Snorkeling Age and Ability Guidelines


Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by Snorkel Ken


Snorkeling is one of those activities that really can cater to the many different types of people in the world. Snorkeling as a recreation or a sport is more lenient in regard to age, gender, body type, and ability. Still, you should always be mindful of the basics before you go snorkeling:

• What are your limitations?
• How old is too old to snorkel?
• How old is too young to snorkel?

These aren’t only questions that you need to ask in regards to yourself but also in regards to those who are snorkeling with you. If you’re the more experience snorkeler, or just protective and aware, then make sure that you’re not asking or expecting someone else to do something that you are not positively sure they can handle. For peace of mind, consider getting a snorkel vest for the young or old.

young snorkelerToo Young to Snorkel?

You can often see very young children snorkeling and swimming in the water, especially in coastal towns and on islands where many of the locals and residents have been raised around the water their entire lives. This isn’t the norm, though.

In many cases a young child will want to snorkel and be very comfortable in the water. However, there ability to comprehension of basic water safety can often times come in to question. Most young people have very little sense of mortality or the dangers that can be hiding in the most beautiful of things…like a tropical ocean.

A child who knows how to swim will make them more comfortable and confident in the water as well as giving the adults some peace of mind that they are trained. While a strong comprehension of swimming and water safety is not necessary to snorkel, a basic understanding and ability is. There are some that may argue with us on that stand but we are behind it 100%. If a child is not already a decent swimmer then don’t put them in the water with junior snorkel set without the closest of adult supervision.

Too Old to Snorkel?

Sure, snorkeling can be referred to as a “lazy person’s sport”, in all truthfulness snorkeling and swimming can be too-old-to-snorkelvery taxing on the body. Those of us who are on the older side of the age spectrum should be wary of our abilities and physical conditioning before taking on snorkeling, especially a moderate snorkeling adventure.

It’s easy to become entranced with the underwater element as you discover, photograph, and gawk at the marine life…so it’s easy to forget that snorkeling falls within the exercise of swimming category. You can conserve energy by knowing proper fin technique, treading water on your back and resting often. If you’re entire physical regimen consists of watching fist pumping at televised sporting events then try to condition and gauge your physical abilities prior to doing any vigorous activity, to include snorkeling.


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