Do I need to be able to swim to snorkel or scuba dive?
Snorkeling – No, you don’t have to be able to swim, but you need to be able to put your face in the water without panicking to enjoy the experience.
Snorkeling requires very little actual swimming, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful underwater sights below by floating face-down on the sea’s surface, with your snorkel and mask strapped on. If you want to snorkel but aren’t a confident swimmer, we would provide you with a life jacket to help you stay afloat, as well as for safety’s sake. We also provide shortie wetsuits on all our snorkel excursions which further aid with buoyancy, making it easy for you to just relax and lie at the surface! Snorkeling doesn’t require a swim stroke or your arms to propel yourself through the water, although if you want to move around a bit then you will need to kick your legs.
Whilst you don’t need to be a swimmer, you do need to be able to put your face in the water without panicking to become comfortable and enjoy the experience. All of our snorkel trips are lead by friendly PADI Dive Instructors, who are happy to give you beginner tips, and even hold your hand! Non-swimmers, or less confident swimmers are welcome on our Phi Phi Ley Tours, Sunset Plankton and Wang Long Trips, however our Shark Watch Trip will not be suitable (Shark watch requires a greater degree of swimming skill and confidence since the sites may be subject to stronger currents, and you need to be able to manoeuver with ease to see the sharks)
Scuba Diving – there are limits to what you can do. Non-swimmers are only allowed to make simple intro dives with an instructor.
Scuba equipment is designed to help you, and includes a BCD (jacket) which doubles up as a floatation device on the surface, and underwater keeps you neutrally buoyant (which just means we neither float or sink). You will be closely supervised by an instructor, who will help you underwater so that you are comfortable, holding on to your tank and adjusting your jacket. Since you are weightless underwater your dive instructor can even do the swimming for you, meaning all you need to do is breathe and enjoy! At The Adventure Club, we regularly take non-swimmers who wish to try diving on our Discover Scuba Diving Program, which allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 12 meters with an instructor on a ratio of 2:1. For those with no or little swimming skill we recommend our Discover Beach Plus option which means that the first ‘try-dive’ is conducted from the beach in water shallow enough to stand. This extra time with your dive instructor before heading out on the boat allows you to become accustomed to the equipment and water, and build your confidence.
However, as a non swimmer, you cannot become a certified diver and get a full scuba licence. The PADI Open Water Licence allows a diver to dive independently of an instructor, so there are swimming requirements as part of the course, including a 10 minute float with no buoyancy aids and a 200 meter swim in water too deep to stand in.
Just let any of our dive instructors know about your swimming level when signing up for any of our trips and we’ll be happy to advise and find a way of introducing you to Phi Phi below the surface.