How to Do a Backflip Off a Rope Swing

by W. P. Wentzell
Rope swings are a staple of fresh water swimming recreation.

Rope swings are a staple of fresh water swimming recreation.

Rope swings are recreational ropes used for propelling people into bodies of water. They are often tied to trees or other stationary objects located at the edge of riverbanks or lakes. In addition, rope swings are often knotted so that riders can get a grip before swinging into the water. Swing riders line up on high ground outside the water and take turns propelling into the water. Riders use several techniques for jumping from rope swings, including front flips, back flips and cannonballs.

Find a clear area on high ground with plenty of space to swing from the rope. Step into the water and grab hold of the rope, carefully raising it out of the water as you make your way to higher ground.

Secure the rope with both hands, and ensure that the area in the path of the rope's trajectory is clear. Send out a verbal warning to inform everyone in the vicinity of your intentions just before jumping.

Grab the rope tightly with both hands and lift your legs, swinging toward the water. Keep your knees tucked in toward your chest to avoid hitting the ledge around the water.

Kick your legs over your head while simultaneously releasing the rope at the apex of the swing, flipping backwards toward the water. Land in the water with your legs downward.


  • Before trying a back flip, first try making a few swings without flipping to gauge the tension of the rope and the trajectory of the swing with your specific body weight. After you have mastered the back flip, you can try multiple rotations as you gain more experience.


  • Scour the water for shallow areas or rocks before attempting any jump, as these items pose a severe danger.
  • Tug the rope several times before jumping to ensure its integrity. Make a trial run before attempting any flips or other advanced release techniques.

About the Author

William Paul Wentzell is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, holding bachelor's degrees in English and photojournalism. His work has been published in the New York Times, Deseret News, The Victoria Advocate and The Daily Texan.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images