Sunday, June 22, 2008


Many divers today use wrist grips while diving to help reduce the constant pounding on their wrists that comes from platform diving and to a certain extent springboard diving. There are two types of wrist grips on the market today that are designed for this purpose. They are the Donjoy Wristwraps and the Tiger Paw Wrist Supports. The kind you choose is a personal preference. I have found that the divers who like the Donjoy Grips do NOT like the Tiger Paws and vice-versa. The pair you choose depends on how much and what kind of wrist support that you need.

The Donjoy Wristwraps are made of a black neoprene materials that wraps around your wrists only and is tightened and secured by two Velcro straps that go in the opposite direction of each other. Some divers like these because they are less bulky than the Tiger Paws and can be tightened more easily too. The Tiger Paw Wrist supports are made of a waterproof pack cloth material and the not only cover the wrist, but wrap around the thumb as well. They place more padding on the back of your hand and some divers like this extra cushion especially if your arms collapse on a tower entry and the back of your hands smash into the top of your head -- OUCH!!

The best suggestion is to find a teammate or a friend at a diving meet who wears wrist grips and try them on for a few dives. You may even want to have your coach "spot" you on a handstand on the ground to see which style you like best. Whichever pair you choose, make sure that you break them in and get used to them by first wearing your wrist grips for a few springboard practice before going up to dive tower. Also, be sure to put your name on the grips in indelible ink so your grips do not "disappear" on pool deck during practice or a meet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The "Cheeseboard"

Divers all around the world know what a "Cheeseboard" is. That is the nickname for the 16' aluminum diving board manufactured by the Duraflex International Corporation. The actual full name for this world standard of the springboard diving world is the Duraflex 16' Modified Maxiflex Model "B" Aluminum Springboard. The word "modified" refers to the 189 perforations found in the end of the diving board. The "Cheeseboard" is the ONLY diving board used today in all Olympic, International and National Diving Competitions around the world.

The name "Cheeseboard" came about by accident. Way back in the day, Duraflex inventor Ray Rude was installing some of his new "modified" diving boards and some little kid said "hey it looks like swiss cheese" and so the name "cheeseboard" was born.

The Duraflex factory takes a 16' Maxiflex Board (tapered at both ends) and "modifies" it using a large punch-press that Ray Rude found in a junkyard -- had it shipped to the Duraflex factory where he re-tooled it to "punch" the holes in the end of the board. The process of "modifying" the diving board takes about 30 seconds.

Springboards and More uses these very punch-outs to have "Cheeseboard" earrings and bracelets made by well-known and highly respected Krombholz Jewelers in Cincinnati, OH.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Olympic Trials Begin Today!

The road to Beijing and the 2008 Summer Olympics begins today for the top springboard and platform divers in the United States. The Olympic Diving Trials begin today at the I.U.P.U.I. Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN.

For more information about the Olympic Diving Trials, check these websites:

Be sure to check back here for behind the scenes stories, happenings and tidbits live from the Trials.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Check Your Depth!!

Certainly, the depth of the water underneath, in front of and to the sides of a diving board is an important safety consideration and hopefully you as a coach teach your divers to always check the depth of any water prior to diving in head first -- especially at new or unfamiliar pools.

With the start of the summer diving season upon us, take a moment to remind your divers again to do this. WHY? Because often times, the diving "well" or "hopper" at summer pools is not as big and not as deep as the pools where your divers train year round. There is a BIG difference between 12 feet of water and 10 feet of water. There is a BIG difference between 17 feet of water and 13 feet of water -- the bottom comes up quickly!!

If your diver is used to practicing in a pool that is 13 feet deep and then they go to their summer swim club where the pool is only 11 feet deep -- they need to be aware of that and they need to make adjustments when they enter the water. Similarly, if your divers go to a diving camp this summer where the water is 17 feet deep and then they come back to your regular practice pool where the water is a very safe 13 feet deep -- your divers must still be VERY CAREFUL until they re-adjust their bearings and get used to the different water depth.

Diving is a VERY SAFE SPORT under supervised conditions and by using a little common sense. Let' s make sure we all enjoy a SAFE summer of diving!!