5 ways to get on board with diving

Diving is one of those acrobatic sports where many intricate movements are performed in a very short time, making it difficult to fathom where a newcomer would begin. Luckily, Diving Canada has advice to wet your whistle about this dynamic sport.

POOL YOUR RESOURCES.

You shouldn’t have to go far to find a suitable swimming pool in your community. In contrast to what you might expect, divers aren’t necessarily terrific swimmers. You won’t be covering long distances or using advanced strokes. At a minimum, you need to be able to confidently swim up to the surface and over to the pool’s edge. Safety tip: always swim directly under the board you just dove from, to avoid collisions with other divers.

SUIT YOURSELF.

Diving doesn’t require a lot of equipment – just a bathing suit. For females, one-piece suits are strongly recommended to avoid unwanted wardrobe malfunctions. To check if the suit you’re wearing has the right fit and coverage, hook your thumbs under the tops of the shoulder straps and pull up. If the straps stretch past your ears, the suit is too big.

THROW IN THE TOWEL.

If you’ve ever watched diving, you’ve likely noticed that the athletes each carry around a little hankie-sized towel. It’s called a chamois (pronounced “shammy”) and is made from a super-absorbent poly-vinyl material that dries quickly when wrung out. It’s a diver’s must-have item to dry off and avoid getting chilled between dives.

MAKE A SPLASH – OR BETTER YET, DON’T.

Elite divers strive to enter the water in a completely vertical position and create no splash at all. This perfect slice through the water’s surface is known as a “rip entry” because when it is executed correctly, it makes a sound similar to paper ripping.

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FIND A REALISTIC JUMPING-OFF POINT.

Rip entries and high platforms are not for beginners, though. Start by simply going to the pool’s deep end and diving off the side. Practice extending your arms above your head, elongating your body and pointing your toes. From there, work your way up to a one-metre or three-metre springboard as you feel ready. For guidance and proper technique, seek advice from a trained coach or instructor.

Ready to take the plunge and try activity number 13 on the ParticipACTION 150 Play List? Visit the Diving Canada website for information on diving clubs and events near you.

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