How to Snorkel Safely


Snorkeling is great pastime as it allows you to see some of the hidden delights that can be found under the water. Although there is a wide range of snorkeling equipment that can be purchased, there are only three basic pieces that you will need in order to start. The three pieces of equipment that you will need in order to enjoy snorkeling are the snorkel itself, a mask and fins or flippers.

Choosing the Snorkeling Mask

When buying a snorkeling mask, it is important to get the best one that you can for your money. The best snorkeling masks have toughened glass rather than plastic which can mist up and become scratched. The eye plate not only needs to be tough and durable it also needs to be completely encased in rubber or a silicone surround that has a tight enough seal in order to prevent the intake of water. It is a good idea to steer clear of snorkeling masks that cover your mouth or have a snorkel tube built-in as these can be hazardous. Instead, you should look at purchasing a mask that simply covers your eyes and nose. In order to stop the misting up of the eye plate, it is a good idea to purchase a demisting spray or solution that will help to stop this annoying occurrence.

Purchasing a Snorkel

A lot of people that snorkel advocate the buying of a snorkel tube that has a valve or ball attachment that prevents water entering the tube, however, these have a tendency to jam, which could cause breathing difficulties. As a rule, you should steer clear of these types of snorkel and simply buy one that is at least 12 inches in length as well as having a mouthpiece that is comfortable and does not cause bruising or abrasions to your mouth and gums. I always buy equipment from a respected and specialist snorkel gear shop or online store, as they often have the best equipment around.

Purchasing Fins or Flippers

Although not as crucial as the snorkel and the mask, purchasing a set of flippers for your snorkeling adventure can have its advantages. However, buying the right fins is important as buying the wrong ones can lead to more discomfort and a less enjoyable snorkeling experience. It is best to buy rubber fins rather than plastic as they will last longer and be easier to use.

Expelling Water from a Snorkel

Now that you have an idea of what equipment is needed, here are some tips to help you when you finally get to go into the water. One of the most common problems, aside from the mask misting up, is when water enters the snorkel tube. In order to expel the water from a snorkel tube, you have two options. The first one is to raise your head out of the water and then tilt it back so that the water leaves the tube. The other option is to blow through the mouthpiece with enough force so that it clears the water from the tube.

Clearing Water from a Mask

If water enters the mask when you are not underwater, then you can simply raise the lower part of the mask and let gravity take the water away. However, if you are beneath the service then the procedure is a bit more complicated. To begin with, you need to tilt your head back, and then whilst gripping the top of the mask tightly in order to make sure that it is pressed against your forehead, you need to breathe out slowly through your nose in order to fill the gap with air. This will then have the effect of forcing the water out through the bottom of the mask.


There are a few things you can do in order to prevent mishaps whilst snorkeling, and one of those is to make sure that you never snorkel alone. Snorkeling with a partner is much safer as there is always someone on hand to help you, should either of you get into difficulties. If you are new to snorkeling, it is also a help to wear a life vest or a wet suit in order to give you more piece of mind.

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