How To Use a Snorkel

Snorkeling is one of the most relaxing and popular vacation activities.  Snorkeling gives you the ability to enjoy underwater attractions like coral reefs, schooling fish, and underwater caves without having to undergo extensive scuba training.  The equipment is inexpensive and easy to acquire and to learn to use.  By keeping the following tips in mind, you can learn how to be an expert snorkeler, too.

  • Purchase a swim mask, snorkel and fins:  You should purchase a well-made set from a specialty boutique that can help you ensure that the equipment fits well and that you are comfortable.  You will have a miserable experience if you attempt to snorkel with ill-fitting equipment.  You also run some safety risks with a mask and snorkel that do not fit properly, as the risk of inhaling water increases.
  • Take a deep breath before you submerge:  This sounds kind of silly, but snorkeling works much the same way as swimming unaided underwater, with the exception of clearer vision and more efficient kicking.  You should fully expand your lungs before you submerge by panting for a moment or two and then taking a deep breath.  The panting actually over oxygenates your blood and will afford you longer stays underwater before needing to surface.
  • Bite down on the mouthpiece:  When snorkeling, it is important to create a strong seal between your mouth and the snorkel.  The best way to accomplish this is to bite down on the rubber, not uncomfortably tight, but snugly.
  • When surfacing, blast:  When coming to the surface, breathe out forcefully.  This expels the water from the snorkel so that you can begin breathing normally through your mouth and not inhale air.  This technique is especially important if you don't plan to surface completely, but to use the snorkel to breathe while partially submerged.
  • Inhale cautiously:  This is so you don't end up with a lungful of water.  If there is any residual water left in the snorkel, blast again and repeat.
  • Swim gracefully:  This step is easier said than done, but an important skill to acquire none the less.  The more gracefully you skim along under the water, the less likely you are to get water into the snorkel.

The key to perfecting snorkeling is practice.  You can practice in a pool, in the lake, or anywhere else you enjoy swimming.  When you are ready, head for the ocean.  You will be amazed at the wonders that await you under the surface!


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