Are underwater scooters safe for non-swimmers?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  09.04.2022
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If you’re not a confident swimmer, or perhaps you can’t swim at all, you’re probably looking for methods to enjoy water sports yet feel safe in the water.

Perhaps you’re looking to try more water sports and activities but are too afraid to surf, snorkel, or go scuba diving.

After all, if you can’t swim, the water seems inaccessible.

But there’s one thing you can do and that’s riding a battery-operated sea scooter.

Underwater scooters are available for rent at most beach locations and are perfect for those who want to explore the ocean but don’t know how to swim. They’re even usable in the pool!

Are underwater scooters safe for non-swimmers?

If you can’t swim, you likely stay away from watersports and all the fun water activities.

But if you want an underwater adventure, you might be looking into how a sea scooter works. So, naturally, you wonder is if it’s safe to use an underwater scooter if you can’t swim.

This is a question that has been on many people’s minds lately, and the answer isn’t always clear.

Underwater scooters are generally safe for non-swimmers as long as they use them in shallow water. As with any activity, you need to consider your own abilities and limitations before getting on an underwater scooter. If you’re not comfortable in the water, it’s probably best to stay out of it.

Should you use an underwater scooter if you can’t swim?

Yes, the scooter can be used even by non-swimmers.

That’s because a scooter can go very slow – it will pull you about 10 ft underwater which means you’re not deep diving if you don’t want to.

Most people agree that yes, underwater scooters are safe for those who don’t know how to swim, as long as they take precautions.

Some others argue that underwater scooters are too dangerous for those who can’t swim and they need to learn the basics of swimming first.

It really comes down to each particular case and if the person actually has a fear of water or not.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out a sea scooter, you can do so because you’re not required to swim – the scooter pulls you along.

If you’re still not sure, it might be best to just ride a boat.

When you can’t swim, the idea of diving can be terrifying.

Luckily, you can even stay above water as you’re being pulled by the device or just ride along in a small pool – surely the experience can’t match riding an underwater scooter in the ocean but it’s a great place to learn.

New divers who lack the stamina to maintain the constant underwater kicking required can benefit from using sea scooters.

That makes sub scooters safe for use no matter your swimming skills.

You can feel safe holding on to the scooter because you’re not strapped to anything and you can freely move your arms or legs so you don’t feel like there are physical limitations.

How to decide if riding a sea scooter is something you can do as a non-swimmer

Are underwater scooters safe for non-swimmers? In short, yes – but with a few caveats.

First and foremost, anyone using an underwater scooter should be aware of the risks involved and take all necessary precautions.

Secondly, those who don’t know how to swim should only use an underwater scooter in areas where they can stand on the bottom.

Alternatively, if you aren’t afraid to dive and go out in deep water, you can ride the underwater scooter just be sure to hold on well.

Finally, non-swimmers should always be accompanied by a swimming adult when using an underwater scooter.

Children who are learning to swim and use their new sea scooters must have an instructor or parent close by in case of any accidents.

That’s because children can’t judge distances well and they can easily exhaust themselves trying to keep up with the group.

For those who are still unsure, here are a few more reasons why underwater scooters are safe for non-swimmers.

Why are underwater scooters safe for non-swimmers?

First of all, underwater scooters are a lot slower than traditional swimming strokes.

This means that even if you do end up falling off, you won’t be going very fast and you’ll have plenty of time to get back on the scooter.

Secondly, underwater scooters are incredibly stable and difficult to tip over.

Finally, they’re also very easy to use, which means that even those who are new to swimming can use them without any trouble.

There’s no “driving” involved like with a jet ski. Therefore you can have a short underwater adventure near the shore by just holding onto the scooter’s helm.

Underwater scooters are a great way for non-swimmers to explore the ocean. They are safe to use and easy to operate.

Non-swimmers can stay close to the surface of the water while they explore the ocean floor.

Underwater scooters are perfect for people who want to see the underwater world and marine life without fully diving deep.

But, they are also a great way to explore coral reefs and other aquatic life if you can handle diving with an oxygen tank.

Underwater scooters are available for rent at most beach locations. They are also for sale in many sporting goods stores.

If you want to explore the ocean but don’t know how to swim, an underwater scooter is a great option for you.

Usually, you swim around deeper water while holding on to the sea scooter. But, if you’re not a swimmer, you need to be cautious when using sea scooters.

