Thanks to the consistently warm weather in Hawaii, we have visitors year-round and with the upcoming spring break, more families will be diving with the manta rays.
It’s a lot of fun to see children thrive in the ocean environment especially when you consider that the manta swim takes place at night with big fish. Even adults most often feel intimated – but what’s the maximum age for manta ray dives? More on that question in a moment.
Since the manta dive experience has become mainstream and attracts folks from all walks of life, there is a noticeable increase of inquiries about bringing very young children, so today I’ll share some thoughts on the minimum age question first.
“I can’t believe I just did this! Since childhood I’ve always been afraid of water!” are comments we’ve heard often after an adult participant left the water, and it didn’t matter if it was a daytime or nighttime sea adventure with dolphins, manta rays, or other magnificent marine life, they had just experienced the ocean in its full glory.
The stories varied with one thing in common: something bad happened to them around water at a young age – maybe at the pool, or on a boat, or in the bathtub and it had a lasting effect. Consequently, adventures in or around H2O were never on their radar growing up and older.
Snorkeling and diving open up a wonderful new world that they had missed out on so it is uber-important that a first experience takes place under safe circumstances.
The good news is that adults can comprehend all the information we share during the manta dive briefings, but at what age do children understand?
Minimum Age for Manta Ray Dives
We believe the minimum age needs to be 10 years old and request that the child is accompanied by an adult.
10 years is also the starting point for a scuba dive certification (according to PADI, the world-wide largest recreational diving training organization).
Even when the child is 10 or older, we’ve regularly seen youngsters got too scared during the preparation time which prompted us to check with the parents and gave the guests a way out. No one should be forced to join the manta dive (and yes, we’ve seen that too).
For our team it is morally imperative that everyone has positive memories of a lifetime ocean experience and for a child younger than 10, we might risk the precious mind to associate water and ocean with fear.
Meet Gita, a great grandmother who just can’t get enough of manta rays. 🙂
At 64, she was introduced to daytime scuba diving and nighttime snorkeling with manta rays.
At 70, Gita snorkeled with them the second time.
At the young age of 82, she experienced the mantas again this past week.
This is what she said afterward, “Es war [wieder] wunderschön!”
(Translation: It was beautiful again!)
Check out this brief video of Gita’s breathtaking experience:
Maximum Age for Manta Ray Dives
Gita (who also happens to my mother :) definitely proved the maximum age for manta dives is more than 82!
It never ceases to amaze me how youthful my mom is and how blessed our family is to have her as a role model full of courage and uplifting spirits.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Gita traveled 28 hours from Germany to Hawaii to swim with the gentle giants.
You can do it too! Add the manta experience to your bucket list and to help you get started, download our FREE adventure guide – with 15 essential tips!
P.S. Would you like to connect with Gita and over 100 other manta ray and ocean life advocates? Well, we have another valuable resource for you – a new Facebook community group for manta ray advocates just like you. Click here to join the Manta Ray Advocates Facebook Group – and maybe you’ve got a friend or two who’d like to join in the online community too? It’s completely free.