A snorkel might not be the most fashionable water accessory, but it's your best friend if you're hoping to see the diverse array of aquatic life the ocean has to offer. Your snorkel should fit smoothly and tightly against your mask, but should not be so tight that it irritates your skin or causes a headache. The snorkel mouthpiece should go all the way into your mouth with your lips wrapped around it. Wearing a snorkel isn't challenging, but learning to breathe through the pipe can take some practice if you're new to snorkeling.
Practice breathing with the snorkel before you go into the water. For most beginning snorkelers, coordinating their breathing is the most challenging part of snorkeling. Put the mouthpiece of the snorkel all the way into your mouth, and then close your lips around it. Hold your nose with your hand and breathe in and out through your mouth. Avoid hyperventilating or holding your breath for long periods of time. Don't begin snorkeling until you feel comfortable breathing through your mouth.
Attach your snorkel to your snorkeling mask. Snorkels have small clips used to attach the snorkel to the left side of your mask's strap, close to where the strap attaches to the mask. Adjust the snorkel clip so the snorkel mouthpiece faces toward your face and is level with your mouth. Hold the mask in front of your face while attaching the snorkel to make sure it's adjusted correctly.
Put the snorkeling mask on. Slick back your hair before applying the mask to ensure no hair is trapped in it. The band of the mask should be elevated slightly across the back of your head. Push the mask against your face while breathing in to ensure a snug fit. If water gets into your mask while you are snorkeling, your mask might become clouded, and you could get water up your nose.
Put the snorkel into your mouth. Adjust the snorkel clip again if necessary, and then begin your snorkeling adventure.
- Using flippers will make snorkeling much easier, particularly if you're not used to swimming in the ocean.
- Avoid biting the snorkel's mouthpiece. Many beginning snorkelers do this out of fear that the snorkel will fall out, but biting can give you jaw pain and make breathing more difficult.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.