Curiosity drives people to explore unknown fields. From Age of Discovery, people never stop their paces to conquer and discover. Snorkeling is an easier way to observe and explore the ocean. Snorkeling requires little professional techniques. Everyone is capacity of snorkeling, even you don’t know how to swim. How could you perfect your first snorkeling? What preparations should you make before you go snorkeling? Here are top 10 snorkeling tips and tricks you can’t miss.
Choose the right snorkel mask
A fit snorkel mask is the first step to go snorkeling. You may have noticed that there are two kind snorkel masks in the market: traditional snorkel mask and full face snorkel mask.
Traditional snorkel mask has two parts: snorkel tube and the mask. The mask covers the eyes and nose. The snorkel tube comes with the mouthpiece for breathing. Traditional snorkel mask allows you to snorkel surface and deeper. It’s more suitable for some experienced snorkelers.
Full face snorkel mask allows you to breathe through mouth and nose, which is quite easy for beginners and non-swimmers to master. Snorkelers have more visual enjoyment thanks to the 180-degree panoramic view design. Choose the sizes and shapes whichever fits you best.
Wear fins and vest
Do not forget to wear your fins and vest. A pair of suitable fins will offer you tons of swimming force and help you snorkel easier with less energy. Most professional snorkelers also wear fins to help them to snorkel better. The fins also have protection function. It’s better to choose slight bigger fins that are easy to wear on, and fins could shrink a little in the cold water. Besides, it’s remarkably beautiful to photo within fins.
It’s strongly suggested that beginners, non-swimmers, children and the senior wear vests, which helps float surface. The vest’s bright color helps locate you in an emergency. The bright vests help other water-crafts locate you in order to avoid some unnecessary injuries.
No matter you choose a traditional snorkel mask or a full face snorkel mask, practice first if you can. If you decide to buy your own snorkel gear, please get them ahead of your vacation. You can practice snorkeling first at swimming pool, which let you get familiar with your snorkel gear. And you have time to change if they do not fit well. If you rent a snorkel gear on local, pick a shallow beach to practice first. Make sure everything goes well, and start your snorkeling. No-swimmers might fear water in some ways, so conquer the fear of water by practicing a bit.
Be aware of your location
Beginners get excited once they know how to snorkel. Everything undersea is so charming, but danger exists at the same time. People are likely to ignore the danger. Don’t snorkel beyond the safe area, and forget where you are. Don’t get apart from your friends. Please check your location every few minutes. Stay close to the shore or the boat. Safety comes first.
Relax, enjoy, and rest
Swimming takes a lot of energy. Beginners have the problem of exhaustion for the first time. They swim too hard. No-swimmers get worse as they have no experience of swimming. You need to be careful to manage your energy. Keep relaxed and clam. Relaxing benefits your breathing smoothly and easily. Make use of your fins and vest to float and swim. When you already have some basic knowledge about snorkeling, it’s no need to worry that much. Don’t panic when some unexpected incidents happen. Keep calm, and search help from rescuers or friends. Take a rest every 30 minutes to restore your energy. Dehydration could happen and drink water during the rest.
Pick a good spot
Choose your first snorkeling location smartly otherwise, you will have a boring trip. Find a spot with lovely fishes and beautiful corals, which gives you an interesting and unforgettable experience. Choose a calm spot for your first snorkeling. It’s safer for beginners to snorkel in a calm spot. Avoid dusk and murky water that will affect personal comfort and level of enjoyment of snorkeling. It is difficult to catch sight of sea predators in dusk and murky water, which is dangerous. Take people’s advice, and search for some popular spots online. CNN lists 11 best snorkeling destinations for your consideration or you can check the over 50 World’s Best Snorkeling Destinations 2018.
Protect yourself from sunburn. A few minutes’ exposures could hurt your skin. Paint your sunscreen before you go snorkeling and repaint it in 2-3 hours. Sunscreen(SPF50) capable of biodegrading and resisting water is preference. A rash vest or a full skin suit also protect you from harmful UV rays and keep you warm in cold water.
Keep a safe distance from the marine life. Do not touch them. Some corals are toxic, and corals are sharp that can cut your skin to cause infections. Some fishes are very alert. They may attack you if they feel threatened. Do not feed fish or turtles, which messes up the natural ecosystem. Love and respect all sea life.
Keep yourself notified on the local weather forecast, including the ocean conditions. Ocean currents, waves, surge, and wind are changing all the time. Keep aware of the ocean conditions. When you have prepared, you don’t need to worry about that too much.
Never snorkel alone
Exhaustion and panic attack happens at times. Go snorkeling with your friend, and watch out for each other, especially the senior. Children under 12 are not quite suitable for snorkeling. Children over 12 should snorkel under their parents’supervision.
Complementary Tips (Updated):
- Prepare a swimmer ear to stop water from entering. Seabeast AF90 full face snorkel mask comes with a swimmer’s ear.
- Prescriptions mask is necessary if you wear glasses. Or you can wear contacts. Do not forget to clean them ASAP after snorkeling.
- If your snorkeling spot locates at a tropical area, bring a long sleeved swim suit or a rash guide. Get something to cover your head and neck in case of sunburn. Even in some warm conditions or dry conditions, you also need a wet shirt or an appropriate suit.
- A good underwater GoPro with a filter records your snorkeling adventure. Without a filter, all the footage comes out super blue.
- Collect rubbish that on the boat or beach or anything floating around at sea, which will make a difference.
Finally, although snorkeling is not a professional sport, there still exists risk. Drowning happens every year. Stay alert and have fun!
You are welcome to add more tips.
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Related reading: What to prepare for snorkeling?