46

This is not a freediving answer!!! Freediving is not for 8-yr old kids. This is also not a scuba diving answer, this answer is about about casual, low-intensity, snorkeling, mostly on the surface, with shallow dives (I'd encourage him not to go beyond 4m myself). The list is a little bit more daunting than the actual risks. Don't dive deep, know how to ...


23

An existing answer makes a key point, but it's rather hidden: make sure he doesn't hyperventilate before diving. Hyperventilating reduces CO₂ in the blood, and it's the CO₂ buildup that leads to the urge to breathe. Suppressing that causes passing out (Wikipedia). This is tempting because it increases dive time, but is dangerous. The risks are well ...


18

I am a spearfisher who dives regularly beyond 20m. I lost a friend who blacked out freediving (40m) alone and am fairly educated on the matter. As mentioned previously, hyperventilation is the main cause for underwater blackouts. I am writing "blackout", because one does not drown directly. Drowning is a consequence of blacking out. Under sustained ...


8

Make sure he's educated about equalisation and gas expansion/contraction under pressure. He should equalise ("pop") his ears several times while diving to such depths. He is probably already doing this, but perhaps you could introduce him to gentler or more reliable techniques. Not equalising is very painful and will damage the ears, he should be ...


7

You can't use the soft mats as a diving platform, nor can you get fully out of the water on them. (A concern if water is cold.) Building an offshore platform is fairly straight forward: You need dimension lumber and either several styrofoam blocks, or at least four 45 gallon plastic drums. Your local marina will have barrels in the fall that propylene ...


6

From personal experience, I tend to favor the breaststroke, over the freestyle/front crawl I would use almost everywhere else. In choppy water, when doing freestyle, you can't really know if your rotation to draw air with your face low in the water isn't going to happen at the exact time a wave breaks over you. That would have you breathe in water or at ...


4

Speaking as a parent of a child with whom I went swimming very often in that same age bracket: I did an ABC course and am very comfortable diving in regular indoor and outdoor pools/swimming lanes, and in shallow ocean. I was into underwater hockey mainly, and diving for distance, not depth. My kid did not do an ABC course; I did give her the opportunity to ...


4

Pull the leash to get the board back to you. This is one of the safety fundamentals for paddleboards, have a leash, use the leash. When you fall off the board you pull the leash to bring the board back to you and climb on. Actually swimming is made even more awkward by having to hold on to the paddle while doing it. Use the leash.


4

It's very likely the kids will fall over when they move around on a foam mat - that's part of the fun. Jumping in is easy from these foam rafts, proper diving not so much. PFDs would make it harder to climb onto the foam, by increasing friction and catching on the edge, a task which an agile swimmer (i.e. most children and many adults) would otherwise ...


3

I would never trust a flexible and thin foam mat like that with kids, even wearing PFDs. They are very hard to climb back onto, and the fact that they are flexible makes it hard to push away from when you are stuck under. There are inflatable platforms available that are much safer, built the same way as stand up paddles. They are made of Vinyl-like ...


3

This will depend a lot on the fit and type of dry suit, and how much air it holds. Ideally there should not be much air inside. Too much will make it difficult to do any stroke. You should be able to perform a basic crawl, albeit with low arms, even with some air in the suit, but if there is a lot of air, you are better off rolling onto your back and using ...


2

To build upon a previous answer, I suggest you and your son get Skin Diving certification from a diver course. This would give you training to answer your own question! For example NAUI offers a course that is described as: Imagine floating on a clear sea of liquid watching fishes, crustaceans, corals - everything from dolphins to dugongs face-to-face. If ...


2

5mm wetsuits are fine for swimming in water temperatures down to around 3 or 4 Celsius. For water around freezing, you will want a dry suit if you plan to spend much time immersed. Be aware that there are no suits suitable for those temperatures that are easy to swim in - the shoulder joints are stiffer than you would want. Of greatest criticality in cold ...


2

You seem to need what is fairly standard in kayaking and canoeing: a "buoyant heaving line". That's the official term (in Canada) for what is commonly called a "throw rope". It is almost always made of polypropylene, because that floats well; is 15m to 20m long; is 6mm to 9mm in diameter; is brightly colored; and usually comes loosely ...


1

Generally speaking, it's not dangerous, I would however be worried about two main things Compression of the lungs at depth is an issue, you wouldn't like your son tearing his lung tissue. At 4m, this is not really a problem as it's still more of snorkeling than diving, yet the general recommendation is to not go freediving with children under 12. ...


1

The depth is not an issue. As a SCUBA diver, I have gone far deeper and stayed far longer than he will ever be able to do with his breath. The human body can handle it. If he manages to stay below 10m for 3 hours, he will have to deal with decompression to avid the bends. If your son manages this, or anything remotely close to this, there will be some ...


1

It is important to be confortable with front crawl and to perfect one's dolphin skills (over and under waves). I know people that walk or side-swim through the swells or whites. Assuming that the waves are big and near shore, swimming under them will help one save energy. Apart from that, I would advise one to do a proper warm up and train regularly. If one ...


1

You should be "burping" your drysuit to remove excess air. From NRS: You want to evacuate, or “burp,” excess air from the suit. A puffy suit is cumbersome when paddling and can be dangerous if you were to get caught in a hole during a swim. One way to do this is to hold the neck gasket open with your fingers, then squat and scrunch your body, ...


1

Google "Adventure lights for swimming". These can be used for your purpose. They are used in channel swimming as well.


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