How High is a 3 Meter Springboard?
There are just two Heights in Olympic competition. The 3 m springboard (the high-board) and the 10 m platform (platform).
The 3 m springboard, or what is commonly referred to as the high-board, is 9.84 feet. This is roughly 1 story.
Jumping off the 3 m springboard for the first time is an exhilarating experience. When you hit the water you are going about 20 miles an hour. This is significant because you are flying down with nothing but a swimsuit. For little thrill seekers this is a so much fun. When you add the spring from the springboard it is a great experience. Best of all when the pool depth is deeper than 3.4 meters it is very safe.
When we teach young divers at upstate Diving we let the child decide when he or she is ready to go up to 3 m. Times this takes a while but inevitably when children jump off they come out of the water with a huge smile and they are very excited by their accomplishment. Sometimes it is because they have overcome a fear. Sometimes it is because they got to jump off the high-board that they were looking forward to jump off for a long time. Either way, the big smile of accomplishment appears as come up out of the water.
The most common springboard in most diving pools is the 1 m springboard. And although the 1m height is the most common it is not a competitive event in the Olympic games. Dick Kimball (5 Time Olympic Diving Coach) has told me that 1 meter Diving should be an Olympic event.
The process of going from beginner diver to 3 meter Springboard Olympic diver is very difficult. What makes it even more challenging is that there are so few 3m Springboards. Right now, nobody knows how many 3m springboards there are in the US. I estimate there are about 2000, but it could be significantly less.
Because the 3 m springboard requires more strength and more weight to be able to depress the board, the spring board event usually has divers in their late 20s and early 30s. The platform event, in contrast, does not have a springboard and all the complexities of a springboard hurdle and takeoff, So you may see teenagers and divers in their early 20s competing for Olympic gold in the platform event.