Snorkeling is an extremely enjoyable activity that is bound to captivate you once you try it out. However, before you go snorkeling there are a few things that you need to observe so as to make your experience pleasant as well as safe. For instance, you would need to know about the snorkeling gear, techniques employed and the safety precautions that you would need to take.
The equipment you will need is a mask and snorkel, snorkel fins and preferably also a life vest or snorkeling vest. The mask covers your eyes and nose and allows you to see things underwater. It should be sealed and a tight fit so as to prevent water from getting in and it should also allow you to see clearly without obstructing your peripheral vision. It is recommended that you buy silicone masks as although they are more expensive, they are more durable and are able to accommodate more pressure.
The snorkel is a flexible tube which connects the snorkeler to the surface air and thereby allowing him or her to breathe while the head is in water. The size of the snorkel is dependent on the person using it therefore try it out and see whether it allows you to breathe comfortably which is a function of the its diameter as well as its length.
The snorkel also has a mouthpiece and this should be a comfortable fit where you do not have to bite down too hard on the bite piece. The fins provide speed underwater and help one to save on energy while snorkeling. There are two types of fins; full-foot fins cover the whole foot protecting the bottom of the feet while open-heel fins do not protect the bottom of the feet but are adjustable which means they can give a proper fit. You will also need to get flexible fins for a start because although stiffer fins propel you further per stroke they also require stronger muscles which you will develop as you frequently go snorkeling.
The snorkeling vests are ideal for beginners as they are designed to increase buoyancy and therefore making it easier for you to stay afloat which makes your experience more enjoyable.
How you go about it will determine how much you enjoy the snorkeling. It is therefore important that you do it the right way and that you are relaxed so as to allow you to enjoy the amazing underwater environment and the aquatic wildlife. For starters learn how to keep your body streamlined.
This is achieved by relaxing your knees and ankles and then placing your arms at your side which reduces the resistance. Whilst in this position use a slow flutter kick motion and you will realize that the fins will propel you in the water and you do not need to use your hands for movement.
You will need to learn how to approximate distances when you are underwater because in the water objects look closer than they really are. This can be learnt by reaching out using your arm when you are in the water at a known distance which will guide you to know your arm’s effective length in water. This is extremely crucial as it avoids you hitting objects or fellow snorkelers due to an inaccurate idea of the distance between you and them.
Before you go out snorkeling make sure that you know the snorkel equipment well and have checked to see that they are in good condition. You also need to learn how to clear the mask or the snorkel if they happen to get water inside as this may happen accidentally when you are in the water.
At the beginning it is advisable that you try it out first in a swimming pool or in shallow waters then after you have a feel of how it is then you can eventually try out deeper waters. It is also very important that you never ever go snorkeling alone and carry a life jacket with you as you might get muscle fatigue or encounter bad weather while out snorkeling.