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At what age should kids learn to snorkel?

What age should you teach a kid to snorkel?

  • one year

    Votes: 6 17.6%
  • two years

    Votes: 3 8.8%
  • three years

    Votes: 3 8.8%
  • four years

    Votes: 5 14.7%
  • five years

    Votes: 9 26.5%
  • six years

    Votes: 8 23.5%

  • Total voters
    34

gbo200

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2003
96
22
98
Guernsey
Visit site
This weekend I bought a kids mask and snorkel for my daughter who will be two years old in a couple months. The guy I bought it from (Neil at Apnea in Jersey) said he just got his oldest to snorkel and he is six years old. I thought for sure she was ready to wear a mask as she is always stealing my sunglasses and insisting on wearing them. Yesterday, I went to a pool BBQ and while she did not want to wear the mask, another kid her age did. We are going on a week holiday to Turkey this weekend so I hope I can get her to sit on the beach in waist deep water and stick her face in the water with the mask on. Next trick will be to get to breathe through the snorkel.

Does anyone have any experience teaching infants to snorkel? My daughter is very confident in the water with her water wings on, and loves being thrown up in the air, the plunging down under the water and floating to the surface on her own. She says “more”!

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

John A

Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2004
118
13
108
Ft Lauderdale
Visit site
Really, what ever age they want too, I have a 3 1/2 year old that swims like a fish and loves to hold her breath and go underwater, but will not put a mask on. My feeling is she will when she is ready and wants too. She knows what one is and has looked through it once or twice. She has been swimming since she was 15 months old (see pic).
My only advice is to skip the water wings, it will give them a false sense of security. Mine was swimming the length of the pool at 2, never used a float or wings. One thing we have done is every summer since she was 15 months has been to hire a swim coach for a week, and we will continue to do that, my wife and I just walk away and let the coach have at it. First two years it was all crying, this summer she cryed when the coach left. We had/have an excellent coach and if any of you have infants and need a great coach in Ft Lauderdale, let me know and I will get you her name. This may be bold, but if you have children, live near water, if they cant swim on their own by 2, your crazy!

John
 

Attachments

FeAr_ThE_SpEaR

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
5
0
0
30
Jeeze I'm 15 and i learned how to swim even before i learned how to walk. ( True story by the way) I live in Key West. I dunno when i learned how to snorkel but i suspect that i was around 2-4 years of age. I would teach em young that way they are awesome at it and love it when they are older.
 

crusty

Aquatic Soul
Jan 20, 2005
523
165
0
55
Perth Australia
Off the Nipple onto a Snorkle, cant start their love of the ocean too young in my opinion.
Had both of mine swimming at birth and now my 6 year old boy has heated discussions with me as to why he is not allowed to use Dads spearguns and why scuba diving wont be on for a few years yet.
I will get him a spear gun as soon as im sure he wont spear his little sister with it.
And he knows spearing on Scuba isnt Cool ( had to throw that in )


Crusty
 

teppo

New Member
Apr 19, 2001
68
6
0
60
Finland
www.freedivingfinland.net
My youngest son started to breathe through snorkel just after he learned to walk. This breathing was done in small plastic bathtub where he just could be underwater (depth 15-20 cm). He was lying there and breathing with snorkel, without a mask.
This was his favourite action when all my family was in our sauna. I only watched after him. If he accidentally got water in his mouth, he immediately took his head off from water and started to cough, but he was never frightened about the water. After a couple of coughs he just went back underwater.
Two years ago we were on vacation in Villefranche sur mer. I liked to snorkel between the parked sailboats. My sons were with me, too. They wanted me to dive to the bottom, and after that they tried too. After a while the older one dived to 12 meters. When this yougest one realised this he wanted to try too, and did it. I followed these guys all the time for safety purposes. They both used plastic fins, snorkels and masks. I had only swimsuit and a D3.
At that time my sons were 11 and 9 years old.
You may think that these quys are keen on freediving, but actually they both like football the most.
 

