Can openers, staples, gorillas and the cannonballs were the main attraction at Tikitapu (Blue Lake) today.

These bombing techniques and others were used by hundreds taking part in the Flava NZ Bomb Comp.

The event's purpose-built tower had platforms 2m, 5m, 8m and 10m high.

The tower has been open for "casual bombing" since Thursday, but the main event was this afternoon, with bombers vying for $5000 in cash and dozens of prizes.

Lachlan Stevens-McNab, 15, flips from the platform. Photo / Andrew Warner
Lachlan Stevens-McNab, 15, flips from the platform. Photo / Andrew Warner

Each bomb (jump from a height into the water) was judged out of 100 points, including 60 for the height of the splash, 20 for style, 10 for the splash volume and another 10 for originality.

Reigning junior male champion, Kahukura Waipoua-Bryers, made an early impression with his backflip technique in the qualifying rounds.

The Rotorua 15-year-old has been bombing since age 6.

He practises at Lake Okareka, Lake Tarawera and the Waiteti bridge most weekends.

"I just love the hype, the feedback you get from a good bomb. And I love the feeling of the pop when you hit the water, and when you flip, seeing the water before you hit it."

Riley Hemopo, completed the long drive up from Christchurch on Wednesday, to make the most of the tower for the next four days.

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"As soon as it was open I was up there. I have been bombing my whole life. It's in my blood."

At home in Canterbury, Hemopo normally bombs from trees, bridges and creeks.

Meanwhile a group of about 30 bombing comrades from Hamilton, called "Bomb Life" came over for the day to compete.

The group's members have matching T-shirts and describe themselves as a "brotherhood".

Bomb Life member Canaan Tairakena told the Rotorua Daily Post "we love everything about bombing, we were born bombers".

NZME event manager Lucy Wymer was pleased with the size of the crowd.

"Everyone is getting involved."

Results to come.