Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

Imagine yourself floating in the ocean. Led by the current, totally relaxed, discovering some of the most beautiful sights nature can offer you. This is what makes snorkeling one of the most popular outdoor activities. With the right equipment and skill, you’ll get a feeling that you’re the king of waters. This beginner’s guide will help you experience this activity in the right way. Through snorkeling, you will get a chance to explore many destinations in a unique way. Some of the most popular snorkeling destinations include Hawaii, Maldives, and the Bahamas.

Equipment

One of the things that can make snorkeling a bad experience for you is not wearing the proper gear. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have good snorkel gear. Not having the proper equipment will only cause distractions and will ultimately lead to you not having such a good time. Wearing a mask that fits perfectly is the most important thing when it comes to snorkeling. It’s not hard to make sure that you have the right mask on. Just try to take a breath through your nose and if any air manages to flow through, then you’ll need to adjust your it. On the other hand, if there’s no airflow you are a step closer to your joyful swim. Masks come in various sizes, so don’t hesitate to ask for a new one if yours doesn’t fit.

Apart from a mask, you will also need to find a snorkel that’s perfect for you. Beginners should go for medium-sized snorkels, as larger ones will require more effort from you to breathe properly.

Next up, you need to choose the right fins. With this piece of equipment, you’ll navigate through the waters easily. There are two types of snorkel fins – with open and closed foot options. Depending on your preference you can also opt for solid or split fit. Before you go on your adventure, make sure to double check that you have the right size of fins on. Smaller fins will make you experience severe discomfort and result in a foot cramp, while bigger sizes may slip off.

Protect Yourself

If you are attempting to take a longer swim, you need to protect yourself from the sun. Don’t forget to wear a rash guard or a T-shirt, because the enjoyable experience can make you lose track of time completely, and before you know it you’ll spend a lot of time exposed to the sun. Also, it’s imperative that you put on sun cream because water reflects rays and you can end with sunburns everywhere. Just make sure it is biodegradable, so it doesn’t do any damage to the nature.

Get used to your equipment before you enter the water. This is very important, since you want to make yourself as comfortable as you can. Put your gear on the test right before you start off with your adventure, and check if everything fits properly. If you don’t have your own, you can always rent the necessary equipment on a local beach.

Getting Started

While entering the water you should lay flat on your stomach. Slightly bite the mouthpiece of the snorkel mask and breathe slowly and deeply. You want to place your head so your tube is positioned above the surface, since you don’t want any water to get into the tube. Keep in mind that this happens a lot, so don’t hesitate to ask a local worker how to optimize (clean) your equipment while in action. If you go into for a dive, you should be aware of your ability to hold breaths. Breathing exercises will help a lot, and if you come prepared, you will make your experience much more enjoyable.

In order to help you fully prepare yourself for your first snorkeling adventure, we have prepared some tips for you to read:

Masks can easily fog up, so don’t panic when this happens. You have several ways of avoiding this. One of them is the spit and rub technique, while you can also put some gel products on your lenses. You can easily find out what will do the trick from a local worker.

Relax and enjoy yourself. Yes, this can be a life changing experience, but don’t expect to get an adrenaline rush from it. You snorkel because you want to explore the nature peacefully.

Get informed of your location. When you decide to take a trip to a certain destination, make sure to inform yourself about the current. If you are new to snorkeling, then you shouldn’t attempt to go to a place with strong current. Instead, you should visit a destination with calm waters.

Know your limits. Always know when to take a break and relax. Don’t dive too deep if you’re a beginner. You’ll have to work on your breathing if you want to go deeper. With bad breathing techniques, you will easily get exhausted.

Although snorkeling is fairly easy to learn, there are still some rules that you need to follow. Here are some of the things you should avoid while snorkeling:

Going alone for the first time. Do yourself a favor and take someone with you. Sometimes people get bored because they don’t have anyone to share this experience with.

Avoid panic. Although it happens often, there is absolutely no reason for you to panic. First timers should take someone with them for this reason as well. If you catch yourself in this situation don’t grab the first person beside you, rather turn on your back, call for help and wait.

Look, but don’t touch. While relaxed in the water you will be drawn by the beautiful underwater life. However, don’t attempt to touch it, because either you will harm the nature or yourself, and you don’t want that to happen. This also refers to not touching other people, since you can cause a panic situation if someone didn’t expect to be grabbed. Just float, and be one with the ocean.

Don’t run through the path, but rather take a good look of your surroundings since that’s why you’re there. This is an activity that is supposed to be relaxing, so don’t use your fins more than to navigate through the waters.

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