How To Snorkel: Beginner Guide + Tips

ActivitiesHow To Snorkel: Beginner Guide + Tips

How Does a Snorkel Work?

Snorkeling is underwater swimming with the help of a tube and snorkeling mask. This equipment is known as snorkel and uses modern technology for enhanced user experience. The plastic cover on the snorkel tops prevents water from getting into the snorkel tube when this tube is above water.

If it is below water, there is an advanced mechanism that quickly seals this tube. Such effective sealing prevents any water from getting inside. When the user exhales, any unexpected water that gets inside the snorkel tube is expelled. The purge valve present at the bottom of a snorkel helps in the proper draining of the water. Thus, the user can breathe normally again.

Snorkeling Equipment: What You Need

Young man snorkeling underwater with a large whale shark. Australia Ningaloo Reef

There are different types of snorkeling gear available. The primary equipment required for snorkeling includes a snorkel mask, boots, fins, snorkel vest, bodysuit/sports skins, water shoes, and a snorkel camera. You don’t need all of these items..but if you really want to optimize your experience, you can purchase or rent the following equipment:

  1. The mask: Great for beginners, snorkeling masks make it simple to explore the underwater world. It’s best to buy tempered glass lenses with silicone straps. Tempered glass lenses are highly resilient and afford a cloudless view, while low-cost plastic lenses might scratch and aren’t as long-lasting.
  2. Dive booties: These specialized boots help protect against cuts from sharp objects such as coral rocks.
  3. Snorkel vest: These specialized vests function as personal flotation devices. They keep you afloat as your face peers down in the water.
  4. Body suit: Skin suits or dive skins are intended for warm water diving, or as an additional layer beneath an exposure suit. They can fit under a wetsuit, provide sunburn protection, and protect against stings and abrasions that can occur while snorkeling.
  5. Snorkel camera: A snorkel camera is a waterproof digital camera that can be used underwater for taking pictures.
  6. Fins: These fins can provide a surprising amount of swimming thrust when you’re patrolling the ocean exploring its mysterious depths.

Tips on How to Start Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a magical experience that allows you to watch marine life closely. Snorkeling is usually in shallow water. However, if you are trying it out for the first time, you need to know several things. You must prepare yourself well before you go ahead with your undersea exploring.

Here are some of the many things that you need to know:

How to ‘Clear’ Your Snorkel

When you need to clear the snorkel tube, you will have to blow air out with all your might through your mouth. This will blast out excess water. However, if you use a high-quality dry snorkel, you can avoid the problem of water getting into the snorkel tube.

Proper Breathing Technique While Snorkeling

Controlling how you breathe is the key to snorkeling. Breath control is all about ensuring that you get fresh air as you breathe deeply. Breathing comfortably will ensure that you do not accidentally inhale or swallow water. You can control buoyancy by adjusting the ventilation. As you start snorkeling, you need to first master deep breathing. When you learn how to control your breath, you can deal with water inside your mouth as you snorkel. Deep breathing exercises are also quite helpful.

How To Avoid Swallowing Water

To avoid swallowing water, ensure that your equipment fits you well. You have to control your breathing. As you inhale, you can use your tongue like a splash guard. Try and exhale sharply so that you can blow out water from the tube. However, ensure that you are calm and relaxed.

First-time snorkelers or inexperienced snorkelers should practice in shallow waters first, and then can try out deeper water.

Check Your Snorkeling Location

If you are a newbie, try not to snorkel where there is a strong current. You should select a place where the water is calm.

When snorkeling, waves can mean risks if you are snorkeling for the first time, you should choose calm water. Or else, you have to put in a lot of effort and might not feel comfortable as well. So, instead, find an interesting spot with vibrant colors and good marine life for a memorable experience.

Check Your Equipment

Nothing can be worst than a gear that does not fit well. This can lead to hysteria and panic when you notice that water is seeping into your masks or you find bubbles are forming.

Thus, check your equipment before you start exploring. If you are passionate about snorkeling and plan to snorkel a lot in the future, you can buy your gear. Thus, you will always have an idea about the condition of your equipment and how it fits well. Otherwise, thoroughly check your equipment before you start exploring.

Defog Your Mask

Before you jump in the water, you need to prepare the mask. There is tempered glass in the scuba mask. This mask has a thin layer of film that you have to remove before you use it. If you do not remove it, your mask will be foggy. Even if you use defog products, this fog will not go away.

