Why Do Scuba Divers Dive Backwards – The Truth Behind Back Rolls

why do scuba divers dive backwards

Why do scuba divers dive backward in the ocean or the water?

Well, even if you are not into diving, you have probably observed this particular mannerism of divers. Contrary to swimming where you are going to dip your body forward, divers do otherwise. They tend to flip their body so that their back will be the one that will dive first.

For some, this could be out of a habit. Others believe that it makes scuba divers look cool.


But what should be the real score for this? Are there any viable or logical reasons why diving backward is necessary? You can find out the answer right below.

If you are going to ask this question to professional divers, they will meet you with a joke.

"Hey. Why are you diving backward?"

"If I dive forward, I will still be on the boat."

Of course, that joke will crack a lot of laughter in the crowd. But for you, there's a feeling of dissatisfaction and embarrassment. You will just go in the corner and just let the scuba divers do whatever they want.

I am not going to jest you here. Instead, I am going to explain the reason why many divers tend to fall in the water with their back first. Even I was amused by this particular action the first time I have seen a scuba diver. I always thought that it was somehow counterintuitive. It didn't really make sense at first. Isn't it more comfortable if you just dive your face forward?

Introducing the Backward Roll

Introducing the Backward Roll

Divers don't do this mechanism to show off. In fact, it is one of the methods they have to enter or breach the water. Specifically, they call this action as the backward roll entry. You can also call this back roll or back entry, depending on your preferences.

The backward roll entry happens when a scuba diver positions himself/ herself on the edge of a zodiac boat or a dingy. After that, he/ she will hold his regulator mouthpiece then fall backward in the underwater. They let gravity assist them in entering the underwater world.

You see, there are a plethora of advantages when you do the backward roll. Here are some of them.

  • For instance, if you are going to dive from an inflatable boat or a small dinghy, then you should do the backward roll. You don't want to stand on the exterior edge of the dinghy because it will cause the latter to lose its balance. It can ensue rocking motion that could be dangerous at some point if you can't regain control. Eventually, it can cause your boat to capsize, and all of the passengers' lives are at risk.

    You can avoid this predicament by just sitting on the outer edge of the boat and do the backward roll. It will keep the balance of the vessel and ensure that the center of gravity is maintained at all times.
  • Another compelling reason is safety. Most of you here have tried diving on a pool through a diving board. The more elevated the board, the more exciting and thrilling the dive is! However, I am pretty sure that you are all aware of the pain that your face experiences upon hitting the water. You don't want such kind of nuisance to happen when you are diving. After all, divers have to secure their convenience of the safety of their dive.
  • Experiencing pain while you are wearing a full diving gear is quite harrowing. You cannot just address the ache because your body is fully covered. You cannot take off your gears either to check if there are wounds or injuries. You could jeopardize yourself while doing this.
  • Furthermore, diving with your face first can displace or remove your mask entirely. It can also cause water to enter the mask, which is not a good thing at all. As a scuba diver, you have to ensure that all your items are leak-proof. Take note that diving with your face first can also dislodge your regulator mouthpiece and your fins can be removed. Of course, these are just parts of the safety procedures that divers have to heed to keep their security level afloat.
  • Diving backward also prevents you from walking on the deck of the boat with your full gears on. While this is not something that you should ashamed of, the weight of your gears is not that light. It is quite challenging to walk with your diving fins, too.

Performing a Back Roll Entry

Fortunately, this method is a pretty easy thing to do. You don't need to become an expert diver first before you can learn this technique. In fact, it is already being taught during your training.

  • The first thing that you need to do is to sit on the boat's edge. Make sure that your back is facing on the water and your face is directed forward. Of course, don't forget to make sure that your gears are adequately equipped.
  • Next, take a glimpse behind and see if the water or area is free from any obstacles and other debris. You don't want to get into accidents with these physical obstructions.
  • Check your mask if it is properly locked. Adjust if necessary. You also need to assess the placement of your regulator as well.
  • When everything is done, you have to push yourself backward. Don't force the fall. Just let the gravity carry you.


Now that you know why scuba divers dive backward, you are already aware of your next move. Well, if you are an interested diver, you should learn this diving technique. In this way, you will be able to protect yourself and gears from possible accidents.

By this time, you should already be aware that divers don't do back diving for fun. The next time you are going to dive, make sure that you try this water entry as well.

That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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