What is the danger of riding an underwater scooter?

Personal watercraft are much heavier than sea scooters. Rather than sitting on a sea scooter, you pull yourself through the water with it between your hands.

Sea scooters have many advantages because they are battery-operated, thus easy to operate and they’re very versatile.

For example, you can get oxygen tanks and dive deep and for some snorkeling. Or, you can just skim along the surface of the water.

Oh, and these scooters work in saltwater too so you can have an underwater adventure anywhere.

Sea scooters aren’t dangerous, but there are some dangers, such as the negative effects of rapidly ascending from a deep dive or straying too far from the dive site or shore, that can occur.

Rising to the surface too quickly

One of the greatest dangers is rushing to the surface from a deep dive too quickly.

A rapid ascent could lead to decompression sickness (DCS) or a gas embolism (AGE). Even a ruptured eardrum could result from a sudden change in pressure.

This condition (DCS) causes nitrogen bubbles to form in the blood and body tissue. Joint and muscle pain are common in people with mild symptoms.

You can also start to feel like you can’t breathe – this is a serious sign to seek medical attention right away.

When you can’t swim, you might suffer sudden symptoms which can make you panic. If you’re not a strong swimmer and panic, you could easily drown.

This is very rare but that’s why it’s best not to dive too deep and then rush up too fast, especially if you aren’t a strong swimmer.

Getting lost

Straying too far from the dive site is also a potential danger. Sea scooters allow divers to travel long distances underwater without realizing it.

This is a two-pronged threat: first, you may get disoriented and end up lost.

Aside from that, the scooter might run out of power and leave you stranded in an unfamiliar location.

That means you’ll have to float and paddle your way to the shore – this is extremely difficult for someone who can’t swim!

You could be two miles from the coast if you were to spend half an hour submerged and travel away from the shore.

So, if you’re a beginner, I recommend staying close to shore at all times in case your battery runs out.

It can take you more than an hour depending on where you are to get back to land and if you can’t swim, it can be disastrous.

As a result, while sea scooters can be useful dive accessories, they should be used with caution to avoid accelerating too quickly or traveling too far from the shore or dive site.

What precautions should non-swimmers take when using an underwater scooter?

First, always check the weather conditions before using an underwater scooter. Make sure there is no lightning and the waves are not too high.

Scouting for a safe location to use the scooter is important.

Second, never use an underwater scooter in open water. Stay close to the shore and avoid swimming in deep water.

Third, make sure you know how to operate the scooter before using it. Familiarize yourself with the controls and practice in a shallow area.

It’s important to choose a sea scooter that can carry your weight and is the right size for your body type.

Fourth, always wear a life jacket when using an underwater scooter.

Fifth, never allow children to use an underwater scooter without adult supervision.

Sixth, take a swimming lesson before using an underwater scooter in deep waters.

And lastly, heed the warning signs and do not use the scooter if you are feeling unsafe.

Underwater scooters are a great way for non-swimmers to explore the ocean. With a little bit of caution, they are safe to use and provide a fun way to see the underwater world.

Are sea scooters safe for kids who can’t swim?

The simple answer is NO. If your child cannot swim, there is a drowning risk and swimming is a must-have skill if the child wants to learn to ride a sea scooter.

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to whether or not a sea scooter is safe for a child.

One of the biggest factors that come into play when it comes to safety is the child’s swimming ability.

If a child does not know how to swim, then it is not safe for them to use a sea scooter. This is because if they fall off of the scooter, they could potentially drown.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the child’s age. Sea scooters are not recommended for children who are under the age of 8.

This is because children under the age of 8 may not have the strength or coordination to use a sea scooter safely.

Sea scooters can be a lot of fun for kids, but it is important to make sure that they are safe before letting them use one.

If your child does not know how to swim, it is best to wait until they do before letting them ride a sea scooter.

And, if your child is under the age of 8, make sure that they are supervised at all times when using a sea scooter.


The general consensus is that a sea scooter is safe if operated carefully.

When you’re on vacation, you need to choose an experienced tour company so you can have an awesome experience, even if you can’t swim.

This way you can avoid safety issues because as you know, not everyone who can’t swim can use the underwater scooter.

As a non-swimmer you could look at skimboarding that you can do close to the shore!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.