What is the ideal age to start diving?

Too young, too old, too busy, … there are always good or bad reasons not to practice a sport.

Scuba diving is no exception to this rule and we are obliged to recognize that every moment of life has its advantages and disadvantages to start diving.

However, it seemed to me legitimate to ask the question of knowing …

Is there an ideal age to start scuba diving?

Childhood (8-12 years old)

Some advantages:

From the age of 8, children can learn to scuba dive in a protected area under the keen eye of an experienced professional. Diving is a fabulous activity for children who are in a period of their life where they marvel at everything and during which there are many good reasons to promote scuba diving for children.

Scuba diving offers many assets for their physical, emotional and social development.

But also many points of attention:

At first, it’s good to highlight that the notion of danger is almost not present at this age and that it’s only around 12 years that the child can anticipate the risks and act cautiously.

It will be said that before this age, “safe behavior” is not yet fully in place (even if we all know people who will never have this “safe behavior” ;-))

It should also be kept in mind that no studies have been done about scuba diving for children and that, in addition to avoiding mistakes to be made with children, it is important to take into account the physical specificities of the child: cools faster, his skeleton has not finished his growth (pay attention to heavy loads), more difficult to clear the ear, more loss of fluid (make children drink well enough) ,…

About the practice of family diving, even if your child is recognized as a junior scuba diver up to -20 or -30m (depending on certification agencies), if you have few dives yourself, decide to be guided by an instructor during your family dives and prefer, in any case, shallow dives.

Note also that if he starts too young, the child may become demotivated by the fact that the progression and getting the next “C-card” is slower because of the age limitations. If he dives only during your vacation, the child will be less affected.

Hence the importance of entrusting your child to competent and experienced instructors who will be able to keep their attention and interest in diving intact by using, such as, a pedagogy focused on the fun aspects of the activity.

Is childhood the perfect time to start diving?

YES because of the child’s ability to wonder and the benefits of this practice for his or her development and NO in view of the physical constraints related to age and the risk that he or she may become demotivated

Teenager

Although most dive organizations include young people from the age of 15 in their adult training programs, it seems important to me to consider this slice of life as a moment of special attention.

Teenager is the age of strength, challenges and the desire to surpass oneself (even if as a parent in front of the nonchalance of teenagers these remarks can appear astonishing ;-)). But it is also the age of self-construction, the extreme sensitivity especially to remarks and the importance of the look of others.

Here too, the remarks made about the physical development of the child will apply.

We do not currently know the effects of diving on the body of the teenager who has the peculiarity of being subject to significant and rapid changes in this period of life. Special attention should therefore be paid to the sometimes impetuous character of some teenagers who are not afraid of anything and who necessarily know everything better than everyone (parents of teens, you will easily see what I am referring to -))

However, starting diving as a teenager has certain advantages, particularly in the acquisition of the spirit of mutual aid, the concept of buddy and the development of good attitudes in the practice of diving.

Regarding the pedagogy to adopt, note that the academic side of some theoretical courses may discourage teenagers (and thus not to correctly print the concepts in their brains). For teenager is a perfect time to merge theory in practice.

Be careful, however, to make sure the way of making remarks that, even if they are constructive, can very quickly be perceived as offensive by teenagers sometimes a bit touchy.

… Just think about it 😉

Is Teenager the ideal time to start diving?

YES for the construction of the spirit of mutual aid, discovery and surpassing oneself and NO in view of the physical constraints related to the rapid development of the body and the attractiveness of the risk for some young people.

Adulthood

Everything is possible during Adulthood.

The body has finished developing and has not yet begun to (too much) suffer the effects of time, we make a living (and therefore we manage our budget), we have the desire more or less to extend social networks, sports, going on vacation, …

But this is also the time of life where some will have children, will be caught up in the whirlwind of professional life and / or start big projects like building a house, starting a business or the development of a volunteer activity.

If adulthood is the time of life when the physical constraints will be the least marked, the practice of diving can also be a great way to leave behind the worries and stress of an active life.

However, to be the most beneficial for adults who want to start diving, it will likely be necessary to:

  • Learn to juggle different responsibilities to give yourself the time to discover diving, a time-consuming activity.
  • Become an expert to organize things especially with children (unless you only practice during your vacation)
  • Convince your partner of the importance of freeing time for this activity or even better, dive as a couple.
  • For women, manage maternity without divesting their passion because diving is also a sport for women

Pedagogically, if adults do not necessarily have the habit of learning, they are generally attentive, ask many questions, …

However, be careful not to frighten them and do not limit yourself to warn them of the potential dangers of diving and insist on what should be done to prevent them.

Is adulthood the ideal time to start diving?

YES because it is the age where one enjoys more freedom and where the physical limitations are the least restrictive and NO because it may take a lot of time (and money) at the cost of family balance in case of bad arrangements and / or organization.

After 60 years: start diving differently by adopting a more secure approach

People over 60 are likely to have a much more sedate attitude than other groups of age. Most of them will want to enjoy themselves, even if more and more of them want to take on challenges if in excellent health. As they have time, they can devote a part to this time-consuming leisure.

However, at this age, it is useful to consider the effects of immersions on the body already subjected to the weight of years.

We do not start diving at 60 as we do at 20 years old. Precautions are needed to make these first dives a success.

The first is certainly, as at any age, to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make sure with a doctor that there is no physical problem incompatible with the practice of scuba diving . Limit the depths, limit the loads (by favoring sunny destinations?), Avoid consecutive dives, maybe use rich oxygen gas ? …

All precautions are developed in more detail in the article Diving for seniors: 10 good tips for an exceptional experience must be respected.

Are the over 60s in the ideal period to start diving?

YES for their posed attitude, the possibility of still surpassing oneself and the possibility of devoting time and NO with regard to the physical constraints linked to the aging of the body and to the adjustments sometimes necessary.

Finally, what is the ideal age to start diving?

There is no ideal age to start scuba diving but different ages, slices of lives more or less suitable according to the path of each and everyone. Each period of life will need a particular approach to the activity and attention to the desires and needs of each candidate, but also the advantages and disadvantages inherent in the chosen period of life.

And if the ideal age was the one where “we feel it”?

You are 10, 20, 30, … 60 years old and you dream of starting the dive activity. Tell us this in a comment below? Hop, hop, hop, let’s go

Good bubbles … and do not forget to be happy 🤗

Helene

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    1. Dear Dmitry,

      I would say there is no ideal age.

      There is a minimum age as the body needs to be prepared a bit, let’s say 8 years old.
      After that it is just when you feel or like it, I believe there is no rule 😉

      Your story is a very nice story, I hope you all will continue making a lot of dives together.

      Thanks for you sharing.

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