Bombing techniques for your next trip to the Cook Islands [video]

In the Cook Islands, I’ve recognised that age is not a factor when it comes to bombing. Wherever there is water you will no doubt see people of all ages competing with whoever is there. For the locals, this is an ideal way to cool off from the piping hot sun or to relax after a hard day’s work.

Before I continue, I think it is important to explain the type of bombing used for this blog. It’s not bombing as in terrorist bombing, but diving into the water.

I have no idea where the term ‘bombing’’ came from but I’m guessing that it has something to do with the sound made when you do one. If you know some information of its origin, share it in the comments below. What I do know is that if you can bomb, you will definitely wow the locals while holidaying in the Cook Islands.

In Rarotonga, Cook Islands, my family have our own ‘local’, a spot where my extended family celebrates special occasions or to just chills with our children and watching them swim and jump off our diving rock (a large piece of a natural coral reef). The diving rock is in the middle of the clear blue lagoon not far from the water’s edge, and it’s coral can be seen above the water, particularly during low tide. We call this place Manini beach.

Recently, while I was holidaying in the Cook Islands and swimming at Manini beach, my uncle told me that as a young boy, he would jump off the diving rock with his brothers and friends daily to compete over who could bomb the best. Today this tradition continues, and my cousin Jo, a born and bred local from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, is here to share his experience of bombing from the very same diving rock. Here are his four self-taught bombing techniques for you to practice, so you can to impress the locals on your next Cook Islands holiday.


  1. Leap off the edge
  2. Lean backwards until your body is at a 45 degree angle
  3. Before you touch the water, or when you are just above the water, form a ‘V’ shape with your body, tuck your hands in or use your hands to cover your face
  4. Once you enter the surface of the water, straighten your body into a vertical formation


  1. Leap off the edge
  2. Lean forward so that you are looking at the water
  3. Point your hands and feet to the water creating a ‘U’ formation with your body
  4. Once you enter through the surface of the water, straighten your body into a vertical formation


  1. Leap off the edge into a diving formation
  2. Once your hands touch the water and break through the surface, straighten your body into a vertical formation


  1. Leap of the edge
  2. Once you are in the air, open your body so it is straight and parallel to the water to face the sky or ceiling
  3. Once you are near the water, tuck your body into a v-bomb formation (don’t forget to tuck away your hands)
  4. Once you enter through the surface of the water, straighten your body into a vertical formation

Extra tips from Joseph:

  • Your body should hit the water in a way where on impact you don’t make a slapping sound, otherwise you will find out that it really hurts, and people will laugh at you.
  • The aim of the game is to create the highest vertical splash
  • Check depth and the safest area to land in the water
  • Identify any danger zones i.e rocks, shallow areas.

So there you have it. Have a go and let us know how it all went by sharing a photo/footage, or use the following hashtags: #thepeopleofoceania and #manaui.


Kia Orana! Born in Rarotonga with Scottish and Tahitian roots, I'm an island girl at heart that can't swim. I'm definitely a better makeup artist than I am a writer, but I'm excited to share some of my beauty and island experiences with you.

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