The Most Difficult Olympic Dive, Ranked

Choose the dive you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 7, 2024 06:32
Judging the complexity of an Olympic dive involves intricate details that even seasoned experts can disagree on. The difficulty level is influenced by factors like the height of the dive, the number of rotations, and the form maintained during execution. This makes it quite challenging for spectators and members of the diving community to understand which dives push the boundaries of human ability and precision the most. By gathering the public's opinions and creating a ranking based not only on technical scores but also on popular vote, we can provide a unique perspective on the sport. This approach gives fans a voice and potentially highlights lesser-known elements of diving that deserve recognition. Encouraging voting among viewers helps further engage the community, enriching the conversation around this awe-inspiring sport.

What Is the Most Difficult Olympic Dive?

  1. 1

    Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults (109C)

    This dive involves a forward takeoff followed by 4 1/2 somersaults in the tuck position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.8
  2. 2

    Armstand Back 3 Somersaults Pike (626B)

    This dive starts from an armstand on the edge of the platform and involves a backward takeoff with 3 somersaults in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.3
  3. 3

    Reverse 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (307C)

    Starting from the forward position, the diver performs a reverse takeoff and then completes 3 1/2 somersaults in the tuck position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.5
  4. 4

    Armstand Back Double Somersaults 2 1/2 Twists Pike (6245B)

    From an armstand position, the diver executes a backward takeoff followed by 2 somersaults and 2 1/2 twists in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.0
  5. 5

    Back 3 1/2 Somersaults Pike (207B)

    This dive is performed from the backward starting position and involves 3 1/2 somersaults in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.6
  6. 6

    Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults 2 1/2 Twists Pike (5355B)

    The diver takes off in a forward position, then performs a reverse motion to complete 2 1/2 somersaults and 2 1/2 twists in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.2
  7. 7

    Inward 2 1/2 Somersaults 2 1/2 Twists Pike (5155B)

    Starting with their back to the water, the diver performs 2 1/2 somersaults and 2 1/2 twists towards the board in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.1
  8. 8

    Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 2 1/2 Twists Pike (5255B)

    From a backward starting position, the diver performs 2 1/2 somersaults and 2 1/2 twists in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.2
  9. 9

    Inward 3 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (407C)

    The diver begins with their back to the water and performs 3 1/2 somersaults towards the diving board in the tuck position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.4
  10. 10

    Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults 3 Twists Pike (5156B)

    The diver performs a forward takeoff followed by 2 1/2 somersaults and 3 twists in the pike position.
    • Degree of Difficulty: 3.3

Missing your favorite dive?

Error: Failed to render graph
No discussion started, be the first!

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult Olympic dive. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or dive is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 6 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each dive once every 24 hours. The rank of each dive is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Olympic Dive

Olympic diving is a sport that demands skill, precision, and courage. Divers perform acrobatic feats from heights that would intimidate most. Among these, some dives stand out for their complexity and difficulty. These dives push the limits of human ability and require years of practice.

The difficulty of a dive is determined by several factors. The height of the platform or springboard is one. Divers leap from 10 meters in platform events, which adds to the challenge. The higher the platform, the more time the diver has to complete their maneuvers, but it also increases the risk.

Another factor is the number of twists and somersaults a diver performs. More twists and somersaults mean a higher degree of difficulty. These moves require precise timing and spatial awareness. Divers must know exactly when to twist, when to tuck, and when to straighten out. A slight mistake can lead to a poor entry into the water, which judges will penalize.

The position of the diver's body during the dive is also crucial. Divers can perform in different positions such as pike, tuck, or straight. Each position affects the dive's difficulty. For example, a pike position, where the body is bent at the waist but the legs are straight, is harder to control than a tuck position, where the body is curled into a ball. The straight position, with no bending at all, is the most challenging because it offers the least control.

Entry into the water is the final critical element. A perfect dive finishes with a clean entry, with little splash. This requires the diver to be in a vertical position just before hitting the water. The difficulty of achieving a clean entry increases with the complexity of the dive.

Divers must also consider the psychological aspect. Performing a dive of high difficulty in front of an audience and judges can be nerve-wracking. The mental strength to stay focused and calm under pressure is as important as physical ability.

Training for these difficult dives involves both dry land and water sessions. On dry land, divers practice their moves on trampolines and harnesses. This allows them to perfect their technique without the risk of injury. In the water, they practice from lower heights before moving up to the 10-meter platform. This gradual approach helps build confidence and muscle memory.

Coaches play a vital role in a diver's success. They provide feedback, correct mistakes, and help plan training sessions. A good coach can make the difference between a good diver and a great one.

In competitions, each dive is given a degree of difficulty score. This score is multiplied by the judges' scores for execution. Therefore, a more difficult dive, if executed well, can score higher than a simpler dive. This scoring system encourages divers to attempt more challenging dives.

In summary, the most difficult Olympic dives are a blend of height, complexity, body position, and entry precision. They test the limits of what the human body can do. Successful execution requires not just physical skill, but also mental strength and meticulous training.

Share this article