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  • A Beginner’s Guide to Snorkeling – Tips To Get You Started

Last Updated: January 14, 2023

Thinking about Snorkeling? Let's start by taking some of the 'scary' out of it.

Have you ever gone on a tropical vacation and looked longingly at the people snorkeling in the beautiful coral reefs? Maybe you've even thought to yourself, "I'd love to try that!" 

Well, there's no need to be intimidated. With a little preparation and practice, snorkeling can be a fun and easy activity for people of all ages. In this article, we'll give you a crash course in snorkeling, including tips on equipment, personal safety, techniques, and handy tips.

Have a look at everything you need to consider before you take the plunge.

Child Snorkeling with Tube and Mask

Basic Snorkeling Equipment

When snorkeling, it's important to have the right gear. Having the right gear that fits you correctly will help you to relax and enjoy your time in the water more. We could start by calling them googles, and flippers, but snorkelers and divers call them masks and fins. 

  • For event the most basic snorkeling, you need a snorkel mask and a breathing tube.
  • To really enjoy your time, you'll want a pair of fins (flippers). These can be used with or without booties. 
  • A snorkeling vest extends your time in the water because it helps with keeping you near the surface, and don't use as much energy to stay afloat. 

How do they work? 

The snorkel mask will keep your face dry and helps you to see underwater. Once you master using the breathing tube, it means you don't have to keep coming up for air and miss the action.

The fins will help you to swim faster, and also make it easier to swim further distances without as much effort. 

A snorkel vest will help keep you afloat if you get tired or if you need to rest. There’s no need to be embarrassed either when wearing one. Even the most seasoned snorkelers wear vests as these let you enjoy you swim for longer. A snorkel vest is different from a life jacket. It can be inflated and deflated to suit you. 

how to walk in snorkel fins

How to walk in Fins

Tip: Keep your fins off and carry them until you enter the water. Then put them on. The same goes with coming out. Take them off when you get to the waters edge. 

You can have a lot of silly fun trying to walk on land with your fins on your feet, but you may also tire yourself out. The only way to walk on land in fins is to walk backwards. Even Scuba Divers walk backwards in their fins - and I must admit it does look a bit odd. 

How to stop your mask from fogging up.

How to stop your mask from fogging up 

Your mask is going to fog up and obscure your view. This can be really annoying and takes a lot of the fun out of snorkeling.

There are a number of tips on how to stop masks from fogging up. The best way believe it or not, is by using spit. You spit into your mask and swirl it around the eye pieces. Then rinse.

If you're not keen on spitting into your mask, there is a product you can buy to spray inside the mask, called... wait for it - Spit!

Safety Precautions

When venturing into the water to snorkel for the first time, it is important to take some basic safety precautions.

  • Be sure to check the weather and water conditions before heading out. If the conditions are not ideal, it is best to wait for another day.
  • Once you are in the water, be aware of your surroundings and always swim with a buddy.
  • If you are snorkeling in an area with coral, be careful not to touch it as it can be sharp, hard and serrated leading to possible cuts.
  • Be aware of any animals or coral that you may encounter while snorkeling. Never try to touch them.

It is important to choose a good spot to snorkel, as some areas may have strong currents or wave action. Once you have found a suitable spot, you simply float on your stomach and enjoy the views.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while snorkeling.

Underwater Photography

You may want to consider buying a camera that will take photos and video underwater. You will need an underwater case (called a housing) and a float. The float will stop the camera from sinking to the bottom if you drop it. The float in this image is yellow and slips comfortably over your arm. 

Underwater Photography

You may want to consider buying a camera that will take photos and video underwater. You will need an underwater case (called a housing) and a float. The float will stop the camera from sinking to the bottom if you drop it. The float in this image is yellow and slips comfortably over your arm. 

Taking photos underwater

Proper Breathing Techniques

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to proper breathing techniques while snorkeling.

1. First, it is important to take slow and steady breaths.

2. Second, try to keep your breathing as even as possible to avoid hyperventilating.

3. Lastly, if you start to feel light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately and take a break.

If you follow these tips, you will be equipped to have the most relaxing and enjoyable snorkeling adventure.

Also remember, you don't need to go deep to enjoy the underwater world. If you're still learning or aren't a strong swimmer, then stay in shallow water until you gain your confidence. 

Keep Hydrated and Be Aware of the Sun

Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the water and see the beautiful fish and coral. However, it is important to stay hydrated and cover up from the sun. I have seen many people get sunburned while snorkeling. They didn't take the time to put on sunscreen or drink enough water.

It is more important than you probably realize to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen when you are snorkeling to prevent sunburn. You don't want to ruin your holiday being sunburnt. 

The Benefits of Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a great way to get up close and personal with the underwater world without having to invest a large amount of money into gear or training. It is relatively easy and inexpensive to get started, and there are many locations around the world where snorkeling can be enjoyed. The benefits of snorkeling include getting to see amazing marine life, exercising, and spending time in nature.

It's a fun form of exercise

Snorkeling is a great workout for beginners. It is relatively easy to learn and does not require a lot of expensive equipment. It is also a great way to see the underwater world without having to scuba dive.

When snorkeling, you will use your fins to swim and your mask to breathe. It's important to practice safety while snorkeling, as you can easily become fatigued and be at risk of drowning. Always swim with someone and take note of your surroundings.

It's a great way to relax

I think sometimes it's forgotten how much snorkeling and floating in the ocean or a lake is relaxing. Snorkeling isn't about swimming, and you don't need to be super fit to do it. Its enjoying some wonderous scenic underwater views while floating. 

Snorkeling is an exciting way to see new things 

It's a great activity to do with friends or family, and to have experiences that would be otherwise impossible. It allows you to explore a new territory and find out what happens beneath the surface of the water, and to become aware of the life that exists there.

Snorkeling is a great pastime for those who like to be in the water, either in the pool or in the ocean. It allows you to see fish and other marine life up close while still floating on or near the surface.

The atmosphere at surface level can also be enjoyable for a snorkeler. Warm sunshine, bright blue skies, and cool breezes can add to the experience of floating above the ocean floor.

Conclusion

With the proper equipment and a little bit of practice, anyone can safely enjoy the exhilarating sport of snorkeling. The key is to take things slow at first and build up your confidence as you go. Soon enough, you'll be swimming among the fish like a pro!

Do you have any tips or experiences to share? Please add them in the comments below. I'd love to hear them. 

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About the Author

Sharon McKenzie

Sharon loves to be near the water and has been spending time at the beach as a child. She spends most of her spare time doing water sports, such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, and Scuba Diving. Her next goal is to travel around Australia visiting the best swimming spots.

Author Web Link

Sharon McKenzie - Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Snorkeling

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