How to Snorkel Properly

Snorkeling is one of the most popular swimming activities to partake in across the globe.

Snorkeling is most effective in beautiful, tropical countries with ocean waters filled with sea creatures and fish. 

Many people enjoy snorkeling as you can get up close and personal with sea turtles, fish, dolphins, sharks and other marine wildlife without disturbing their natural habitat or beauty.

It is a very peaceful and serene activity to unwind, and learn more about the world whilst fully immersed in the wonders of the sea. 

Snorkeling is the process of swimming face down on the surface of the water, equipped with a diving mask and breathing apparatus called a snorkel. Snorkeling is best for observing underwater creatures, fish and tropical plants. 

A snorkel mask allows you to see the bright colors of coral, anemones and aquatic creatures up close, whilst also helping you stay under the water for longer without damaging your eyes.

A snorkel allows you to swim at the surface of the water for extended lengths of time without needing to resurface for air. You can then examine and observe sea life in its natural habitat. 

Snorkeling is a relatively easy activity to do, and is widely recognized as suitable for children and adults of all ages. With a small amount of effort, you are able to see the wonders of the ocean, and leave fish and organisms undisturbed.

However, there are a few things you must know in order to snorkel properly, and safely.

Snorkeling Safety

Before getting out on the water, you need to ensure that your safety is your number one priority. To do, this you should be a confident swimmer and aware of proper safety measures, should anything go wrong.

Always swim with company, as there is always safety in numbers. Work out a hand signal to show when you are okay, such as a thumbs up, and another signal for if you are in distress. This way, you can have proper communication when out on the water. 

If you are taking a boat out to sea in order to snorkel in a particularly animal infested area, such as a turtle nesting place, then make sure that your captain or anyone on the boat knows your signals too in case of an emergency.

Equipment Etiquette

Before you enter the water and begin snorkeling, you must know how to fit your equipment properly. Loose or unfit masks can let in water and cloud your vision, or flood your nose. 

Having your snorkel mask fitted properly is possibly one of the most vital parts of having a great snorkeling experience. Try to pick a mask that will fit in with the proportions of your face, and will sit comfortably on your skin. 

You need one that sits flat against your face, has good suction and is not too tight to your nose. Although tight suction is important, you need space between your nose and upper lip for proper positioning and comfort. 

To check if your mask fits properly, try the suction test. Hold the snorkel mask to your face, but do not put the strap behind your head yet. Press the mask to your face and inhale through your nose. This should suction the mask to your face and you will no longer need to hold it. If it sticks, then you are good to go!

Next, you can place the strap over your head. Tighten the straps and adjustable sides to ensure that your mask is airtight. The last thing you need is your mask flooding as you see an astounding sea creature pass you by. 

Your strap should be just below the crown of your head, not above the ears. You can tighten the straps, but you do not want red marks on your face. This is how you know your mask is too tight. Make sure your nose is in the right place and not pushed up.

The next step is to ensure that your snorkel tube is attached to your mask and in close reach to your mouth. When you are ready to swim, bite down on the plastic mouthpiece of the snorkel and close your mouth around it to keep it in place. 

You can also wear a life vest, as this can help you stay buoyant in the water and swim for longer without tiring. Once your equipment and your vet is fitted carefully, then you are ready to swim. 

How To Snorkel Properly

You must be able to regulate your breathing when snorkeling. Many people can feel claustrophobic at first and find it difficult to breath as they normally would with all of your snorkeling apparatus on. 

We recommend that you practice breathing with your equipment before entering the water. This way, you know that you are not at risk of panicking or struggling to breathe when you are swimming. 

Try to take slow, regular breaths in and out. Inhale and exhale as slow as you can to stay relaxed. It can help to listen to your breaths to remain calm and collected and keep a steady rhythm. Once you have mastered this, it is time to get into the water. 

You may benefit from swimming with flippers to help your movement in the water, but try to keep them below the water line to avoid splashing.

Lay flat in the water on your stomach and place your face in, and look at a 45 degree angle. This can be daunting at first, but once you start seeing some fascinating creatures, you will forget all about it. 

Swim as normal and start seeing some of the wonders of the natural world. Enjoy the sights of tropical fish, bright coral and sea life you could only imagine.

When enveloped in the ocean’s delights, try to remain focused on your breathing and your position in the water. It is easy to accidentally dip your snorkel underwater, but this can flood your breathing tube. 

If this happens, you need to know how to keep your airway clear. To do this, you must first hold your breath and begin surfacing your head and your tube so that it is out of the water. Ensure your snorkel tube is in the air, and exhale with your mouth, giving a quick and sharp blow to expel all of the water. 

Once you are capable of doing this properly, you can dive deeper when swimming to get a closer look at some wildlife. Simply hold your breath whilst your tube is underwater, and then clear the airway once you have resurfaced. 

Top Tip

To really act like a pro, the best thing to do whilst snorkeling is to not interact with any of the sea creatures. You are entering their home and should treat them with respect and caution.

Try not to splash your feet as you may frighten fish and other sea life, and never touch or harm any animals or coral. Keep our wildlife protected and safer for longer for generations to come.  

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