How to Do a Forward Double in Diving
If you have been taking diving lessons for a while, your coach has likely asked you to try a forward double somersault tuck off of the 1-meter springboard. If he/she hasn’t, don’t worry, the time is coming. A forward double tuck off the 1-meter springboard is commonly one of the first optional dives learned.
At first this dive can seem intimidating: Two front flips in the air can sure seem like a daunting task. Once you have the basic components down, though, it’s really not that hard. Below are three steps to follow in order to learn a forward double tuck (or 104 C) off the 1-meter springboard.
Before you attempt this dive, there are few things that you must know how to do:
- You must know how to do a single flip off the 1-meter springboard; in both the tuck and pike positions.
- You must know how to do a front 1 ½ tuck off the 1-meter springboard.
Once you have these skills in place, make sure you have a coach available to assist you. Once you’re ready, there are two ways to prepare for this dive:
- Dryland: With the use of a spotting belt, try the dive on the trampoline or dry board. Although dryland is not necessary to learn this dive, it will likely boost your confidence.
- Front 1 ½: A good prep for a front double is a front 1 ½ tuck that goes over. If you kick out late and wash over, you are ready to try the double. This indicates that you have enough time in the air to add an additional half somersault to the dive.
Step 1: Hurdle is Key
As with all forward moving dives, the forward hurdle is a key foundation to a successful attempt. The hurdle gives you the momentum, height, and distance to complete the dive. If you need comprehensive explanation on how to perform this important skill, take a look at iSport’s guide, The Fundamentals of Diving.
If you only need a refresher, here are some basics on how to perform a forward hurdle:
Hot Tip: Chase Your Legs
One of the most common errors in learning a front double is trying to get into your tuck position too early. This brings your knees up to your chest, and slows your rotation. Instead, focus on bringing your chest to your knees. This “chasing” movement is the difference in a dive that is stuck (or not rotating quickly), and one that is rotating smoothly.
- Take three to five steps down the board. On the last step, lunge and jump into the air.
- On your lunge, swing your arms slightly behind you.
- As you jump into the air, swing your arms above your head.
- When your toes make contact with the board, continue to circle your arms behind your body.
- Before you leave the board, your arms should be above your head so you are ready to start your throw.
Step 2: The Throw
The key to the throw on this dive is proper arm and head positioning. Make sure your arms are above your head, and your legs are bent into a squat position. Your body should be aligned vertically with your shoulders stacked on top of your hips.
- Bend your arms slightly at your elbows. Make sure your elbows point out in front of your body towards the pool.
- Keep your head straight and vertical, with your eyes focused out in front of you.
- While keeping your arms shoulder-width apart, throw them down in front of your body.
- Focus on getting your hips up into the air.
- Have your upper torso, arms, and head chase after your legs as they rise into the air.
Step 3: In the Air & Spotting
Hot Tip: Ask For a Call
When first learning this dive, ask a coach to give you a call. A call is when the coach gives a verbal command to signify when it’s time to kick out of the dive. Once you hear his/her voice, kick your legs forcefully towards the water to complete the dive.
Once your arms and chest catch up to your legs grab hold of your shins and squeeze into a tuck position. Keep your knees together, toes pointed, and chest close to your legs.
While in the air, take a look at the water. Try spotting your somersaults. After you have completed one somersault, look for the water as your spot. Once you see it, hold on and look out for your second somersault spot. Listen for the call — or catch your spot — and prepare to kick out of the tuck.
Step 4: Kick-out
Once you see your spot on the 1 ½, give an extra squeeze — or tug — of your legs. Listen for your coach to call you out of the dive, and kick your legs with force down into the water. Don’t be tentative: A strong kick will firmly stop your rotation.
Upon entering the water, your body should be in a vertical/upright position. Your arms should be down by your sides, and your head should be facing forward.
The forward double tuck on the 1-meter springboard is one of the first optional dives that most divers learn. This skill is a building block for more advanced moves. The tools learned in this dive — holding on to your tuck, coming out with a call, and spotting — will carry you throughout your diving career.
Keep working on your front double tuck. Before you know it, you will be taking it up to the 3-meter and adding more somersaults to your optional list!