In case your mask is foggy, you can try out several things. Using a dishwashing soap or a baby shampoo is an easy and economical way to defog a scuba mask. You need just a little quantity of soapy water to defog the mask. However, you have to rinse the mask thoroughly, or else any residue soap will cause itchy eyes.

Snorkeling With Glasses

If you have prescription glasses, you can snorkel with your glasses. You can modify the pair of glasses so that they fit well into the snorkeling mask. Also, you can wear a snorkel mark with built-in corrective lenses. You can also use swimming goggles during your snorkeling adventure.

Reducing Ear Pressure

Divers are usually taught to equalize air pressure when scuba diving. When snorkeling one needs to get air to flow smoothly from the throat to the ears. This is usually through the opening of eustachian times. This is done by pinching the nose and then blowing gently. With this slight pressure, the eustachian tube that remains normally closed opens and air flows gently to the middle ear.

Improve Your Swimming

If you love snorkeling, improve your swimming skills. Learn different types of movements which include large to fine movements. Learn the proper breathing techniques, improve your timings, and train regularly. If your swimming improves you will find an increase in your confidence level. Experienced snorkelers are always good swimmers.

How To Dive Down Deep

Diving down deep into the water is fun and thrilling though snorkeling is usually down in shallow waters where one can easily stand. To dive down when snorkeling, you need to be a good swimmer. First, you should practice in shallow waters. You have to stay calm and relaxed while being a lot focused when underwater.

Besides, you need to know the correct snorkeling techniques and master your breathing techniques for a comfortable experience. You should have a snorkeling buddy for an amazing snorkeling experience.

Find Fins That Fit

Find Fins That Fit

You should find fins that have a snug fit. If the fins are loose it will be uncomfortable for you, and you can also get blisters.

Besides, they can even slip away as you swim. Deciding the right fit can be tricky. Just check to see if you can squeeze in a couple of fingers in the foot pocket when you wear the fin.

If your fin is too tight for you, you wouldn’t be able to slip in even one finger. If the fins are too big, you will find that there is a lot of loose space. Your toes should not feel cramped.

Relax and Enjoy the Experience

Instead of worrying or feeling scared, try to relax as you check out the underwater scenery and enjoy your snorkeling trip. Remember, there are life jackets available in case of an emergency – so, all you need to do is be comfortable and have fun.

Don’t snorkel alone

How to reduce Ear Pressure while Snorkeling

Newbie snorkelers should never snorkel alone. You might be a strong swimmer but snorkeling adventures can be challenging for first-timers. Hence, keeping in mind the safety concerns, ensure you are under the guidance of advanced snorkelers and those who have snorkeling experience.

Don’t panic

Snorkeling is a thrilling experience, where you get a glimpse of marine animals, but first-time snorkelers tend to panic a bit. Try and stay calm and enjoy the experience. Panic will lead to confusion and stress and you will not be able to enjoy the snorkeling session.

Boat Or No Boat?

It is your decision – you choose boating plus snorkeling or snorkeling. If you are using a boat you can enjoy a scenic boat tour but you will not get the breathtaking undersea views.

However, snorkeling by boat also means superior visibility. In the open sea, you will be able to see the coral reefs distinctively. Snorkeling from a boat is quite expensive, whereas snorkeling from the beach is free except for the amount you pay as a rental for snorkeling equipment.

Types Of Snorkeling

Types Of Snorkeling

There are different types of snorkeling:

1. Surface Snorkeling

Surface snorkeling is swimming right along the water surface as you enjoy the underwater world. The snorkeler is equipped with mask, or goggles, a snorkel, and swim fins. You can just cruise over sea turtles, stingrays, and the usual corals and colorful vibrant reef fish in the snorkeling tours.

2. Snorkeling in Deep Water

When the snorkeler chooses to go deep inside the water it is known as snorkeling in deep water. For deep water snorkeling, a lot of practice is needed. One needs to master breathing techniques well and be a confident swimmer. Besides, ensure you have all the necessary snorkel equipment like a proper diving mask with you.

3. Snorkel Diving / Snorkeling Under Water

Snorkeling underwater is a unique experience where you go a little beyond the surface of the water to have a glimpse of the wonderful natural sea life. However, you need to consider the water conditions and be under the guidance of skilled snorkelers when you are snorkel diving.

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