Backroll entries are a fun-filled way to get in the water moments before the dive, but there is a certain fineness to throwing yourself in the water backward, equipped with heavy scuba gear.
Backroll entries should be as easy as suiting up in dive gear, rolling backward off the boat and letting the cushion of water envelope your body and flood your wetsuit.
Almost anyone can do a backroll into the water, but like anything, it does take a few tries to indeed perfect this type of dive entry. Backroll is not a skill that is generally taught in the Open Water course, and while it may be second nature to some, for first-time scuba divers it can be intimidating.
Whether you’re backrolling from the bouncy sides of a RIB or high up off the railing of a dive boat there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a backroll dive entry:
Determining if you are doing a positive or negative entry will dictate if you BCD should be inflated, so you bob up to the surface after entering the water and signal the captain or if you should dump the air so you can negatively descend into the current and regroup with your dive buddy underwater.
Sometimes on drifts, the captain will place the boat in a perfect position to reach the dive site utilizing the strong current. On these drifts, there is no time to dally at the surface and divers roll off the boat in unison, executing a negative entry regrouping as they drift underwater. In these instances, it is essential that when the captain counts down, all divers roll together and not a moment before or after. Roll too soon, and you might get clobbered by a dive tank, roll too late, and you might land on top of someone else.
Alternatively, when conditions are friendlier, divers can inflate their BCD and roll off the boat one-by-one, as they finish their dive preparations, coming together at the surface before starting the dive.
The scuba backroll is the best water entry technique for getting into the water from a RIB, zodiac, or small boat. While you can use the backroll entry for larger vessels, sometimes the sides are too high from the surface of the water, making this type of entry unsafe. Some bigger boats might not have appropriate platforms for divers to enter the water via giant stride, in which case the backroll is the go-to entry method. In general, use your common sense and training knowledge to determine what method is the best fit for your situation.
Once you’ve established the dive logistics with the group, it’s time to roll into the water, literally! Here is a step by step guide for acing you backroll dive entry:
As with anything in life, mishaps do happen, and scuba diving entries are no different.
During backroll entries, we’ve seen many-a-diver lose their mask, bash their legs on the side of the dive boat and even land on top of another unsuspecting person. Don’t let that be you! Here are some tips to help you avoid backroll catastrophe:
Backroll scuba entries are a mixture of practice, self-aware and general common sense.
For those who have done them, they can be a breeze. For those who have yet to try this entry, it can be nerve-wracking.
The first time you backroll enter into the water it can be a little disorientating. Relax and trust in your gear. With your regulator in you can breathe underwater, and if your meeting the group at the surface, the air in your BCD will get you there in no time.
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Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens