You do not need to swim. They have 2 types I have seen. The easiest is one that they just reel you out when you are on the boat. They bring you up very high and then back down to almost touch the water and back up again. The other way you have to run along and then you take off in the air. But not too worry , you barely take 2 steps and you are off. I would look for a good looking boat and people who speak English so you can understand each other before going up, up and away! Have fun, it is a blast!