How to Clear Your Snorkel of Water – 4 Easy Tips and Methods!

Inevitably, when snorkeling, the water gets into the tube. And, of course, it is essential to know how to clear the snorkel of water if you want to enjoy your underwater excursion. It is quite simple to do, but it requires a bit of practice like anything else.

The more you’ll work on it, the quicker you will learn! There are several types of snorkels on the market. And many of them are equipped with a small valve to prevent water from entering the tube.

OH…Yes. It surely helps, but water will still get inside, though. So, no matter what snorkel you’ll be using. At the end of the day, you’ll need to clear it of water!

Type of Snorkels

It is always good to know about the type of snorkels so that you can familiarize yourself with them. This way, it will give you a better understanding of how each type of snorkel works and how to clear them of water.


The J-Tubes are lighter than snorkels with tops. These are simple designs and are quite easy to manipulate. The downside of these snorkels is that when water gets into the tube, it will flow down into the snorkel mouthpiece. These are low-volume snorkels and are incredibly loved by spearfishers and freedivers as it allows them to dive in maximum depths to explore the underwater world. So if you consider using these kinds of snorkels, you should get comfortable with them before you go snorkeling! Otherwise, you may swallow a lot of salt water, which may lead to an unpleasant snorkeling experience!

Semi-Dry Snorkels

The semi-dry snorkels feature a splash guard on the top of the tube to prevent splashed water from entering the snorkel. These kinds of snorkels are a bit heavier than the J-Tubes. The only inconvenience with the semi-dry snorkel is that if it gets submerged completely, water will enter the tube. These work great in calm or slightly agitated water and are pretty comfortable to use while snorkeling on the surface. These are greatly appreciated by snorkelers that don’t want to feel the weight of a dry snorkel!

Dry Snorkels

Dry snorkels have a small valve on top of the tube that stops water from entering the snorkel when it is submerged. This great feature saves you time and effort since it doesn’t require purging water from the snorkel when getting back to the surface. However, it can happen with a dry snorkel that water penetrates into the tube if, for example, it isn’t kept in a vertical position.

So you need to know how to purge the tube in case it happens. The downside of the dry snorkels is that the small valve collects air inside the tube each time the purge closes, which makes it float back toward the surface. This is the reason why spearfishers and freedivers will prefer J-Tube over a dry snorkel, as it allows them to dive down deeper than with a dry snorkel. However, Some snorkelers will fall in love with them, while others will just don’t like them!

Type of Methods to Clear the Snorkel

There are two methods to clear the tube of water. Let’s see below.


1. Blast Clear Method

The Blast Clear method is used by many divers and is the most popular. It’s very simple. The only thing you have to do is to exhale sharply through the mouthpiece to blow the water out of the tube once you get to the surface. Whether it is a dry or semi or traditional snorkel, this technique will work with all types.

2. The Displacement Method

Another great technique is called displacement. This method can only be used with snorkels that don’t have any purge valve. While you are heading to the surface, you need to look straight up and breathe out of your mouth a bit of air into the tube. As you go up, the air will push water out of the tube, and once you get to the surface, the snorkel will be cleared of water.

4 Tips

  1. It doesn’t matter the type of snorkel. If you want to keep water out of the tube, you will need to hold it in a vertical position.
  2. Smiling is wonderful, but if you do so while you bite down the mouthpiece, you may break the seal, and quickly, water will get inside. So be serious in the water and smile when you get to the surface.
  3. A good old trick to clear your snorkel. Just pronounce the word “Two” while exhaling strongly, and the water will get out.
  4. Be relaxed! It is imperative when snorkeling. So if you feel excited, just stop and breathe a few times. It will calm you down.

In Conclusion

This article should give you a clear idea of how to purge your snorkel. Of course, practicing is by far the best way to learn. So get yourself a good snorkel and enjoy your snorkeling exercises in the water. One more thing I want to mention. I personally think that any snorkeler beginner should take their first steps on a traditional snorkel. Why is that? Because once you know how to use a regular snorkel, then you’ll be able to handle any other type of snorkel with ease!

Want More Snorkeling Tips?

Sign up to Cruising Sea newsletter to receive every two weeks the latest post straight to your inbox!

What about you? Do you know some other tips to clear the mask of water? If so, feel free to share them in the comment below.

6 thoughts on “How to Clear Your Snorkel of Water – 4 Easy Tips and Methods!”

  1. I’ve never gone snorkeling but this is something I’ve always wondered about! Now I know several types of snorkels and that no matter what the manufacturers claim, water will sometimes get inside and it is the wearer’s responsibility to clear it! I am a bit nervous about snorkeling as I’m a bit nervous about being in the ocean, but I am seriously considering trying it next time I get the chance. At least I know a little more now, which helps to take the mystery and fear out of it.

    • Hi Wendi,

      Indeed, it is inevitable that water will get inside the tube, but with a dry snorkel, less quantity of water will get into it.

      Many people fears of snorkeling in the beginning and it’s normal especially if they have never used snorkel gear before. But once you get to use it, you will enjoy every moment! To eliminate your fears, try to snorkel in a pool first and when you get confident, then try in the sea in the shallow water. 

      Thank you for the comment and have a great day!

  2. Hi there, I really found your video very helpful. By demonstrating it, it made a whole lot more sense. Thanks for that! I hadn’t realised there were 3 kinds of snorkels. I’ve only used a semi-dry snorkel. Being my first time – it was a great experience. A thorough review here! Nice website.

    • Hi There,

      I am glad you’ve found the video useful. It can really help if you have a beard:) The essential is to be comfortable with what you use. If you had a great experience with the semi dry snorkel for the first time, then great!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a nice day!

  3. Whao, lovely and detailed article for a first timer like me.

    I must confess that am basically new to this. But I enjoyed the way you simply described it. Am a mariner by profession but not into yachting or pleasure sailing per say. I just do it because that’s where I earn my living.

    But you talking about clearing your snorkel, I feel its what I’d love to experience. And as you mentioned I will try the traditional snorkel.

    Thanks for this article. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for passing by and for the compliment, it’s always good to read positive comment:)

      That’s OK, this article is manly for beginner. Experienced snorkelers already know how to purge their snorkel:)

      However, yes it would be better to start with a traditional so that you can feel the differences between them and get more comfortable with all of them. But that’s my point of view:)

      Thank you for the kind comment and wish you a wonderful day!


Leave a Comment