Snorkeling is one of the most accessible and fun ways to enjoy the (underwater) world! hether you want to go snorkeling in a nearby lake or explore the blue depth at a destination far away, snorkeling is always possible! We always bring a snorkeling set so that we can marvel at the beautiful underwater world at the first opportunity!
Unfortunately there are also many people who have tried snorkeling but for whom it was disappointing. Diving goggles that leak and therefore have to be put on so tight that it is no longer comfortable. A bad snorkel that causes you to regularly inhale a (salty) sip of water. With the greatest difficulty, not being able to stay under water. These are all examples of reasons why some will never experience the pleasure and relaxation of snorkeling. But with the right snorkeling gear and these five tips, snorkeling will be fantastic for you!
Protect your feet
This is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when snorkeling, but many snorkelers will agree with this tip. One goes snorkling to observe the beautiful underwater life and therefore it is often done near rough seabed. Fish and other organisms usually reside among rough rocks, coral, wrecks and so on. Depending on your destination, you may also find sea urchins or other benthic animals that you would rather not come into contact with.
During snorkeling you mainly look in front of you and treadle around as needed, where a collision with your environment is sometimes inevitable. When you go snorkeling, it is advisable to wear snorkel fins for various reasons. However, if you don’t use these, put on water shoes! We use these flexible water shoes ourselves. They have a sturdy sole that protects your feet against all these inconveniences, while they are flexible enough for a nice swim.
Dress for the temperature and conditions
If, like us, you also want to explore underwater at every new destination, realize that the climate and conditions differ. Always check first if snorkeling is allowed and if it is safe. You don’t want to end up on a busy shipping route or in a (too) strong current. In addition to these things, you will notice that the water temperatures can vary widely. For example, in some beautiful snorkeling locations you can often be accompanied by many jellyfish.
A suitable wetsuit offers protection in colder waters and against jellyfish. Simultaneously, a wetsuit in combination with a swimming cap can also offer a solution in warm and sunny conditions, otherwise you will not be the first to be seriously burned after swimming with your back to the sun for an hour. Wet suits, like most travel gear, are plentiful available varying from very cheap to very professional (and expensive). Our experience is that a simple wetsuit is more than suitable for both starting and advanced snorkelers.
Choose a well-fitting snorkeling set
Snorkel masks come in all shapes and sizes. You often see separate goggles and snorkels, but also full face masks. We ourselves are a huge fan of this full-face snorkel mask from Decathlon. First, the mask has a snorkel that rises high above the head. So you can continue to breathe easier than with many comparable snorkels. Because it is a full face mask, you can just keep breathing through your nose and mouth as usual. Especially if you are actively snorkeling and you start to breathe more heavily, that is a major advantage compared to other snorkels that you have to clamp in your mouth.
Other significant benefits are that the special design prevents condensation. Nothing is more annoying than goggles that keep fogging up! We also find the closure of the mask to be better than expected, with Goort also closing the mask airtight with a small beard. If water does get into your mask, it will run out of the mask through the one-way valves, so you don’t have to take it off. In short, a fantastic mask and certainly for that price! You do have to note that you cannot dive extremely deep with the mask. This is because the pressure on the face increases due to the greater amount of air in the mask compared to simple diving goggles. However, most (recreational) snorkelers are not hindered or restricted by this.
Another big advantage is that you can take the snorkel off the lightweight mask, so that it takes up much less space in your bag or suitcase! As icing on the cake, you can attach your (action) camera to it with a simple bracket to immediately capture all the underwater beauty while you snorkel. This way you keep your hands free for swimming and your image remains stable!
We attach our Sony Action Camera to it.
Move effortlessly underwater with a weight belt
Weight belts or vests are not only useful for extra heavy training in the gym, they are also a godsend for snorkeling! As you may know, each object has a certain buoyancy, also known as upthrust, depending on its composition. Bones and muscles, for example, are heavier than water, but much other tissue, such as fat, is lighter than water. In addition, the temperature and salinity of the water, as well as the amount of air you breathe in and hold, have a significant influence on how easily you float. Therefore also how difficult it is to stay underwater. At several locations, it happened to us that it took us the greatest effort to swim underwater. Where we managed to dive one or two meters with big rough strokes after which we floated back up panting without any air left.
Dive weights are the perfect solution for this! However, if you like to fly to faraway destinations just like us, you don’t want to carry pounds of lead in your suitcase. Fortunately, there is a perfect solution for this; a flexible diving belt with compartments. We ourselves use a diving belt like this one which is equipped with bags with some gauze at the bottom. When empty, the belt weighs almost nothing, making it easy to take with you when traveling. Once on the beach at our destination, we fill the bags with some small pebbles or shells to make it heavier.
A tip is to weigh yourself down so that when you stretch vertically, the waterline is about eye level when you float. It is important to choose a belt with a safety buckle. If you unexpectedly get into trouble, you want to be able to take off the belt with one movement, such as with a seat belt on an airplane.
Use the proper snorkeling technique
Good snorkel gear does not have to be expensive at all, and ensures that you will have a great underwater experience! Although the right materials make a huge difference, it is important to pay attention to your snorkeling technique as well.
Make sure to stay calm and float around easily to conserve energy for the times when you want to dive down. For the diving itself it is important that you use the correct technique because otherwise it can be very difficult to get under water properly. When you dive, start by floating on your belly and taking a slow but deep breath in. Then, bend your upper body down to an angle of 90 degrees. Sequentially raise your feet up in the air. You are now vertical in the water and the weight of your legs will already push you down. Now that you are already moving further under water automatically, it takes a lot less energy to continue diving. Especially when you are wearing these snorkel fins.
Furthermore, it is important to keep a close eye on your surroundings so that you do not drift too far off and to make sure that you will see possible dangers in time. It is also always advisable to go snorkeling with a group with some snorkelers keeping an eye on the surroundings above water when you are underwater. Are you going alone? Then consider bringing an easy-to-carry inflatable snorkel buoy.
Don’t forget to respond to this article with any questions, comments or snorkeling experiences!