Snorkeling is one of the most loved hobbies around the world. It is in-fact a must-do activity for people at least once in their lives. First-timers might have their fears which is completely natural. To counter that, most popular snorkel spots have the availability for you to take along an instructor with you.
The activity requires a few pieces of equipment most importantly flippers, goggles, and a snorkel. If you are venturing into dark or cold waters you can also take a flashlight and wetsuit. While you get to see a whole new world under the water, you definitely are more prone to mishaps and accidents that will leave you helpless. Yes, if you have snorkeled or swam in strong currents before, you sure know what I am talking about.
But, you can stop fretting about it because we have compiled a short beginner’s guide for all the new snorkelers out there. You’ll be out, safely in the water in no time.
What is Snorkeling?
Let’s start at the very beginning. Snorkeling is an activity where you swim underwater using a diving mask, diving fins, and a snorkel or breathing tube.
People often confuse snorkeling with scuba diving. But, with snorkeling, you must stay on the surface to avoid water from getting inside your breathing tube.
Guidelines for Snorkeling
Here are some tips that we consider would help you a lot with learning how to snorkel.
Test it out:
One of the very important things to check is the snorkel because a faulty one can be life-threatening. You can check it out by breathing in and out of it several times to ensure that the airflow is okay. Once done, test it in a pool or go for a swim in shallow water. This will help you practice and get an idea of how much air you can breathe in and out.
The most important thing to consider while diving underwater is that you must have the proper equipment and are not forgetting anything. Do a size check for all the equipment, just to be sure. Imagine having dive fins too loose that they just don’t fit and you end up losing them underwater.
It is often recommended that if you are a regular snorkeler then buying your own equipment is a smarter choice as it will save you money in the long run. All you need to do is keep them well maintained.
If you are new to Snorkeling and are looking for a nice place then pick one that has a calm and still water current. Strong currents can make it difficult for you as you’d have to put more effort to swim. It is better if you start from shallow waters than directly dive into deep ones. It will help you find the right pace for yourself and give enough time to adjust.
But, at the same time make sure that spots aren’t too boring and have a lot to explore.
You’re floating on the surface not doing the 100m freestyle:
Something to keep in mind is the fact that Snorkeling is largely based on floating. Floating means using your hands less than what you do in swimming. You can lock your hands at a single place, preferably on the chest to preserve any warmth. Moreover, use your flippers to move through the water.
When I first began learning how to snorkel, I found it easier to wear a lifejacket. This made it much easier to stay afloat. This could also be a great option if you are taking children along with you.
Relaxation is the Key:
As mentioned before, in order to even your breathing you need to relax. It will be the main determining factor of your Snorkeling. Just stay calm and do not panic. Try to think that you’re safe because you just need to lift your head to return.
From the Liberty Wreck to the Egyptian Red Sea, you can have your own Snorkeling adventure and experience a lot of new things on the way. People interested in marine life will find a large variety of sea animals around them including Manta rays, sharks, and sardines.
Picking The Right Snorkeling Gear
If it’s your first time, you will definitely be excited to get all the things and try them on for a minor thrill. There can be a lot of things that might confuse you like getting a full face snorkel or a smaller one. Things like these often feel like a choice but they actually are a necessity. It is important to know what kind of gear to use in certain places.
The first and foremost tip is to always buy from reputable stores and brands. Make sure that the equipment is tested before and they are of good quality and easy to use.
Another thing you must know is that you can have your Snorkeling down to a T but you might not be able to perform well without a good Snorkeling set. A good Snorkeling set ensures great performance with the same amount of effort.
Let’s have a look at how to choose your gear.
Renting fins is always a great idea as it allows you to try a pair that fits you perfectly. Fins are a vital component when it comes to moving underwater. The propulsion and buoyancy help to move in the right direction. A right pair of fins will fit neither too loose nor too tight and they will help you navigate better. For swimming, long distances fins are your best bet so do not forget to get a good pair.
For Snorkeling, a snorkel is without question the most important thing. But, it is also most crucial to choose a great mask too. Choosing the right mask can be difficult so we have mentioned a simple test that will help you find the right one.
Hold the mask to your face and take a deep breath through your nose and check if the mask stays on without holding. If it does, then congratulations you have found the right one for yourself, if not better luck with the next one.
The next step would be choosing a mask that does not leak or fog up easily. Luckily for you, we’ve reviewed the best masks for scuba diving which will also be brilliant for Snorkeling. You can check out that post here.
- If it’s your first time, do not snorkel alone.
- Prevent panicking and pulling people down.
- Get to know your surroundings before diving in.
- Try not to touch anything underwater.
- Always make sure you wear reef-safe sunscreen.
We sincerely hope that this quick guide will help you sift through all the important details about Snorkeling and help you with any problems as a beginner. Once you get more confident in the water you can also start to dive a litter deeper and practice free-diving. Stay tuned for a post on that!