Snorkeling is no doubt one of the most exciting and adventurous holiday activities one can engage in. An experienced snorkeler will best describe how wonderful it feels to get underwater and swim alongside the magnificent sea creatures and explore the beautiful corals.
But that’s not so true for a beginner because the adventure can be quite unpredictable. Hitting the waters for the first time can be thrilling and memorable at the same time or it may turn out to be a miserable, tedious and otherwise dangerous experience.
However, with a proper guide on the things you need to make a snorkeling adventure great, you can start out on a good note and move along with confidence even as you seek to advance your skills.
Here are some of our practical tips on how to snorkel for beginners, which we believe will go a long way:
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1. Buy or Rent High-Quality Gear
A great snorkeling experience starts with having the right set of gear, whether you choose to buy or rent one. With high-quality snorkeling equipment, you can venture into the waters feeling more comfortable, relaxed and confident.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing a set of snorkeling equipment:
When it comes to snorkel masks, there’s no one-size-fits-all thing. You have to find one that perfectly fits your face. To test, put the skirt of the mask against your face and then gently breathe in through your nose.
If the mask stick without holding it and the mask skirt seals perfectly against your skin, you are good to go. If air leaks in, be sure water will too. So make sure it’s fitting.
If you have a moustache, which can prove to cause a problem in the seal, consider shaving it or you may apply food-grade silicone to create a base for the skirt to seal.
Don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest snorkel mask neither should you consider the most expensive. All you need is a mask that fits perfectly and has a high-quality skirt, frame, lens, buckles, and straps.
When buying or renting snorkel fins, be sure to choose a pair that’s neither too tight nor too loose.
The fins should also fit in snuggly without hurting or curling your toes. Fins are not only great for swimming but also essential for safety in the water.
Even when snorkeling through cooler waters, perfectly fitting fins will give you the much-needed swimming force and energy to get your adventure going.
If you are a first-time snorkeler, then having a dry snorkel before setting out on a snorkeling adventure is a must. A dry snorkel has a special valve that seals out all water when a wave comes over or when you tilt your head to the side while underwater.
It also features a purge valve at the bottom of the snorkel that makes it easier to blow water out of the tube. Though a dry snorkel may mean parting with extra cash, the piece will really come in handy, particularly for a beginner snorkeler.
2. Practice With Your Equipment
Buying or renting snorkeling gear is one thing and getting into the real snorkeling is another thing altogether. Before venturing into the deep sea, you might need to practice finding the right tightness for the mask strap, positioning your snorkel correctly and getting the fins on and off.
Doing some underwater breathing exercises is also essential on your training. You can start practicing in a swimming pool or a beach with shallow calm waters.
The main trick here is relaxing. From there, you can go ahead and perform all that pertains snorkeling including purging the snorkel and kicking around as you swim with fins.
Training your body to get used to breathing comfortably underwater through a snorkel might take some time. But the more you practice, the more you’ll become comfortable and confident about it.
3. Get Some Essential Snorkeling Skill
The most important thing to remember as a first time snorkeler is to swim slowly. And you need to stay calm and relaxed. Starting out on high speed will only consume a great deal of your energy and make you get exhausted fast.
The snorkel can limit your breath hence you need to keep your swimming and activity level at a speed or pace that doesn’t demand heavy breathing. The snorkel fins will make swimming around the water easier, so make sure you get a comfortably fitting pair.
Learn to float with little or no effort. And only swim rapidly when it’s necessary for safety purposes. If need be, find an experienced snorkeler to take you through snorkeling lessons.
4. Check the Sea Condition
Before you get into the water, it is important to check whether there are any ocean currents, waves, surge or winds at sea that might jeopardize your otherwise great snorkeling adventure.
Getting a sense of how the ocean moves and the conditions that come with it will help you plan on when and for how long you’ll go snorkeling in the water. You wouldn’t probably want to be caught up in the ocean turbulence while snorkeling for the first time at sea.
So if you study the ocean conditions well, you can be assured of your safety at sea and will be guaranteed of a fun-filled snorkeling experience at the end of the day.
5. Choose A Calm Spot
As a beginner snorkeler, you need to exercise great care when choosing your first snorkeling spot. Most beginners are naturally afraid and nervous when launching into the water for the first time.
So it would be great to start snorkeling from a beach with shallow waters rather than jumping from a boat to snorkel in deep waters that may be unpredictable. Essentially, you need to start small and get some experience and skill as you move into deeper waters.
It will be fun that way as you will have confidence breathing through a snorkel, using the mask and making underwater maneuvers.
It’s also important to choose a spot that’s alive with lots of marine fish and corals to see. It doesn’t really have to be a popular spot, so do your research prior to setting out on your snorkeling adventure.
And always remember to go snorkeling with a partner or as a group. That is necessary for safety purposes and it is fun too.
Since it is your first-day snorkeling you need to choose a calm spot or rather go to the beach when the waters are calm. The best time to go snorkeling, especially for a beginner, is in the morning.
6. Protect Yourself
Protecting your body against the weather and other water condition is one of the things that make a snorkeling adventure fun. You wouldn’t want to deal with sunburns or hypothermia after you’re done with snorkeling.
If you are planning to snorkel in tropical waters, be sure to carry a rash guard or skin suit to protect your body including the shoulders, back, and legs from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Wearing a wetsuit when venturing into cooler waters can go a long way in keeping you warm and full of energy even as you snorkel. These protective clothing are lightweight, stretchy and quick to dry. So don’t be afraid to carry one on your adventure.
Always keep in mind that you are out to have fun. So be sure to enjoy every bit of your first time snorkeling experience.
Starting out as a beginner snorkeler can no doubt be challenging. But if you follow these tips to the latter, learning how to snorkel both in shallow and deep waters can be as exciting as it is adventurous.
Every snorkeling pro must have started somewhere. And if you can start small and be consistent with your practice coupled up with some training, exploring the underwater world might just turn out to be one your favorite hobbies.
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How was your first time snorkeling adventure? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.