Do you want to go snorkeling and check that off your bucket list? We’ve all been there. But how does snorkeling work? And what do you need to know before you attempt it?
Snorkeling is an increasingly famous water sport among vacationers and adventurers alike. And with the right training and equipment, it can be an experience of a lifetime! If you are like me and have always wondered how to get started on snorkeling, you have come to the right place!
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about snorkeling, and more!
What Is Snorkeling?
First things first, what exactly is snorkeling? Well, it is basically like swimming (underwater or along the surface), but while wearing a device called a snorkel.
Of course, you also need to wear other swimming gear while snorkeling, including a mask.
Snorkeling is basically practiced by people to get a look into the underwater world. The snorkeling tube lets you breathe underwater as long as the tip of the tube is sticking out of the water. But unlike scuba diving and other sports, snorkeling requires minimal professional training!
How Does Snorkeling Work?
Basically, a snorkel is a tube that lets you breathe underwater. How? You stick one end of the tube in your mouth, and the other end has to be above the surface of the water.
Remember that in order for a snorkel to work, one tip has to be above the water surface at all times.
What you do is you breathe through your mouth via the snorkel, while your face is under the water (but still near the surface). This ensures that you can comfortably exchange air from above the water surface while you explore all that the underwater world has to offer!
How Does Snorkeling Work: Underwater Snorkel
There is a key difference between scuba diving and snorkeling, and it’s that snorkeling does not let you go into deep waters.
While scuba diving lets you explore the deepest of sea waters with the help of a breathing aid, that’s not the case with snorkeling. A snorkel is simply present to help you with breathing, not to substitute it.
When it comes to snorkeling, you need to practice proper breathing using a snorkel. And even then, you need to ensure that you come up to the surface every few minutes to take a proper breath.
Dry Snorkeling, Semi-Dry Snorkeling, And Wet Snorkeling
Simply put, there are three types of snorkels available in the market. And they are dry, semi-dry, and wet snorkels. All of these are very similar in their purpose, which is to help you breathe while your face is underwater. But they do have some key differences.
Dry Snorkeling: How Does Snorkeling Work?
When it comes to dry snorkels, they tend to be the most advanced of them all. These are beginner-friendly, and therefore very easy to use, and require minimal effort! These snorkels feature a splash guard at the top, a splurge guard at the bottom, and a float valve at the top.
As the name suggests, dry snorkels are designed to remain completely dry throughout the snorkeling session. The float valve helps block out any water, even if the snorkel is accidentally submerged in the water. These also let you spend more time completely underwater as they are capable of remaining dry and preventing the entry of water into the breathing tube!
Semi-Dry Snorkeling: How Does Snorkeling Work?
Again, as the same suggests, semi-dry snorkels can keep the snorkel dry to a certain capacity. But since these snorkels are vulnerable to becoming wet and letting the water enter the breathing tube, they aren’t really a good choice for beginners.
These snorkels certainly add a lot of versatility to your overall experience though! They are equipped with the same splash and splurge guards as dry snorkels, but they do not feature a float valve. Nevertheless, the splash guard prevents water from entering the tube while it is still above the surface. And, the splurge guard drains off any water that may have accidentally entered the tube!
Wet Snorkeling: How Does Snorkeling Work?
Wet snorkels are the most basic of them all. And frankly, not suitable for beginners at all.
These are basically J-shaped tubes that do not include any special features. These are usually used by experienced snorkelers and freedivers for the adventurous element it adds to snorkeling.
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Is Snorkeling Dangerous: How to Snorkel?
Not really. In fact, snorkeling requires no formal training and minimum directions to follow! But, that being said, with the lack of common safety practices and hasty ignorance, snorkeling can indeed be dangerous and potentially fatal.
Snorkeling is pretty straightforward though. Here’s how to do it safely, while having fun!
- First and foremost, you need to be rightly prepared to attempt snorkeling. Find a snorkel that best suits you, get a dry snorkel if you’re a beginner. Wear a mask that properly covers your eyes without being too tight or loose.
- You will also need to practice swimming for a few tries. While snorkeling floats do work, it’s better if you just get in control of your swimming motions. People also advise practicing holding your breath underwater to first-timers! This makes sure your snorkeling experience isn’t overwhelming to you.
- Start by entering shallow waters. Lay on your stomach and adjust the snorkel in place.
- Bite down on the mouthpiece and seal the snorkel with your lips. Submerge your face in the water and pause for as long as you can.
- Do not overstep your boundaries! Practice slow, consistent sessions.
- Once you have all of this in place, it’s really just about using the snorkel right and stepping into the water! Remember to be safe and not push yourself beyond limits!
Things to Remember While Snorkeling
Like we said before, snorkeling is a completely harmless and fun water sport. But you also need to abide by certain safety rules and precautionary measures to ensure a hassle-free experience. Here are a few things you should remember before and while you go snorkeling!
- Remember that snorkeling is not a fancy sport. You do not need a lot of hi-tech equipment for it. What you do need is some basic equipment that is made up of good quality.
- Defogging your mask is a very important skill that should be practiced beforehand. You can either buy professional defogging gels or DIY your way with baby shampoo!
- Another common problem that most people face is their masks filling up with water. This could be overwhelming and cause panic, especially for beginners. Firstly, make sure your masks are secured tightly around your eyes. Secondly, always calmly take your face out of the water if your mask fills up, and then empty it out before going in again!
- Save up on energy! Although it might not look like it, it can be exhausting to spend an entire day in the waters. Plan and schedule your snorkeling experience and do not be overenthusiastic about it. You don’t wanna drain yourself out!
- Lastly, never go snorkeling alone, especially if you’re a beginner! Always make sure you have someone with you in case you panic or feel overwhelmed by the experience.
How long can you stay underwater with a snorkel?
Typically, most people can stay underwater anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes using a snorkel. But keep in mind that a snorkel will just help you breathe, you will still need to practice and control your breaths.
Can you breathe underwater with a dry snorkel?
No, you cannot. Dry snorkels are meant to stay dry in case of accidental submersion of their tips. But that does not mean that they can hold enough air within their tube to support your breaths while you’re fully underwater!
How deep can you snorkel safely?
The most people can go is around 1-2 feet. And that is for experienced snorkelers! The moment you let your snorkel’s upper tip come in contact with water, you will experience breathing issues shortly after. It is, therefore, best to avoid going deep altogether!
Can you go underwater with full face snorkel?
No, you can’t. And you shouldn’t ever attempt it either. Full-face snorkeling masks are only meant for surface waters and can be very dangerous underwater.
Did we successfully intrigue you about trying snorkeling the next time you visit the beach? If yes, yay! And don’t worry if you’re still unsure about finally trying it, we all are at first.
Snorkeling can be such a fun sport once you get the hang of it! You require minimum training and equipment, it can be done practically anywhere, and it requires no complex skills! Just practice some basic swimming skills, breath control, and a few safety tips and you should be good to go!
Remember to always invest in good equipment and get plenty of practice. We’re sure you ace it and have lots of exciting adventures! And the next time someone asks ‘How does snorkeling work? You’ll be the first one to answer!