What Pool Depth is Safe for Jumping?

A jump rock to demonstrate depth for swimming pools for jumping

Who doesn’t love jumping into a pool? Admittedly, even as an adult, I love the pure joy of that first jump into a pool on a hot summer day! 

I’m sure that’s why you find yourself asking the question, “What pool depth is safe for jumping?”. It’s definitely wise to search this question because you don’t want to buy or build a pool to find out it isn’t deep enough to safely jump in.

4 feet is the minimum depth to jump feet first into a pool safely without injury from a non-raised platform. This depth is great for children jumping into a pool but is not recommended for adults. I recommend that adults do not jump into a pool unless the minimum depth is 6 feet deep. Diving into pools should only happen in pools with a minimum depth of 8 feet per regulation but 9 feet is recommended by the American Red Cross.

I’m going to “jump” into a little bit more information on this topic below because I believe it’s extremely important for pool safety to consider all factors, including the possibility of accidents.

Jumping vs. Diving into a pool

It’s important to define the difference because we are talking about safety. Jumping into the pool at safe depths is referring to a feet-first landing into the pool water! So anytime we talk about jumping safety that is what we are talking about. We want to think about Cannonballs, that’s essentially what we are discussing.

Diving is a head-first entry into the pool water which leads to the most serious accidents in a pool if not done at the proper safe depth which is completely different than safe jumping depth.

Cannonball into a 5’5″ Deep Pool from Jumping Rocks

Why jumping into a 4-foot pool might be too shallow?

I personally swim in a 4-foot-deep pool every day. I will jump into the pool sometimes but it isn’t comfortable as I easily touch the bottom of the pool after jumping in. For children, this isn’t a problem their height and weight make the 4-foot depth perfect for them. But adults, we need a minimum of 6 feet deep to safely jump in without fear of hitting the bottom of the pool and causing injury. 5 feet deep can be considered as well, but I would recommend deeper, you can read why here in my article is 5 feet too shallow.

This is important to consider before any pool build or purchase because we all know teenagers or adults that make some stupid choices sometimes. As the owner of the pool, we want to do our best to limit the ability of stupidity to cause an accident in our pool. Here is a quote about diving statistics from the New York Department of Health, “It is estimated that ninety percent of these incidents occur in water depths less than 6 feet.” I know we aren’t talking about diving in this article, but there are certain individuals who will dive anyway when they are not supposed to. 

Can you jump into a 6-foot pool?

Absolutely, please do jump into a 6-foot pool as long as it is not from a high elevation. This depth would be safe to jump in on almost any pool build that we have seen. But, do not dive into a pool at this depth, it is unsafe! This depth is also fairly deep for children so you’ll have to be very aware and monitor children in your pool at all times.

What Depth Should I Put a Jump Rock?

Given the information I just quoted, I won’t recommend a jumping rock anywhere in your pool that doesn’t have a minimum depth of 6 feet deep. Some idiot is going to dive off of that rock, even though you tell them it’s a jump rock. So I would not put it anywhere near the shallow end of the pool, even if the original idea for the jumping rock is only jumping. We have to do our best to prevent accidents from happening and placing the jump location to a minimum of 6 feet deep will do that. Jump rock manufacturers even recommend having a no-diving sign posted near your jump rocks, “We encourage everyone to post and enforce rules about head-first diving since it is not easy to use good judgment when you are having fun.”

The height of your jump rock platform should also be considered, the higher it is the deeper we want the pool to be at the jump location. For every 10 feet of elevation from the pool water, consider adding 2 feet to the depth of the pool. 

What Depth for a Diving Board or Jumping Platform?

The pool depth required for diving is specific and really makes a big adjustment to your entire pool build and decision-making, you can read all about that in our article, what depth of pool is best? Legally, the minimum depth for diving board placement is 7’6” but pool builders will typically round this up to 8’. As mentioned before, the Red Cross recommends a minimum of 9’. 

I would give this recommendation for elevated jump rocks as well. For example, you build a very large beautiful stone water feature that allows for jumping. You should automatically be aware that it is possible someone will dive from this platform as well and make the jump location a minimum of 8ft deep but even more if the platform is elevated.

Conclusion on Pool Depth for Jumping

I do hope this article was helpful and I’m glad to see that you are doing your due diligence in regard to the safety of your friends and family for your pool. As mentioned above, my recommendation as a safe depth for jumping into a pool is a minimum of 6 ft deep. It can be done shallower at 4ft, but I genuinely only think this is safe for children. And I would not place any features that encourage jumping any shallower than 6 feet deep due to the risk of individuals diving off of the platform. If you are still weighing your decisions about which depth is right for you, you can check out the most popular pool depths to see what other people are choosing to build.


The founder of Coolpoolhelp.com. I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

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