The true beauty of snorkeling can only be experienced once you are past the beginner stage and start to explore the world of free diving. In order to free dive while snorkeling you don’t only need good, quality equipment like the snorkel itself, but also the skills to keep yourself safe and know your limits.
Know your limits is the key phrase that you must remember at all times if you plan to start free diving. Training for this kind of experience must always be taken seriously.
Don’t set your expectations too high when it comes to snorkel breathing techniques
Snorkeling is attractive because almost anyone can do it. You only need a good snorkel mask that takes care of problems like learning how to use a mouth piece and you can even do it if you can’t swim, by using a snorkel vest. Taking snorkeling to the next level though is a completely different story.
In order to truly enjoy the underwater world and have the freedom to explore it, you have to learn to free dive. Free diving means you need to be able to hold your breath for long enough to dive, explore and come back up safe.
Before you even start training you need to set realistic expectations, and for that you have to run a test to determine how long you can hold your breath.
Step 1 Lay down. Your first test and training sessions are best conducted in a dry environment
Step 2 Calm down your breathing and heart rate.
Step 3 Breathe in once, deeply and try to breathe out all the excess air.
Step 4 Start your chronometer and breathe in again as deeply as you can and hold your breath.
Step 5 Relax, don’t try to count the seconds you are holding your breath. It’s best if you manage to completely clear your mind.
Check your stop watch when you are done. The time you managed on your first try is the best indicatations on how high to set your expectations.
Here is a simple guideline:
If you held your breath under 1 minute – you can expect to hold your breath for 3 minutes after at least 4 weeks of serious training.
If you held your breath for 1:30 – 2 minutes – you can expect to hold your breath for 4 minutes after at least 4 weeks of serious training.