How to Snorkel: As Easy as it Looks?


Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Snorkel Ken

how-to-snorkelFrom a distance you may expect that knowing how to snorkel is a pretty basic set of skills to learn.  You grab a mask, a snorkel, and some fins then you just bury your face in the ocean and kick around.  Right?  Not so fast. While snorkeling isn’t an overly complex activity or difficult to learn to do, some people still have issues with the basics.  In many cases, the common problems that people have while learning how to snorkel are the ones that are the easiest to fix with just a little practice and know how.

Let’s get going-

The Basics of How to Snorkel

Safety and Awareness

Above all else, always keep snorkeling safety (our article linked!) first and foremost in your mind.  There are some basic snorkeling safety and etiquette rules (our article linked!) that you need follow to make sure no harm comes to you and those around you.  As far as etiquette goes, there is a snorkel culture that demands respect and rules be followed.

Quality Snorkel Gear that Fits Correctly

You don’t have to spend a whole bunch of money on snorkel gear to get quality stuff but you should consider that you get what you pay for.  There are basic snorkeling sets that work just fine and manufactured by industry leaders that you can get for around $40.  Other than that, there are other items that you can get to make snorkeling easier and more enjoyable.  Read this article for every piece of snorkel gear that you’ll ever need.


While floating in sea water is much easier than that of a pool or lake because of the buoyancy that salt in the ocean provides, it can still be uncomfortable for some.  It can be downright terrifying for those that are not strong swimmers.  It is okay to use a snorkeling vest to aid in the floating process and many vests are designed specifically for snorkeling.  NOTE:  Snorkeling vests should never be used as a rescue device or life preserver unless specifically stated by the manufacturer and meeting all requirements.

Clearing Your Snorkel

Getting a mouth and lung full of water when you expect to pulling air through your snorkel tube can make for a lousy experience.  It can also cause panic.  Knowing how to clear a snorkel is an important of knowing how to snorkel.  You can learn how to do it by reading our article here.

Clearing Your Snorkel Mask

In line with our “quality snorkel gear” portion of this article, we’ll go and say that most quality snorkel sets will have a purge valve below the nose that you’re able to blow out any water that may leak into the mask.  NOTE:  A snorkel mask that is fitted correctly will leak minimally.

Defogging Your Snorkel Mask

There are so many methods to keeping fog from gathering in your snorkel mask that this is usually reserved for its own article.  Actually, I wrote two articles for Hubpages about the subject.  This one describes how to defog a snorkel mask and this one explains why spit works.

Breathing through the Snorkel

It’s not as easy to breathe through a snorkel as it is to breathe regularly on dry land.  It’s easier to get winded and while you’re doing all that snorkeling it can compound.  Actually, this difficulty helps to  condition your breathing and cardiovascular endurance, so you’re actually getting in shape even more so while snorkeling.  Even more than all that exercise that is involved with swimming.

Practice (This is the Best Part of Learning How to Snorkel!!)

The more you snorkel, the better you’ll get at snorkeling.  You do it and you master it.  I have seen people go on their first snorkeling trip acting awkward and uncomfortable while at the end of the day or trip entering, swimming, and having a great time and acting as if they’ve been snorkeling their whole life.

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