How to Snorkel


Learn to Snorkel Like a Pro in a Few Minutes

Easy instructions that adults and kids can use to learn snorkeling techniques. Once you learn you'll never forget.

Snorkeling is probably the easiest water-sport to learn and requires little in the way of gear.

It provides a low to moderate level of activity that works for every age group. It's fun, educational and enlightening and if that's not enough, it's FREE.

Follow these easy steps and amaze yourself by learning to snorkel and see what the buzz is all about.



Gear Up

Check the right hand column for some snorkeling gear suggestions and great books for identifying fishes and sea life.

  • Mask - The mask should fit snugly around your face creating a watertight seal. Snorkeling masks always cover your nostrils so that you only breathe through your mouth.
  • Snorkel - The snorkel attaches to the mask at the band that goes around your head.
    Make sure that it is situated so that the mouthpiece fits into your mouth and the top of the snorkel points straight up in the air when your face is in the water.
  • Fins - Adjustable fins work best to start with. They fit a wide range of foot sizes and give you an idea of how you want them to fit.



In The Water

    Foggy Mask?

    Spit on the inside of the glass and smear it around with your fingers. Give it a quick rinse and that should fix any fog issues.

    You can buy JAWS Quick Spit Anti-fog Spray if you'd rather not use spit.

    • Get Garbed Up - Put on the fins and mask with the snorkel in your mouth.
    • Face In The Water - Lower your face into the water and practice breathing through the snorkel. Open your eyes, relax and breathe.
    • You're Snorkeling - Float, face down, keeping your eyes open and check out the underwater scenery. Reefs and coral beds are teeming with colorful fishes and corals and the occasional turtle, ray or dolphin.
    • Remember the Snorkel - Sometimes, when you get really interested in something down there, you start moving your head deeper into the water, looking intently, just a little bit closer, until...cough, gag, sputter - water fills the tube because the top of the snorkel was submerged. Remember the tube allows limited motion of your head.
    • Snorkel in The Sun - The brilliance of the fishes colors will show best in the sun.
    • Clearing the Snorkel - If you hear a gurgling from the snorkel after a while, take a deep breath and exhale explosively through the tube - that should clear any water out.



    Diving Under

    • Take a deep breath and hold it.
    • Bend at the Waist - Arms over your head in a diving position except the palms of your hands face out. Your hands and the tips of your fins point downward - butt in the air.
    • Push Downward - Simultaneously bring your legs up out of the water 'til your toes are pointed in the air and bring your hands down to your sides scooping the water and pulling yourself deeper. Kick your feet and use your arms to keep pulling you down to whatever you want to look at more closely.
    • Expel - When you need air simply swim to the top and exhale forcefully through the snorkel to expel the water from it. You can then resume surface snorkeling or take another deep breath and dive again.
    • Sometimes it's Noisy - Often you'll hear a crackling noise when your head is submerged - It's shrimp and other tiny critters going about their business. We've even heard whale song while snorkeling.



    Tips For Teaching Kids


    • Start Shallow - A bathtub or kiddie pool is a perfect place for the kids to practice breathing through the tube.
    • Practice Floating - Graduate to deeper water where they can practice floating while using the mask and snorkel.
    • Diving Under - Place Dive sticks or rings on the bottom of a swimming pool for the kids to pick up. It's a great way to perfect the dive technique.



    Safety


    • Never Snorkel Alone! - The same rules apply as for swimming - always snorkel with a buddy.
    • Wear a Life Preserver - If you're not a confident swimmer or you tire easily, use a flotation device.
    • Slather Sunscreen on Your Back - Your back and the backs of your legs and ears will be exposed to the sun and the reflection from the water magnifies it's effect.



    More Fabulous Vacation Pages




    Home > Beach trip checklist > How to snorkel