Whether you’ve used a Snorkel on vacation or are an avid snorkeler, I think we can all agree that snorkels are a great invention that allows us to have amazing underwater adventures.
But how does a snorkel work? We want to teach you about your snorkel so you can be comfortable and reassured that you have an understanding of how it works to allow for a better snorkelling trip.
Types of Snorkels
There are a few different types of snorkels which all work in different ways, some are more beneficial to certain types of snorkelling so always check which is best for your snorkelling trip.
Traditional snorkels also know as ‘J’ snorkels are a common choice for free divers and spearfisherman. These snorkels are manufactured to prevent drag which is turn gives you optimum agility whilst you are in the water- they don’t have any fancy features and are recommended for more advanced snorkelers.
For example, these snorkels are ideal for people who want to reach further depth without having to use proper diving equipment.
If you go under the water, the tube fills up with water which will need to be purged once you reach the surface- this is ideal for freedivers and spearfisherman because they take one deep breath and are then able to go beneath the water.
They don’t include any safety features such as a float valve, in saying this they are the most affordable snorkel but are not great for beginners due to the J-tube not being flexible.
Semi-dry snorkels are considered a mix of traditional and dry snorkels. They do not keep all of the water out of the tube but they prevent water from getting in when not fully submerged- if you are fully submerged it is likely the tube will fill with water.
There are various features that direct the water away from the tube and have features which include purge valves, flexible tubes and splash guards which can be extremely helpful when trying the prevent water from getting in. As long as you stay on the surface then a semi-dry snorkel is a great choice for viewing marine life.
In comparison to dry snorkels, semi-dry snorkels are very similar but not feature a float valve which keeps all water out even when fully submerged.
They are compact and more simple to use than dry snorkels which is why they are a popular choice for many people. Scuba divers are fond of semi-dry snorkels because it allows them to save their oxygen whilst on the surface.
Dry snorkels are the simplest snorkel design but are not fit for all types of snorkelling.
They tend to be most popular with beginners because they prevent water from entering your airway which is a common issue with beginners and can cause panic whilst you are in the water.
These snorkels have a float valve which is a covering mechanism. This stops water from getting in whilst above water and will completely prevent water from getting in if you are fully submerged because the float valve engages and blocks the tube.
They also feature a splash guard which prevents water or waves from getting into your snorkel when you are on the surface- as well as this they are flexible which means you can adjust the snorkel depending on how you are snorkeling.
You should put some thought into choosing the right snorkel for you depending on your ability, experience, and the type of diving you are taking part in. Always research the options before buying to ensure you get the correct snorkel for you.