What You Should Look For in a Snorkel

Snorkeling comes with lots of great health benefits and it is among the most enjoyable aquatic activities. There are very few things that you need if you are to make the most of your snorkeling trip, the acquisition or renting of appropriate snorkeling gear being one of them. So, here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing your snorkeling tube.

If you have ever taken a look at the snorkels available in diving shops or online, you surely know that there are very many different styles and types of snorkels. You can choose classic, rigid snorkels because they are the cheapest and the top of the tube doesn’t flop around that much when you are swimming. Or you can get flexible snorkels because they are easier to properly attach to the mask, preventing the snorkel from twisting in the mouth, which can be quite uncomfortable. It’s a matter of preference here, really.
However, no matter what you choose in terms of flexibility, make sure you get dry snorkels. Dry snorkels are among the most popular styles because they are equipped with a special mechanism, a kind of float valve that prevents water from getting into the tube, even if you dive too deep and the snorkel gets completely submerged in water.

It is a good idea to choose the tube with the largest diameter you still feel comfortable with. Though large diameter snorkels are bulkier, they let in more air, allowing you to breathe more freely while underwater. Larger diameter snorkels are usually longer, too, which will allow you to dive deeper without submerging your tube. However, you must be aware that bulkier items are heavier, too. Most snorkels are made from super-lightweight materials and everything feels lighter when you are in the water, but you should still avoid buying a snorkel that feels much too heavy when you put it on.

Comfort is another important aspect when choosing your snorkeling gear. You have seen above why you should choose the largest diameter tube that you are comfortable with, but this is not all you must pay attention to, the mask and the mouthpiece of the snorkel must also be perfectly comfortable:
Mouthpieces made of silicon usually provide a better fit;
When it comes to choosing the mask, make sure the rubber or the silicon edge of the mask (the skirt) fits your face and it is as wide as possible – once you put it on, it should stick to your face, but without causing any discomfort;
You need a mask that offers as wide a field of vision as possible:
Choose a no-fog or very low-fog lens to avoid fogging while underwater;
Some manufacturers have masks that feature lens coated with vision enhancing layers. Certain tints increase image clarity, so do consider the colors and the visibility conditions provided by the waters you are planning to visit and choose your mask accordingly.

After you have chosen the separate components of your gear, it is very important to test them together. Assemble the gear and try it on – move around in it, inhale and exhale in it. The perfect equipment is almost unnoticeable – if you are too aware of your mask after wearing it for a few minutes, it means that you should keep looking for the perfect fit.

Blane Perun

Blane Perun

Diver - Photographer - Traveler

Whale in Ocean