In this article we hope to outline the best ways for you to have the best snorkeling experience. Many first time snorkelers may have an unpleasant time if they are not familiar wit the basics of snorkeling.
Snorkeling can be a tremendous amount of fun if you understand your equipment and abide by the snorkeling rules of the water. Many first time snorkelers may experience anxiety, face mask problems. Snorkel tube flooding, fatigue and even injury if not careful. Many of these problems are quite avoidable and with a little bit of training are quite avoidable.
Some things to keep in mind when setting up your snorkel equipment
Fit Your Snorkel Mask:
Masks come in a wide variety of sizes. When picking a mask look for one that matches the contours of your face. Test it on your face. There should be plenty of mask around the sides of your eyes. Do not pull the nose pocket up against the underside of your nose.
Put the snorkel mask on your face and it should make a good seal against your face. The strap should not be too tight to keep the mask on.
The snorkel tube:
We really recommend a “dry” snorkel tube. One with a splash guard that will prevent or at least discourage water from getting into the tube. But if water does get into the snorkel tube then most will have a purge valve where you can blow out the water.
The snorkel fins:
Fins should fit well and be neither too loose or too tight. Keep in mind your feet may shrink a little in water but you don’t want sores from fins with hard spots. You really do need the fins since they give you a lot of swimming force, saving you energy and keeping you from fatigue.
Practice with your Snorkel equipment:
It’s best if you can try your snorkel equipment in a pool or shallow area before you go out to open water.
Test the fitting of your mask and fins. Practice lowering your face in the water and breathing. Practice blowing water from your snorkel tube and using the purge valve. Practice kicking around with the large fins to get familier with the movement.
Make adjustments as needed to the straps on both your snorkel mask and fins to both make a good fit but not too tight as to create strain.
We recommend that you swim slowly and stay relaxed. It’s easy to get fatigued when snorkeling. If you find yourself breathing too heavy then slow down and take in the sights. Your fins make it much easier to get around but demand greater leg strength. The snorkel does limit the amount of air you have so always stay where you can catch your next breath. Keep an eye on the water. Conditions can change rapidly sometimes and waves can kick up. Try to move with the water and not fight it.
If you are near a beach we recommend starting out near the shallow areas. If you are jumping off a boat then you should stay near it until you feel absolutely comfortable with your snorkel equipment. Don’t dive too deep so that the surface air is close by if you need it.