You’ve probably seen these pictures on Instagram or in the glossy pages of a travel magazine. Someone floating in crystal clear water observing colorful fish and coral reefs below them.
Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?
That’s the beauty of snorkeling. You get a first-hand view of everything that’s going on right below the water’s surface without needing tons of equipment or experience.
If you haven’t snorkeled before, but would love to give it a shot, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to give you a beginner’s guide to snorkeling that will highlight the main things you need to know before you get started!
What You Need to Start Snorkeling
For any beginner, there are really only a few things you need to start.
A snorkel mask; this will have goggles with a snorkel (what you breathe through) attached.
A life vest. If you’re just starting out, it never hurts to have a little bit of extra safety in mind. Besides, snorkeling just about is floating on the surface of the water, so the vest can also help you stay buoyant too.
Some people also snorkel with fins on their feet, but these can be a little cumbersome to new snorkelers so if you don’t feel comfortable with them, it’s fine to snorkel without them.
Finally, before you head out on your snorkel adventure, make sure you apply sunblock. Cover your back, arms, and legs. Or, you can wear clothing that will offer sun protection over your swimsuit.
Before You Get in the Water
The first thing you want to do before you start is to give all your gear a once over.
You want to make sure your goggles are fit to your face without any gaps that could cause water to leak in. It’s also important to have the googles fit snugly but not too tight, you don’t want to get a headache.
Also, test out your snorkel. Wrap your mouth around the mouthpiece and bite down gently. Now, just breath as you usually do. It might feel a bit strange, but it only takes a minute to get used to it.
You can also adjust your snorkel to make sure it fits comfortably in your mouth and sticks up at the proper angle. You want to make sure when your head is facing down (as it would in the water) the tube of the snorkel is going up towards your ear and not back by your shoulders.
The last thing is you need to learn how to defog your mask. If you’re on tour, many companies will have a defogging spray. Otherwise, another trusted method is to spit (it works!) on the inside of the mask lens and rub it in with a bit of seawater.
It’s Time to Snorkle
Once your mask is on, make your way into the water.
You don’t need to use your snorkel just yet. As soon as you get to a comfortable depth, slip the snorkel into your mouth, and put your mask into the water. Do this while you’re still standing so you can practice breathing in and out for a minute.
Once you’re ready, start floating and enjoy the view!