Let’s be honest: the manta snorkel and dive activity is not for everyone!
Although we wish we could show the mantas to many more, swimming in the ocean at night with big fish is intimidating and it pushes many people outside their comfort zone.
On the other hand, the activity is often life-changing and we want you to STAY SAFE which prompts today’s deeper dive into another frequently asked question: “How good of a swimmer do you have to be to see the manta rays?
SNORKELING SAFETY TIP #1
It is not okay to go into the ocean (or any body of water where you cannot stand up in) if you don’t know how to swim.
We do not recommend this night ocean experience to non-swimmers. Period.
Please learn how to swim before you embark on any water-related activities. You do not have to be a strong swimmer, but a simple way to know that you will be okay is your ability to tread water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Side note: You actually might find a manta tour operator in Kona that would allow you to sign up (even if you can’t swim) but here are words of caution: you will put enormous pressure on the snorkel guide who is most likely responsible for 10 or more other lives. Don’t rely on swim guides to save you, you need to be responsible for yourself.
Feeling comfortable in the water makes all the difference, especially when you know your gear ahead of time, which brings us to…
SNORKELING SAFETY TIP #2
Familiarize yourself with snorkeling first! Don’t stress yourself by doing it for the first time at night with large manta rays swimming by you.
Snorkeling is easy, but best practiced.
We recommend to have at least snorkeled once or twice before you embark on the manta ray swim. Learn how to properly use the snorkeling and diving equipment first and begin practicing in the pool.
From there work your way up to the ocean and start out with guided tours. That way you will be ready and have some experience before the manta activity.
Check out this video where you can cover the prerequisites for viewing the manta rays at night and the details about the minimum age for manta ray dives.
SNORKELING SAFETY TIPS GUIDE
The Hawaii Ocean Safety website is another excellent resource for busting myths for ocean goers. It’s a comprehensive resource with solid advice and simple to navigate. You will find information for different islands and its Hawaii Snorkeling Safety Tips brochure is free to download in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese!
ALWAYS STAY SAFE!