This summer, it’s time to test your splash-making skills in the inaugural Z Manu World Championships. Whether you’re a pro at the manu, coffin, gorilla, or any other style, this competition welcomes splash enthusiasts of all backgrounds.
Jumping off a wharf or platform and creating an impressive splash is a cherished part of New Zealand culture. It’s not only cost-free but also a social occasion where people come together, cheer each other on, and have a great time.
According to competition organizer Scott Rice, the goal is simple: “It’s all about doing anything you like to make the biggest splash you can… whether that’s a manu or a coffin or a staple or a gorilla or a honeypot. It’s just about how big your splash is.”
To get involved, there will be five qualification events held in different locations across New Zealand, including Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch. Participants get two chances to showcase their best technique at each event. Judges will employ video technology and a sound meter to determine the top performers.
Anyone who believes they can make a significant splash off a platform is encouraged to join. Participants will be categorized by age, and results will be adjusted for weight to ensure fairness.
The top 70 qualifiers from around the country will be invited to the grand final, set to take place on a specially constructed scaffolding tower in Auckland’s Viaduct on March 9, 2024.
Creating a grand, beautiful splash is considered an art form, with different practitioners favoring various styles. Classic methods include the “coffin,” “manu” (or V-bomb), “gorilla,” and “staple.”
The “coffin” entails jumping off a platform, tucking your feet in, and then arching your back for a dramatic entry. The “manu” is popular among today’s youth, involving a bum-first entry with arms and legs forming a “V,” followed by a flat collapse upon hitting the water. Other daring styles include the “gorilla,” where the head and shoulders lead the way, and the “staple,” involving the formation of a staple-like shape with your arms and legs.
While belly flops certainly create a splash, Rice hopes there won’t be too many of them, as they can be quite hard on the body.