4 Methods of Water Entry for Scuba Divers

4 Methods of Water Entry for Scuba Divers

While there are various scuba diving entry techniques, the right one for you to perform will depend on your situation. Are you shore diving? If so, the wading entry method is right for you. You’d have to use a different water entry method, however, if you’re diving from a boat or a pier.  

Read on to learn more about the four most popular water entry methods for scuba divers. 

Giant Stride Water Entrydiver performing the giant stride while sea diving

The giant stride is the most common water entry method for scuba divers entering from a boat, pier, jetty, or any other elevated entry point. To execute this entry method, you must don all of your scuba gear, step onto the platform, and put your regulator in your mouth. Next, hold your mask and regulator in place with your palm, lift one leg out in front of you, and jump into the water. Once you surface, give the OK signal to your fellow divers or boat captain, fully inflate your BCD, and wait for all the other divers to enter the water before you descend.

Check out this great instructional video from IDC Koh Tao Thailand to learn more about executing a proper giant stride:

Wading Water Entry

scuba diver wading to deeper waters

Wading is the appropriate water entry method if you’re diving from the beach or shoreline. To do this, simply don all your scuba gear (except your fins) and carefully wade out to deeper waters. Partially inflate your BCD and continue walking until you reach a depth fit for swimming. At this point, you may fully inflate your BCD.

The next step would be to put on your fins. Shuffling your feet helps stir up the bottom a bit so that any creatures within the substrate, like rays, will be scared off. Because shore entries are often rocky, it is advisable to wear dive boots to avoid injuries on your way out and back in.

Back Roll Water Entry

You may have wondered, “why do scuba divers dive backwards?” Since small boats, such as inflatable Zodiacs, don’t have platforms from which divers can jump, the back roll was developed for divers in this circumstance.

To execute a back roll, don all of your scuba gear and sit at the edge of the boat with your back against the water. Put your regulator in your mouth and hold it in place with your left hand. With your right hand, hold the back of your head; this prevents your skull from smacking into the first stage regulator when you hit the water. Then, point your chin toward your chest and gently fall backwards. You’ll do a little somersault and pop right back up. Don’t forget to give the OK signal as soon as you’re settled.

Check out this instructional video from Dive Buddy Malaysia to learn more about the back roll:

Seated Water Entry

The seated entry method is ideal for the following scenarios: when the water is too shallow for a giant stride, when your boat or platform is almost touching the water’s surface, and when the platform is unsteady.

To execute this underwater diving entry method, you must gear up, put your regulator in your mouth, and sit on the edge of the platform. Use both hands to prop yourself up and then use both your arms and your legs to move forward. Make sure to give enough space so that your tanks don’t bang the platform on your way down. 

Next, you’ll need to pivot towards the water. Keep your pivot arm on the deck and keep it straight while pivoting. Place your free hand on your mask to keep it steady. Pivot around your straight arm, make a turn, and fall into the water. 

While this method of water entry for scuba divers is not as commonly used as the other three, it’s a good one for brand new divers who haven’t mastered the others yet.

Watch this helpful video from DivePro Now to learn more about the seated water entry method:


  1. With the giant stride, the object is to be in the water not underwater. Just walk forward and don’t jump. Keep the legs separated as in walking, to maximize resistance and minimize depth of entry. Be sure to look at the horizon not the water. After entry move to the side as soon as possible so the next diver doesn’t hit you.

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