on Friday, April 15, 2011

Following diving through it's history it can be seen the sport has greatly benefited in technology advanced.  The diving board itself has undergone a massive makeover, the original "springboard" diving board was in fact merely a wooden plank covered with a coconut mat and didn't really offer very much spring.  A major difference from todays boards made from fiberglass and a fulcrum to adjust the stiffness of the board.

The new boards allow the diver  to flex the board to whatever degree gives them the maximum height potential, and these developments have allowed for more advanced tricks to be possible.  Back in 1904 there were only 14 dives performed off platforms and 20 on the springboard, compared to over 85 platform dives and 60 springboard dives in 2000.  None of these would have been possible without the technology advancesOne of the people credited with developing a springier board is Ernst Brandsten, sometimes called the "Father of diving".


Apart from the board the sport has benefited massively in other areas as well.  The training facilities have become far more advanced thanks to technology and now include trampolines, pulling rigs, dry boards, and plenty of gymnastics mats to make for soft landing.

Spargers are now commonly used as well. These bubble machine were invented in the 1960's by Herb Flewwellyn.  Before this divers had to rely on not crashing in order to avoid soft landings though through the use of the machines are able to break the surface tension and soften the landing in case the diver misses the entry and lands in a front or back flop.  Spargers work by creating a mass of bubbles in the center of the diving well creating a softer landing since the surface tension is constantly being broken.   While they are still expensive today technology advances have led to these machines being far more accessible and affordable.

This article has more information regarding these developments and this history of the sport.