Snorkeling is a popular water activity, especially during a vacation. In fact, over 8 million people put on a snorkel mask and jump in the ocean every year.
You don’t need a lot of equipment or experience to give snorkeling a try, but before you hit the water, you do need to know some basic information.
We’ve put together the most helpful snorkeling tips for your next underwater adventure.
So let’s dive in!
1. Get the Right Equipment (And Make Sure It’s Not Cheap!)
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have all the right equipment. You’ll need a snorkeling mask, a snorkel, and full-foot fins.
If you’re planning to snorkel during a vacation, you may be able to rent these items when you get there. If not, don’t buy the cheapest snorkeling gear you can find. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mask and snorkel that constantly fill up with water.
It’s a good idea to try on different masks before you buy one. After you put a mask on, try taking a small breath in through your nose. If you can get air, the mask isn’t the right size.
2. Learn How to Defog Your Mask
If your mask fogs up, you’ll have trouble seeing the ocean life below you, which defeats the purpose.
You can buy defogging gels designed for snorkels. If you can’t find this gel or want to save money, baby shampoo works just as well.
3. Learn How to Get Water out of Your Mask
Your mask shouldn’t fill up with water if you get the right size. However, if this does happen, lift your head out of the water and lift the bottom of your mask to drain the water.
You can also get water out of your mask while you’re still underwater. Lift the bottom of your mask away from your face and blow out there your nose. Then quickly adjust your mask so it’s back in the right place.
4. Practice Before You Go
It’s a good idea to get your snorkeling equipment in advance so you have time to practice.
Put on your snorkeling gear and get a feel for it in a swimming pool. Since pools have no currents or undertows, they’re a good place for beginners to test to feel comfortable while testing.
5. Don’t Swim Too Fast
Swimming too fast will make you tire quickly. Focus on floating and let your fins do most of the work. You shouldn’t have to use your arms at all, and your breath should stay easy and relaxed.
This will allow you to stay out in the water for a longer period of time.
6. Make Sure You’re Warm Enough
Know how cold the water will be before you get in. You may have to wear a wetsuit to stay warm.
If you do find yourself getting a little chilly underwater, pull your arms into your chest. Your body heat should keep your arms and hands warm.
7. Allow Yourself to Relax
Snorkeling should be a relaxing experience!
Breathing through a snorkel while your face is underwater might take a bit of getting used to, but allow yourself to relax.
If you find yourself starting to feel stress or anxious, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. You can also lift your head from the water and float on your back for a few minutes.
It’s not worth trying to stay in the water if you aren’t having a good time. It’s okay to swim back to the shore to take a break if you need one.
8. Choose a Good Location
Choosing a good location is especially important for first-time snorkelers.
Pick a place that doesn’t have a strong current or big waves. You’ll also want to make sure the water is clear enough to see through.
It’s better to start out snorkeling at a beach rather than out at sea on a boat. With the beach nearby, you don’t have to go out too deep right away, and you can also swim back to dry land if you need to.
9. Don’t Go out Alone
If you’re a beginner, you should never go out snorkeling alone. Even if you’ve been snorkeling for years, it’s always a good idea to let someone know you’ll be out on the water.
You should also keep track of where you are on the beach.
The ocean water can pull and push you, and if you aren’t careful, you can drift a mile down the beach in a short amount of time. Find a landmark where you start and make sure you don’t get too far away.
10. Be Respectful of the Sealife
Never touch any coral, fish, or other sea life when you’re out snorkeling. Remember, these are living creatures, and touching them could harm them.
You can’t control if a fish happens to bump against you by mistake, but do your best to keep your hands to yourself.
11. Have Fun!
While it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind, it’s also important to have fun! Once you know where your snorkeling, who you’re going with, and that your equipment works, get out there and have a good time.
Have a Better Time with These Snorkeling Tips
Whether you’re getting ready for your first snorkeling adventure or your tenth, these snorkeling tips will make your time underwater easier, safer, and more exciting.
Want to try snorkeling but not sure where to do it? We offer several snorkeling tours that’ll give you the chance to see beautiful sea life, including manatees! Click here to learn more!