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Word of the Week: Arschbombe

You’re standing at the edge of the swimming pool, getting read to jump in. As you make the leap, you bring your

knees in as close as you can and wrap your arms around them. You tuck in your chin and get ready for the impact. Like a cannonball, you meet the water with a huge splash – one that grabs the attention of other kids and provokes glares from angry sunbathers trying to stay dry.

You have just created an Arschbombe.

The German word Arschbombe describes the type of jump that creates the biggest splash in the water. In English, we refer to this as a “cannonball jump”. But the German word is even more amusing; literally translated, it means “butt bomb”. There’s no need to describe why; anyone who has jumped into a pool cannonball-style knows that their rear end hits the water first – like a bomb.

Kids particularly love Arschbomben; these type of jumps have the greatest impact on the water and leave the biggest impression on bystanders. To perfect an Arschbombe, it is important to jump high (preferably from a diving board, if there is one) and to tuck your arms and legs in as much as possible. The more spherical your body is shaped, the bigger the splash.

There is truly an art to perfecting the Arschbombe. So much, in fact, that people from around the world compete in the so-called Splashdiving Championship – an annual competition that is taking place in Sindelfingen, Germany this weekend. The competition seeks to find those who create the biggest splash. Contestants are judged by the degree of difficulty of the jump and the size of the resulting splash. In many cases, the preferred jumping style is the Arschbombe.

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