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How Does Snorkeling Work?

   October 14th, 2022   Posted In: How-To  

How Does Snorkeling Work?

Many people would want to go snorkeling, but they aren’t sure if it’s worth their time. For many people, it’s portrayed as an exciting experience that’s within reach of anybody. But this outdoor activity involves so much more. So, how does snorkeling work? You might be surprised to learn that SCUBA diving originated from simpler techniques like skin diving and snorkeling. 

Snorkeling is a fantastic way to enjoy the water. It can be made even more exciting and comfortable with a few simple tips. So, to assist you have a more enjoyable snorkeling experience on your next vacation, we’ve created this guide. Grab your gear and get ready to learn some new snorkeling techniques!

What is Snorkeling?

Snorkeling is the activity of swimming on or through a body of water while wearing a diving mask, a specially designed breathing tube known as a snorkel, and typically swim fins. Using the snorkeling gear, you can breathe underwater while swimming with your face and torso submerged. On the other hand, unlike SCUBA diving, you can’t go too deep since you can’t afford to have your snorkel (breathing tube) filled with water.

How Does Snorkeling Work?

A lot of people ask the question ‘How snorkeling works?’. The snorkel is used in the same way as a tube, with one end sticking out of the water and the other being submerged and sucked into the mouth. It enables you to keep your face underwater and continue breathing normally as you see the ocean floor. 

Even though snorkeling is based on a relatively basic concept, the evolution of snorkel designs over time has made the activity more pleasant for participants. To what extent have these innovations been implemented, and how many different snorkel designs are there? Snorkels can be roughly broken down into three categories.

Types of Snorkels

Wet Snorkels

Wet snorkels are the “original” type of snorkel, consisting of a simple J-shaped tube with a mouthpiece. These are now the least popular snorkels. Yet many seasoned snorkelers still choose them due to their simple designs and lack of buoyancy when diving beneath the surface. The wet snorkel, in contrast to its dry and semi-dry siblings, lacks a splash guard. Thus it may readily let water in during rough waters. When this happens, a skilled snorkeler just exhales forcefully through the mouthpiece to eject any water that has accidentally gotten into the snorkel.

Dry Snorkels

Dry snorkels are great for first-timers since they prevent water from entering the tube at the top. Which is where a valve is located. They all share a bottom purge valve, and the majority also include a flexible corrugated portion. The fact that these snorkels can still close when submerged means that they maintain some buoyancy when underwater. Because of this, they are less appealing to people who regularly engage in activities like SCUBA diving, freediving, or advanced snorkeling.

Semi-Dry Snorkels

When compared to traditional wet snorkels, semi-dry models have many advantages. The snorkel has a splash guard at the top that keeps some water from entering the tube, but not all. You can expel any water that finds its way into the snorkel using a purge valve located at its base. This is found just below the mouthpiece. Corrugations in the tube between the mouthpiece and the center of the snorkel are another common feature of semi-dry snorkels. This allows for customization and a more personalized experience for each user.

How to Snorkel Like a Pro

Get Prepared

You need to prepare if you want to make the most of your next snorkeling adventure and want to showcase your newly gained snorkeling abilities.

Continue working on your swimming technique.

Consider enrolling in swimming classes at a local pool if you feel you may benefit from improving your swimming abilities. You should work on your freestyle swimming abilities since the kicking technique you learn could be useful for snorkeling.

Maximize your snorkeling efficiency by increasing your stamina and strength in the muscles used for the kicks. If you put in the effort to improve your swimming skills, you might be able to skip the snorkeling vest altogether. The vest helps with floating, but it limits your range of motion, making it more challenging to dive deep and see the lovely reefs and species. To avoid any unwanted incidents when swimming, you should have excellent swimming skills.

Keep Practicing

Swimming is one thing but swimming while wearing fins is a whole new ballgame. You may experience some soreness in the thighs and calves because of the extra weight and drag of the fins. Thus, if you aren’t used to swimming with diving fins, you may have painful cramping. So, get comfortable with wearing fins by taking them to your neighborhood pool and swimming a few laps. In addition, switch it up by alternating between longer, moderately-paced segments and shorter, faster segments.

Increase the Length of Your Breath Hold

Many snorkelers only lie on the water’s surface, gazing down into the water below them as they breathe through their snorkels. But most advanced snorkelers go into skin diving by going under while holding their breath. By doing so, they may get a close look at the ocean life below. To get the most out of your dive, practice holding your breath for longer and swimming more efficiently. Engage with local free-diving or breath-holding club for some hands-on instruction and experience.

Explore Methods for Conserving Energy While Snorkeling

Moving ahead by flapping a pair of fins requires a lot of effort. It’s not hard to see why conserving energy is so important when snorkeling, considering that it can be an all-day activity including long periods spent underwater. Relax your arms at your sides and direct your attention on your fins to save energy. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t kick too forcefully when doing this. Moving forward at a brisk speed will cause you to miss fascinating views, while a kicking pace will move you along at a leisurely pace. Further, if you fail to use your arms effectively when kicking, you will create too much splashing, which will frighten away the very marine species you’re trying to see.

How to Dive Down When Snorkeling

  • When you’re ready to take your snorkeling skills to the next level and explore the ocean’s depths, you’ll need to learn how to dive down with a snorkel safely and effectively.
  • First, establish horizontal forward motion by lying on your back at a 90-degree angle on the surface of the water and kicking.
  • Second, bend your arms so that they form a 90-degree angle with your body.
  • Third, after you’re ready, lean forward into the water until your arms, body, and head are all submerged and pointed down.
  • Now aim straight down while extending your legs as high as you can (like a handstand). Your entire body will sink into the water as the force of your legs sinks you.

Returning to the Surface after a Snorkel Dive

When you’re finally done exploring the depths, be sure to gently come to the surface and turn around to get a view of your surroundings. If you want to guide your ascent and keep your head safe, raise one arm right in front of you. An additional tip is to clean your snorkel by tilting your head down just before you reach the surface and then exhaling heavily.

Safe Snorkeling Practices

  • Always snorkel in pairs and stay close to one another.
  • Use a surface marker for navigating bigger, deeper regions.
  • Never lose track of your location in the water and maintain constant vigilance.
  • Before and after your entry into the water, pay attention to the wind and weather.
  • Put on a life vest if you’re a newbie (better safe than sorry).
  • If you’re going somewhere really hot, make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen or with a rashguard.

How Does Snorkeling Work Conclusion

Snorkeling is one of the thrilling outdoor sports perfect for pretty much everyone once you get the hang of it. Now that you know the answer to how does snorkeling work, what to expect and how to make the most of your time there, you can focus on enjoying the sights and sounds of the native reef fish, sea turtles, and other attractions. Plan a trip to see the undersea world for yourself and uncover its mysteries and wonders.

Quadri Abdur is an enthusiastic writer who creates well-researched, SEO articles and website content for websites, blogs, and social media. His other interests include watching football, rom-com & high school drama TV shows, playing games, and researching new technologies.

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