Can I Scuba Dive If I Can’t Swim?

Can I Scuba Dive If I Can’t Swim?


The idea of scuba diving might seem daunting for non-swimmers. Being in the water without the ability to swim raises concerns. However, the game-changer here is scuba equipment! Scuba gear facilitates swimming with fins, maintains neutral buoyancy, and, with the assistance of a buoyancy control device (BCD), allows you to float at the surface. In essence, the short answer is YES; non-swimmers can dive! But, there are limitations to consider.

As a non-swimmer, you are restricted to simple Discover Scuba Dives with an instructor. Obtaining an Open Water Diver license is not possible without swimming proficiency, but you can still experience diving and, hopefully, relish the adventure!


Coral Grand Divers Boat in Koh Tao, Thailand

Discover Scuba Diving:

Non-swimmers can opt for a Try Dive experience known as Discover Scuba Diving. This introductory session occurs in shallow waters with a dedicated instructor always at your side. You can join this experience even if you cannot swim, provided you have no health issues (refer to Diver Medical | Participant Questionnaire)


Our Koh Tao Discover Scuba Diving program is designed for beginners who have never dived before, and it provides a safe introduction to the amazing underwater world on a fully supervised day packed with adventure and fun! During the program, you'll receive a brief orientation about equipment use and safety guidelines plus training on basic scuba diving skills in our on-site pool to ensure you are comfortable. Then, Hop on the boat for an awesome underwater adventure exploring the beautiful waters of Koh Tao with two dives.


Open Water Diver Certification:

If you're looking to dive into a complete scuba certification, our PADI Open Water Diver Course unfold over 3 days. Keep in mind, having some swimming skills is a must for this course:


  • A swim test involves covering 200 meters without help or support from any flotation devices or swim 300m with mask, snorkel and fins. While covering 300-meter snorkel or a 200 meter unaided might seem daunting, the good news is that there's no time limit, and you can use any swimming style you're comfortable with—front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, or even a mix of styles. The primary objective is to ensure you can cover the distance while maintaining a relaxed demeanor. The emphasis is not on judging your speed or style but on ensuring your comfort in the water.


  • Following the swim, there's a component where you'll need to demonstrate that you can comfortably maintain yourself in water too deep in which to stand by completing a 10-minute float without using any swim aids– you can do this laying on your back or by treading water.


  • Finally, you’ll complete some basic snorkeling skills.


scuba diver in koh tao, Thailand

The more at ease you are in the water, the more you'll relish your dives. If you're not quite there yet, dabbling in a few swimming lessons or classes can do wonders for your skills and confidence before diving into your PADI Open Water Diver course.

While a Discover Scuba Diving Program is a great start for non-swimmers, obtaining full scuba certification necessitates basic swimming skills. So, taking those swimming lessons or classes becomes not just enjoyable but essential for your journey to becoming a certified Open Water diver.

Connect with us for any questions or to plan your underwater adventure!

PADI 5 Stars IDC Center

More than 50000 PADI Certifications


Our team is at your disposal for any questions about our articles or your order.


The management of our online payments is 100% Secure with Stripe


Free Shipping in Thailand

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.