First and most important advice you can ever get before learning how to snorkel is “ BE RELAXED” breath in and relax your senses and body completely.
Good, now that you know the first rule of snorkeling we can start helping you turn your every snorkeling experience into a complete success.
Before you actually learn how to snorkel you should know your snorkeling equipment and how to use it:
This is your window towards the underwater world. The snorkeling mask is basically the most important piece of your equipment. You probably already guessed but you can’t snorkel without a snorkel mask.
Make sure you feel comfortable while wearing the snorkel mask and no water leaks in. Choose a tempered glass mask ( they are more resistant ) with silicone padding for a more comfortable and secure fit. Adjust the straps until the mask fits and seals perfectly. Brush your hair out of the way and hold the mask tightly pressed against your face and take a deep breath through your nose. The mask should seal against your face and stay in place without you holding it.
Make sure you feel comfortable enough with the snorkel tube and it is close enough to your head. If you have a strong gag reflex and you simply can’t get used with the snorkel you should try a full face snorkel mask. The full face snorkel mask will allow you to breathe naturally, through your nose without any constrictions.
If you have to wear prescription glasses all the time, consider wearing contact lenses or getting a prescription snorkel mask.
Just like the snorkel mask, the fins have to fit perfectly. Never choose fins that feel too tight. If they hurt your toes you might get cramps while snorkeling. Keep in mind that once your feet are wet the fins might slip in a bit harder so a slightly bigger size is always better.
Great, now that you know what kind of equipment you need to snorkel you are ready to learn how to snorkel
First, Gear up
Put the mask on and set it snugly in place. Make sure the snorkel tube is attached but do not put it in your mouth yet. Put on your fins and make sure there is no sand left inside when you put them on. Even the smallest grain of sand can cause horrible blisters.
You can place the snorkel tube in your mouth now.
Gently bite against the mouthpiece and seal your lips around the snorkel piece. Don’t bite too hard because your jaw and teeth will get sore fast. Now try to breathe only using your mouth. Practice your breathing before getting in the water.
Take slow and regular breaths through the snorkel. Be conscious of your breathing and focus on breathing only through your mouth if you are not using a full face snorkel mask.
Get in the water but don’t go too far just yet. It is better to practice snorkeling in shallow water at first and get used to the equipment.
Lay on your stomach and submerge your face in the water. Try to float like this for a while simply observing the underwater life. You will find this really relaxing and calming.
Sometimes, water might get inside your mask. No worries, this happens even to some of the most experienced divers. Calmly lift your head above water and clean your mask.
Use your fins to start moving underwater. Make sure to kick from the hip and try to keep your knees relaxed. Keep your fins below water to avoid any unnecessary splashing ( too much motion will scare the fish ) and don’t put too much pressure into this motion. You will see that you will start moving without adding too much effort to your kicks.
There is no need to use your arms. In fact, it is recommended to keep your arms resting on your side and only move using your legs.
Keep your movements relaxed and calm and enjoy the scenery. Keep in mind that snorkeling is not a race so there is no need to exhausted yourself and waste your energy with too much movement.
What to do IF:
Your mask gets foggy
You won’t be able to enjoy anything underwater if you can’t see right? Most masks say that they are made of fog free materials and you will have no problems while snorkeling. But you can never be sure of that. The best option is to clean your snorkel mask with an anti-fog solution before using it…or a faster more approachable method is to simply use a drop of clear oil while cleaning your mask. Rinse with ocean water and the oily coat will prevent your mask from fogging.
You get water in your snorkel tube
First of all, make sure the top end of the tube is out of the water. A burst of air or simply should clear your snorkel tube in an instant. Try blowing up the tube or simply say the word “TWO”.
You will have a great snorkeling day if you:
1. Pick the right day for snorkeling
Nobody likes to snorkel in rain or bad weather. Make sure to check the weather forecast before planning your trip. A bright day will make your adventure just perfect and even the water will be more clear.
2. Pick the right spot for snorkeling
Usually, snorkeling is practiced in calm waters. Make sure you get informed before picking the perfect location. Read reviews, guidebooks and ask around before starting your adventure.
3. Convince some friends to tag along
Snorkeling is a fun activity as it is but practicing it with a few friends by your side is even better. A lot of guides recommend not to snorkel alone. It is always a good idea to have someone by your side in case of accidents or simply to share the beauties of the underwater world.
4. Respect a few snorkeling guidelines