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How to Jump Into a Swimming Pool

Updated February 21, 2017

Swimming pools conjure up images of fun and games. Splashing in the water. Playing games like Marco Polo and chicken. Seeing who can do the craziest jump into the pool. Flips, twists, cannonballs. Learning how to jump into the pool will ensure safety of the swimmers and maximise splashes and fun.

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  1. Choose jump type. Some possible jumps include splash jumps such as a cannonball or jackknife, also known as a can opener. There are also pencil dives, which is a jump straight down into the water as possible, 360 degree or 180 degree turning jumps, scissors jump and a firecracker jump.

  2. Find a clear area. Safety is the first consideration in jumping into a pool. Be sure the area is large enough to complete the jump. Avoid areas where small children are playing, since they might not be aware of their surroundings and could move suddenly. Choose an area away from sunbathers who likely want to avoid being splashed. Make sure the pool is deep enough for a safe jump. Four to five feet deep is the minimum depth for a safe jump.

  3. Ask a friend to be a spotter. Ask a friend to keep the area clear as you are jumping and to warn others if they move into the area where you will jump. This is not necessary if you are using a diving board at a commercial pool, since the area under a board is kept clear by lifeguards.

  4. Use noseplugs. Water often goes up your nose when you jump into a pool, and some people prefer to wear a noseplug to avoid the problem. Others choose to blow out through the nose just as they enter the water, which is also effective. Avoid wearing goggles when jumping into the pool, since they often get pushed off when jumping.

  5. Execute the jump. Do not run, even on the diving board, but two quick steps are safe. For a cannonball, hold both knees to the chest and land on the bottom and lower back for the largest possible splash. For a pencil dive, hold the body as straight as possible and drop into the water with as little splash as possible. For a jackknife, hold one knee to the chest and lean backwards for a directed splash. For a firecracker, jump off the diving board forward, then turn in the air so that the body arcs into the pool head first in a rainbow motion.

  6. Tip

    If the pool allows, practicing jumps off of the side of the pool before trying them on the diving board can give you the chance to perfect your technique.


    Swimming can be dangerous, especially when trying something new. Never swim alone, even if you are a good swimmer. Accidents happen regularly, and it is necessary to have someone available to help. Check pool rules. Some pools, especially city pools or recreation centre pools, prohibit some jumps off of the side of the pool. These jumps usually include splash jumps. To avoid being asked to leave a pool, be sure to learn and follow the rules.

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Things You'll Need

  • Swimming pool at least four feet deep
  • Nose plug, if desired

About the Author

Rachel Murdock published her first article in "The Asheville Citizen Times" in 1982. Her work has been published in the "American Fork Citizen" and "Cincinnati Enquirer" as well as on corporate websites and in other online publications. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at Brigham Young University and a Master of Arts in mass communication at Miami University of Ohio.

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