also for older divers having trouble with other techniques.

Here’s SSI’s take on doing the controlled seated entry:

Ladder Entry

Scuba diver exiting water over ladder

Ladders are a hot topic in scuba diving and one of the most common causes of injuries!

Nevertheless, there are countless situations and dive spots where we enter the water over ladders. Among them are boats, pools, and sometimes even caves or quarries.

When using a ladder, hold on tight and always keep both hands on it at all times.

When diving in heavy seas, they sometimes swing back and forth so never stick your fingers in between the ladder and the boat!

Depending on the dive site, you might have your scuba fins on while climbing or put them on in the water.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

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