The world is a wondrous place that has barely been explored. The Earth is 70 percent ocean, and much of it has yet to be explored! We can barely imagine what sort of creatures live in the depths of the oceans!
While we may not be able to explore the ocean in submarines or scuba gear without being certified, we can use a snorkel mask and go snorkeling off the coast to see a few feet into the water.
Snorkeling is an incredible way to experience what it would be like to be born with fins. With snorkeling, you don’t have to go through extensive training and become certified. All you need to snorkel is a snorkel mask, fins, and a snorkel. That’s pretty much it.
Now, a lot of people confuse snorkeling with other aquatic activities. Here’s a breakdown of the most common aquatic activities and the differences between each:
Snorkeling isn’t the only activity where you’ll use a snorkel mask, there are other fun activities where you can use them too! These activities include:
As you can see, there are many activities where snorkeling gear will come in handy! It’s not just for playing around in the pool or watching fish at the beach.
But… One might ask what is snorkeling gear exactly? Is it just a snorkel mask? In this section, we’re going to shed some light on all the components that can be found in the typical snorkeling gear pack.
First, we will start off with one of the most important components—the Snorkel Mask.
To the random person, a snorkeling mask is going to look like what scuba divers use when they are going underwater. However, that isn’t the case at all.
While they look very similar to one another, there are subtle differences that makes one perform best in deep water (the scuba mask), and the other will perform best in shallower water (the snorkel mask).
The snorkel mask is going to be made from much lighter materials than the scuba mask because you don’t have to worry about pressure from when you go deeper into the water. If you do encounter a problem, you can quickly resurface, remove the mask, and breathe easily.
In a high quality snorkeling mask, you’ll find that the lens is made from tempered glass instead of plastic or a regular glass. The tempered glass is the best option because it greatly reduces the chance of the lens fogging up while you’re submerged under water.
Also, the tempered glass is less likely to shatter. Of course, the tempered glass masks will be a little pricier, but if you intend on getting a lot of use out of your mask, then the tempered glass is the way to go.
Before you run out to purchase the best snorkel mask any old mask, there are some things you’ll want to consider first. There are two types of snorkeling masks:
Also known as a diving mask – These masks are the most common type of mask you’ll see people using.
They come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and are made from a variety of materials.
These masks cover just your eyes and nose and you’ll need to use a snorkel with it to breathe.
The key components of these masks include:
A full face snorkel mask is a device that looks something straight from a Halloween store.
These innovative masks combine the snorkel mask and the breathing tube into one cohesive mask.
These masks allows the snorkeler to breathe like they normally would while they are in dry land.
These masks will have a dual airflow system integrated into the unit so that when you exhale, the moisture is removed, which helps to keep the mask fog-free.
Should you get any water in the mask, there is a purge valve located not under the nose pocket like with the other mask, but near the bottom of your chin. With this purge valve, all you have to do is lift your head out of the water and it will remove the water from the mask.
The tube of the mask is usually a bright color, so the snorkeler can be seen when the water is on the rough side. The tube also features a mechanism that prevents water from coming into the mask should a wave crash over you, or if you want to dip a little deeper into the water. When you resurface, you can continue breathing like normal.
The mask usese a single lense, which gives you a 180 degree field of vision, and the lense is often are made from tempered glass. If you wear glasses, you can have prescription lenses installed with these masks as well!
The snorkel is also another important, must have piece of snorkel gear. If you are going with a full face snorkeling mask, you don’t have to worry about this. However, if you are opting for the traditional mask, you will want to choose a snorkel that is going to:
Snorkeling without fins is possible, but it is going to change your experience. Fins can be found in a variety of styles and are designed for different skill levels. Some fins are solid while others have a split in them. Some fins have an open foot while others do not.
The snorkel mask, snorkel, and fins are the three main things you’ll want to have when you go snorkeling, but there are also other items that you may want to bring with you.
A wetsuit isn’t necessary for snorkeling, but if you’re going to be snorkeling in cold water, that suit will help keep you warm while you’re exploring the water. A vest is a usually a good idea because you never can be too safe—even if you’re a strong swimmer.
Whether you choose to go with a plastic bag, a backpack, or a special snorkeling bag, you’ll find that storing and transporting all of your gear is going to be so much easier. A good bag will give you enough storage space for your snorkeling gear while keeping it organized and dry.
A waterproof container is a must have! These containers will keep your things safe and dry while you’re out exploring what lies beneath the surface of the water.
If you were wondering how you were going to carry your waterproof container, you can wonder no more! A snorkeling belt will let you hook your valuables (in the waterproof container!) to your waist. Some belts you find are weighted, which will make freediving easier.
Now that you know what you need to enjoy an exciting day snorkeling, you might not know how to snorkel! Most places that offer snorkeling as an activity will have instructors that will help you, but if you want to get ahead of the game, we have a quick guide that will help you learn: (8)
You can snorkel anywhere there is water, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Who really wants to spend a decent amount of money and go snorkeling in a dirty pond?
The best places to go snorkeling where you can truly be in awe of the experience is somewhere there is clear water and vibrant aquatic life. Shoot for locations that have a shallow reef system, are easily accessible, and a great beach to hang out on.
Make sure that before you begin your snorkeling adventure, you inspect your mask and snorkel. Look for any signs of damage like cracks, breaks, and the like.
Place the snorkel to your face and adjust the straps so that the mask fits snugly against your face. You don’t want it too tight because it will be uncomfortable and if it is too loose, well, obviously it isn’t going to create that good seal.
When you snorkel, you’re going to be breathing through your mouth through the tube. Just remember to breathe normally. It may take some getting used to, but with a little bit of practice, you’ll feel like a pro.
If you’re snorkeling for the first time, or teaching someone how to snorkel, it’s quite possible that a wave of panic may rush over. It’s a completely new experience, after all. Just relax! Take a deep breath and remember that snorkeling is supposed to be fun!
You’d be surprised by how many people think that when you’re snorkeling, you’re supposed to keep looking down. That would be wrong because you’ve got to watch where you’re going! Instead, look ahead of you and down at a slight angle.
When you’re like this, you can see the ocean floor, but you can also see if there are any obstructions in your path like people, reefs, boats, and so forth.
Like everything else that you spend money on, you’re going to want to take care of it so it lasts a long time.
Here are some simple steps on how to properly care for your snorkeling gear:
Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy your time with your friends or family, but it can also open your eyes up to a world that many people don’t get to see.
When you want to get out there and take part of this fun past time, you’re going to want the best snorkel mask that you ca get your hands on. But what one do you choose? We have created a buying guide to help you find that perfect mask for yourself or your loved ones.
Leave us a comment below and tell us your list of top places to go snorkeling at!