Dives

Gary Hunt in Boston in 2012

Two, three steps forward onto the ramp, the heart races, the feet feel the rim of the board, the eyes are closed. Dive! Two, three seconds of freefall until the hard hit on the water's surface. Three seconds of freefall combined with jaw-dropping acrobatics – that's cliff diving!

With only four rounds per competition, the athletes have to show all their skills by performing stylish as well as complex dives which have to be executed perfectly in order to impress the judges and to experience the 'unbelievable feeling of relief after a difficult but safe dive' in the words of Orlando Duque. The three most important criteria for divers and judges are the drop, the position in the air and the entry into the water. Each one counting for a third. To get a maximum score, the divers must not, for example, touch the platform during the dive or plunge into the water in a non vertical position.

The degree of difficulty of a dive is evaluated on the basis of these criteria: type of take-off, number of somersaults, number of twists, position during the somersaults and the type of entry into the water. Within the six different groups of dives, twists are marked the highest. However, only perfect dives get perfect scores. Only one diver has ever earned a perfect '10' from all the judges – Colombian Orlando Duque during the world championships in Hawaii some 10 years ago.

As a general rule, the higher the platform, the more difficult the dive. Although divers will have completed their movements after approximately 15 metres, the extra height gives them the chance to perform the dive even more exactly and prepare for a straight landing.

Dive Positions

Pike

With knees straight but a tight bend at the hips

 

 

Tuck

 

Body folded up into a tight ball, hands holding the shins and toes pointed

 

 

Straight

 

With no bend at the knees or hips

Dive Definitions

Twist

A twist is any movement during a dive that occurs when the diver rotates around an imaginary vertical axis that runs from the head to the toes. Up to four revolutions can be performed in competition and can be added to dives in the forward, back, reverse, inward and armstand categories.

 

 

 

Flying position

 

'Fly' describes dives consisting of at least one complete somersault performed in the straight position for no less than 90°. The straight position must then be followed by either tuck or pike position.

 

 

Barani

 

One somersault forward rotation with a half twist. Used as an entry manoeuvre, it gives the diver the best view of the water.

 

 

Blind entry

 

The last time the diver sees the water is at least half a somersault before entry and so he or she lines up 'blind'.

Below you can find animations of all the dives currently used by the men and women. Choose a dive and see exactly how it should be performed. 

MEN

Forward 3 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Pike

Forward Flying 1 Somersault Tuck

Inward 2 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike

Reverse 2 Somersaults 1 Twist

Reverse Flying 1 Somersault Tuck

Forward 2 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Free

Reverse Flying 1 Somersault Pike

Arm. Back 2.5 Somersaults 4 Twists Free

Back 3 Somersaults 3 Twists Pike

Arm. Back 2.5 Somersaults 3 Twists Free

Back 3 Somersaults 2 Twists Pike

Back 3 Somersaults 4 Twists Pike

Arm. Back 2.5 Somersaults 2.5 Twists

Forward 3 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike

Forward 4 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Pike

Reverse 2 Somersaults 4 Twists Free

Forward 5 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Pike

Forward 3 Somersaults 2.5 Twists Pike

Forward 3 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike

Forward 3 Somersaults 3.5 Twists Pike

Forward 2 Somersaults 0.5 Twist

Reverse 3 Somersaults 2 Twists Pike

 

WOMEN

Inward 2 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Pike

 

Arm. Back 1.5 Somersaults Straight

 

Back 3 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike

 

Back 3 Somersaults 1 Twist Pike

 

Forward 3 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Pike

 

Forward 3 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Pike

 

Forward Flying 1 Somersault Tuck Blind

 

Back 2 Somersaults 1 Twist Free

 

Back Flying Somersault Tuck

 

Forward 2 Somersaults 0.5 Twist

 

Forward 2 Somersaults 1.5 Twists Free

 

Reverse 2 Somersaults Tuck

 

Reverse Flying 1 Somersault Pike

 

Back 2 Somersaults 2 Twists Free

 

Forward 3 Somersaults 0.5 Twist Tuck

 

Reverse 3 Somersaults Tuck

 

Reverse Somersault 3 Positions