How To Snorkel
Snorkel like a pro with these simple tips
Equipment is king when it comes to being comfortable snorkeling, equipment that fits properly and more importantly, knowing how to actually use your equipment. But dealing with these two issues is a breeze, so no sweat, read on, and off you go!
So if you want to learn to snorkel like a pro, read on, some simple but important tips to enjoy this amazing hobby.
Before you get in the water, it's important to have comfortable snorkeling gear, and Choosing Your Snorkeling Gear can be tricky for beginners.
- Choosing a mask. You preferably want a tempered glass and a soft silicone mask, name brands are not such a big deal here, the fit is most important. To find out if the mask is the correct size, simply put the mask on your face and breath in through your nose. If the mask sticks to your face it’s sealing up just fine. If the mask falls off, try another.
- Your fins should fit comfortably. Try closed heel fins unless you have booties. And golden rule, if putting on your fins in the water, make sure you clean all the sand out before you go, sand in your fins can cause horrible blisters (as can fins that are too small)
- Wet your hair and face before putting on the mask. Equalizing the temperature of your face with that of the seawater will minimize the risk of fogging. Push your hair back so that you do not have hair-causing leaks in your mask.
- Defog your mask. If it’s a brand new mask then you will need to apply a little bit of tooth paste on it and rub it in the lenses. Leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse your mask (and rinse well, nothing quite like toothpaste in your eyes). Spit also works just fine, rub it in, rinse and off you go. If your mask still fogs, try letting a little bit of water in to rinse of the fog inside. If fogging persists, it is easier to stop, spit in your mask again, rinse and try again.
- The mask strap goes on the back of your head near the top. The mask strap should be just below your crown and on that subject, keep the strap snug but NOT tight, making the strap too tight causes the seal to stretch and your mask will leak.
- Relax and try breathing through the snorkel before you try it in the water. Get used to the slight resistance in air flow.
- To get water out of your snorkel, make the sound “Tshoo” fast – this will blast any leaking water out of your snorkel. We recommend plain, straight through snorkels. Snorkels with purge valves and other gimmicks always give you hassles. Simple is best.
- Be aware that at certain angles your head can go underwater with the snorkel and it will turn in to an oversized drinking straw. And you know what that means, breathing water, not cool. So, avoid down towards your feet, if you do, breathe slowly and be ready to exhale the water with a big Tshoo. Slow breathing helps you feel water in your mouth and you will know to blow out before you breathe in.
- Keep your hands across your chest (a great trick for keeping warm too) and kick gently, slow movements using your ankles not your knees
- Relax, Breath and float. Your natural setting is to float if you are breathing and relaxed.
- Finally, wear a t-shirt or rash vest and plenty of sunblock. Many a first time snorkeler has been unwittingly fried by the sun
- Be careful, you do not want to do any damage to coral or get yourself stuck on an urchin, if you're a beginner, then be sure to read our tips on safety while snorkeling.
- Have fun!