Snorkeling is the experience of a life time. That being said, it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially for beginners. Before you go snorkeling for the first time, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for. We’re going to give you a few pointers to help you really enjoy your first 30 minutes exploring the underwater world.
1 Choose the right equipment for you
Before you even buy your tickets for snorkeling, you need to understand everything about the equipment you will be using. The traditional snorkeling equipment consists of a snorkel and goggles. The snorkel works as a mouth piece, which means you will be breathing through your mouth. If you know you have a strong gag reflex there is a very high chance you won’t be able to get used with this kind of equipment and you might end up coming out of the water within minutes. The alternative to this is a snorkel mask that allows you to breathe easily and is the best choice for both beginners and pros.
If you decide to buy your own equipment or borrow from a friend, it’s always a great idea to spend some time at a local pool to train and test equipment.
2 Make sure you are comfortable in the water
There are many guides out there that will tell you that if you are not a great swimmer, you shouldn’t be snorkeling. That is not truth as even swimmers with little to no experience can enjoy this underwater sport by wearing snorkel vests that help you float. Of course, if you’re not a great swimmer you will have to pass on the freediving part of the experience, but it’s never a good idea to free dive the first few times either way.
3 Choose a snorkeling spot suitable for a beginner
The secret to a great snorkeling first experience is being prepared. By being prepared we mean having your equipment figured out and being well informed regarding the best places to snorkel for beginners. You want to go near a reef for the best visual experience but make sure you stay in places that are accessible from the surface ( between 10 and 30 ft). A lot of hotels in areas where snorkeling is possible offer snorkel packs that include equipment, boat rides to the best spots and trainers.
4 Never go snorkeling alone
It might seem like a good idea to try out your gear in shallow waters, but remember to always have company. Never go snorkeling alone, no matter how safe you think the spot you chose is. Other than the safety factor, sharing the experience with someone else makes it all the better. If at all possible, choose to go with a friend who is more experienced and can give you some pointers.
5 Never push your limits
Last but not least, remember to always respect nature. Don’t try to push your limits or prove yourself to friends by taking unnecessary risks. Listen to your trainers or more experienced friends and take things one at a time. Learn how to breathe with your snorkel mask or snorkel set first, train your breathing techniques and your swimming techniques and only after you are confident in both areas you are ready to give free diving a try.
For your first snorkeling experience the best advice is to take it easy, relax and immerse yourself in the amazing world that unfolds once you put your mask on and your face is in the water.