To ensure your first time snorkeling is a positive experience there are a few key things to consider. There are a lot of tour companies that will easily lead you to believe snorkeling is very easy. Which once you get into the swing of things it will be. There is nothing worse than a guide having you throw on your gear and send you off into the sea.
While it is a very enjoyable sport and easy to master, knowing the basic skills and having the right equipment is going to make it much more pleasant. Knowing the dangers of the ocean and any potential threats will also ease your mind and make it more enjoyable.
Like a lot of sports having the right equipment is key to being comfortable in the water and performing well. Knowing how to use your equipment and being fitted properly will make your first snorkeling experience a memorable one!
If you are interested in learning to snorkel like a pro then be sure to read up on the following tips to get the most out of your underwater adventures.
If you haven’t already be sure to read about the best snorkeling gear as well as masks and fins. It can be a bit daunting when beginning to know what equipment to buy so I hope I can take some of the hard work out of that for you. If you are unsure you will be interested in the hobby then perhaps hiring equipment will be the best move for your first time.
First Time Snorkeling Tips
- Choose your mask well. Ideally with tempered glass and a silicone skirting. Silicone being great for comfort and water tight capabilities. While these are desired features the most important thing is to have the right fit. To do so, position a mask on your face and breath through your nose. If the mask becomes tight and sticks to your face then you can assume it is sealing well. If it simply falls off then test a different mask out.
- Fins. Make sure they are the right size and are comfortable. If you have booties then any fins will be ok, if you don’t try ones that have heels. For prolonged snorkeling your feet may become blistered or raw which is not desirable. Make sure you clean the fins of any sand before taking off.
- Go under the water or wet your face and hair before you put your mask on. This not only makes it easier to slide the band over your hair but it also minimises potential fog thanks to the seawater.
- Clear the hair out of the mask where it seals. If you don’t chances are your mask is going to fill with water.
- Use a defog on your mask, I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I use a reef safe de fogger but if not toothpaste also works. Be sure to place the toothpaste in, wipe it around, let it sit for 5 minutes and then wash it off. Toothpaste in the eyes stings. If you don’t have de fogger or toothpaste then spit also works well. Rub it in and around the glass then rinse it out.
- The mask strap should be positioned just below the crown of your head. It should be a nice, comfortable fit but not too tight. If it is overly tight then your seal around the mask can stretch causing water to leak in.
- Try breathing through your snorkel before you get in the water. It can feel a bit restrictive at first but slow your breathing down and it will be ok.
- If you get water into your snorkel this can be blown out but expelling air very quickly. This blasts the water out of the top. Imagine a whale or dolphin releasing air out of their blow hole. There are also dry snorkels available that stop water from entering the snorkel.
- If you go under the water too far your snorkel will fill with water. If you are unable to blow out as in tip #8 then simply take it out and tip it upside down.
- Position your hands over your chest, this will conserve energy and keep your breathing slow as well as keep you warm.
- Be aware of your surroundings. DO NOT stand on coral or reef. This will kill it.
- Be sure to wear a rash guard and sunscreen. Nothing like sunburn to put a damper on the day.
- Relax and have fun!
Snorkeling is a great sport and very enjoyable at that. While it takes time to gain confidence having the right equipment will do wonders for your snorkeling. I hope my First Time Snorkeling Tips ensure your first time is a memorable one!