Jorg

Sharkbait
Nov 15, 2001
793
96
133
43
Eindhoven // The Netherlands
shark.nu
When my son was born, we started to take him in the water after 3 months, we used the instruction in a book full of zena holloway's pictures, excellent book, forgot the name. Now he's 4,5 and comfortable with snorkeling gear and he sometimes swims underwater for 20-30 seconds... very funny to watch. Especially when he's looking how we train static, he comes in the water and gives a tap on my shoulder, if I give the ok sign he'll leave me there, and if I don't give a sign he taps again and after that starts screaming for mommy! hehehe
 

Tim1

Too old to be any good...
Jun 25, 2005
80
11
0
62
Wales
Christopher took to surface snorkelling shortly after his seventh birthday and in the last year has become very proficient. Just the other day he demonstrated his capability by touching the bottom of a 4 metre pool without the benefit of mask, snorkel, fins or weights.

In the past six months he has become well acquainted with his own set of scuba gear - I treated him to a couple of o'three suits, a junior BC from Seeman Sub and 7 litre cylinder and the new Mk17 first stage from Scuapro along with a couple of regs. We just bimble around the edges and keep it shallow and safe.

We plan to snorkel with the basking sharks next summer, probably off Cornwall or the Isle of Man.
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jul 14, 2005
7,647
1,458
418
Sunny Britain
Tim1 said:
We plan to snorkel with the basking sharks next summer, probably off Cornwall or the Isle of Man.
Just make sure they are not the 14/15ft Makos the BBC reported of Bude earlier this year (although some say they were likely Basking sharks now).
 

1 Tadpole

I'd rather play than work
Jul 27, 2002
81
14
98
SEAttle
Visit site
My son started in the pool at 5. He's 7 now and loves the water. So much so it's hard to get him out of the bath tub most nights!

I've not gotten him in open water (shore) yet. I have to find a warm suit for him to use here in the Northwest US and he needs some more swim lessons.

He's been counting the years until he can learn to scuba dive.


Dive safe,
Tad
 

czspearfisher

New Member
May 28, 2004
45
1
0
31
Tallahassee, Fl
Visit site
i dont even remember when i learned to snokel but i have been doing it since i can remember, i started to spearfish at age 8 my dad would load the gun and i would shoot. the younger the better. plus the earlier you will have another dive buddy.
 

Tim1

Too old to be any good...
Jun 25, 2005
80
11
0
62
Wales
A major problem for Christopher is proper thermal protection. I bought in a 3mm one piece with a 3mm shorty to put on top. He also wears a henderson hot skin as a base layer. In the cool UK waters, this combination is not good enough for long immersions. I'd like to find him a 5mm semi-dry for next summer but they are just not available in UK. Does anyone have any ideas? He is 135 cms / 53 ins tall.
 
Last edited:

Tim1

Too old to be any good...
Jun 25, 2005
80
11
0
62
Wales
Mr. X said:
Just make sure they are not the 14/15ft Makos the BBC reported of Bude earlier this year (although some say they were likely Basking sharks now).
Makos are known to be regular summer visitors to UK water and there is a UK rod caught record.
 

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
364
62
118
46
Southeastern Europe
www.domeport.com
I remember reading something about diving in young age and the opinion was that the lungs of the youngsters are still "under development" and any sharp pressure changes should be avoided. It was written by barotrauma docs and they recomended the earliest age to be at least 10 years.
Of course this is true I guess for diving, and not surface snorkeling. Too bad I can't find the link again! :(
 

Tim1

Too old to be any good...
Jun 25, 2005
80
11
0
62
Wales
Wishbone said:
I remember reading something about diving in young age and the opinion was that the lungs of the youngsters are still "under development" and any sharp pressure changes should be avoided. It was written by barotrauma docs and they recomended the earliest age to be at least 10 years.
Of course this is true I guess for diving, and not surface snorkeling. Too bad I can't find the link again! :(
You are absolutely correct. Before I introduced Christopher to breathing compressed air underwater I consulted PADI, BS-AC and approved medical practitioners. None could find any physiological reason why a youngster (7 years plus) could not engage in limited confined water diving, i.e. at depths of 2-3 metres max. There were no caveats expressed regarding snorkelling.
 
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