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How to Dive: Instructions for Beginners

Updated on June 27, 2017
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
Photograph by Jodi Cobb | Source

Diving is one of the most exhilarating experiences associated with swimming. Slicing through both air and water with equal ease, you are more aerodynamic missile than human being. Learning how to dive may take some practice, but if you approach it with the right technique, it should not be too hard to master.


Before attempting an actual dive, start by practicing a fall into the water.


  1. Find a deep area of water bordered by a straight-edged platform, such as a float, a dock, or the deep end of a pool.
  2. Stand with your feet together, toes over the edge, and curl them to grip the platform.
  3. Crouch, putting your knees against your chest.
  4. Extend your arms above your head, and bring your hands together to form a triangle.
  5. Lean forward until you fall into the water, hands first. Make sure to blow out with your nose as you enter the water. This prevents inhaling it, one of the most common problems for new divers.
  6. Do this a few more times until you feel confident that you can enter the water without ending up coughing and spluttering.
  7. Now try standing up.
  8. Again extend your arms above your head like a triangle, and bend your head down.
  9. Fall into the water, bending to make sure your hands always enter the water before the rest of your body.
  10. Continue to do this until you feel comfortable with your form. Your body should make an arc shape before contacting the water. This will prevent belly-flops and will make your entry into the water smoother.

Notice that the arms are a triangle, the head is down, the body is straight, and the legs are together.
Notice that the arms are a triangle, the head is down, the body is straight, and the legs are together. | Source


Now you are ready to try an actual dive.


  1. As before, find a deep area of water bordered by a straight-edged platform, such as a float, a dock, or the deep end of a pool.
  2. Stand with your feet together, toes over the edge, and curl them to grip the platform.
  3. Bend your knees, and extend your arms above your head to form a triangle with your head down.
  4. Thrust yourself into the air by extending your legs and pushing off from the platform.
  5. Bend your body into an arc in the air so the tips of your fingers are facing the water.
  6. Straighten your body into a missile-like shape, fingers first.
  7. Enter the water while breathing out through your nose. Keep your body straight and at an angle to the water to avoid belly-flopping.
  8. Congratulations! You have just successfully completed a dive!

Dive Types

There are two main types of dives, meant to be used in different situations.

Shallow Dive - As the name suggests, the shallow dive is meant for shallower bodies of water. However, be careful with this dive! Use caution and personal judgement because it can be very dangerous to dive in the shallows! To perform a shallow dive, propel yourself further outwards than upwards and make contact with the water at only a slight angle. This will allow you to skim beneath the surface and should prevent you from hitting the bottom.

Deep Dive - This dive is meant to be used only in deep bodies of water because it results in a deeper dive. Never use this dive in shallow water! To perform a deep dive, propel yourself further upwards than outwards and make contact with the water at a steep angle, almost vertical. This allows you to go further down beneath the water.


Diving can be a very dangerous activity. Diving in shallow areas can be risky because hitting the bottom can cause concussions and other injuries. I am not to be held responsible for any injuries that result from following the instructions in this article.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This is a helpful article thanks!

    • alicialoyd profile image


      6 years ago

      I remembered my first time diving, i wasn't able to blow out the air through my nose it was really painful. Beginners should read through this, it's really helpful.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Some nice diving tips. I think those searching for diving tips will be benefited from your writing. Rated the hub as useful.


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