How to Snorkel: A Beginner’s Guide

Snorkeling has been around for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Greek sponge growers who used hollow reeds to breathe beneath the surface of the sea. Technological developments in snorkels, masks, and fins propelled the sport’s appeal to new heights in the twentieth century. Snorkeling is now simpler, safer, and more accessible than ever before, making it a sport accessible to practically anybody who lives near the water. Learning how to snorkel is a task everyone should take on so they can enjoy this amazing sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is snorkeling?

Snorkeling is a swimming activity in which participants wear a diving mask and breathe via a tube while swimming through a body of water, generally keeping at the surface. Fins are often worn on the feet when swimming.

How is snorkeling different than skindiving, freediving, and SCUBA diving?

There are several significant disparities among these activities. Skin divers use the same equipment as snorkelers, but instead of staying on the surface, they dive below to get a closer look at the marine life.
Freediving is a sport in which competitors attempt to dive as deep as possible without taking a breath. Freedivers often use a mask and long fins, although snorkels are avoided due to the drag they produce.
SCUBA divers have air tanks strapped to their backs so they can breathe underwater.

Is snorkeling safe?

When swimming, especially in the ocean, you must be cautious, but there are several steps you can take to make your snorkeling trips as safe as possible:
Always go snorkeling with a buddy.
Select areas with lifeguards.
Inquire with the lifeguards about any dangers you should be aware of.
Wear fins while swimming against strong currents or when you’re exhausted.
Stay in shallow water until you’ve gotten the hang of snorkeling. In water that is shallow enough to stand up in, there is typically a lot to see.
For your first time with the snorkeling gear, take a class, a tour, or practice in a pool.

How to Snorkel

Snorkeling is not a difficult skill to acquire provided you have all of the essential equipment. It just takes a few minutes to become used to breathing via a tube while submerged in water, and it will feel almost as natural as normal breathing after that. Remember to inhale and exhale via your mouth rather than your nose (unless you have a full-face snorkel). If you lean your head too far forward, the snorkel may fill with water. Allow your fins, not your arms, to perform the majority of the effort when swimming.

Snorkeling Do’s and Don’ts

DO try to remain calm.

Stick to shallow water until you’re comfortable breathing with a snorkel, so you can get up if you get too hot. Allow your fins to perform the majority of the work when you move to deeper water. Slow, steady kicks should be paired with slow, steady breaths.

DO put your fins on and off in the water.

Fins are difficult to walk in, so putting them on while sitting on the beach will make you appear stupid as you stroll like a penguin to the ocean. Carry them into waist-deep water and then put them on so you can start swimming right away.

DO clear your snorkel and mask regularly.

Every snorkeler should be able to do a blast clear, and if you plan on skin diving, you should also practice a displacement clear.

DO use reef-safe sunscreen.

For lengthy periods, you’ll be floating at the water’s surface, completely exposed to the sun with no shelter. You’ll want to protect yourself from sunburns, but most sunscreens include chemicals that are harmful to marine life. Snorkeling will be quite dull with nothing to see if we don’t safeguard marine wildlife.

how to snorkel with a buddy

DO snorkel with a buddy.

Snorkeling is less harmful than many other water sports, but there’s always the risk of disastrous situations while you’re in the ocean.

DO know how to alert the lifeguards for assistance.

Raise one arm in the air and wave to the lifeguards if you need help. Remember to use this signal only if you require assistance. If you wave to the lifeguards from the water, they will dive in to save you.

DO use a snorkeling vest or jacket if necessary.

They resemble life jackets, except instead of keeping your head above water, snorkeling flotation devices are less buoyant and aid in maintaining a decent snorkeling position. A flotation device is always a good idea, even if you’re a strong swimmer.

DON’T hyperventilate.

Before going below, divers were instructed to take quick breaths, but we now know that hyperventilation can lead you to pass out. Always attempt to breathe slowly, deeply, and calmly. Take a minute to keep motionless and focus on your breathing if you notice yourself breathing fast. If it doesn’t work, go to the beach for a while.

DON’T  mess with the marine creatures.

Some creatures, such as coral, are so sensitive that you risk harming or killing them. If provoked, other animals might be hazardous to humans.

DON’T leave rubbish behind.

Nobody likes to snorkel through decaying waste or trash floating in the water. Return to the beach with whatever you brought, and if you discover rubbish left by others, toss it away.

2 thoughts on “How to Snorkel: A Beginner’s Guide”

  1. Aloha! I’m so excited because my family and I are going to Maui next weekend, and I plan to join a snorkel tour during our stay there. Lucky for me, you did remind us to apply an eco-friendly sunscreen before doing any snorkeling activity to minimize our carbon footprint. Anyway, it would be better if I make a reservation fast so I can have some fun eventually.

  2. I appreciate the advice that snorkeling is not difficult to learn as long as you have the necessary tools. This summer, my friends and I want to do a snorkeling tour, so we’re researching for Puerto Rico snorkeling tour operators to choose from for our vacation. Once our trip is booked, I’ll keep this in mind while we go snorkeling equipment shopping.

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