LEARN TO SNORKEL - SNORKELING FOR BEGINNERS
Whether you’re an ocean lover or not, you’re about to become one!
Welcome to our new tutorial series MASTER THE HUNT – we’re starting basic today, but by the end of this blog series you’re not only going to be able to snorkel, but you’ll have virtual training in how to freedive, tips tricks and safety relating to breathhold training and maximising bottom time, spearfishing, and even living off the land and cooking your catch with celebrity chefs.
Getting started, snorkeling requires a few bits of gear. You’re going to need a mask and a snorkel, and a pair of fins. If you’re snorkeling outside the tropics you’re also probably going to want a wetsuit for warmth.
Looking at the mask, you really want a mask that fits comfortably on your face. Ideally you want the mask to be able to stay firmly on your face without tightening the strap by breathing in with your nose, like this. Once you’ve got a good fitting mask the next bit of gear is your snorkel. Now there are two different types of snorkels, there are scuba diving snorkels like this one here that have purge valves near the mouth piece which are designed to keep water out of the mouth when snorkeling or scuba diving. And there are freediving snorkels like this one here, that are designed to increase airflow and while they don’t have purge valves they are recommended for freediving as they are less restrictive than the scuba snorkels.
Finally we need a pair of fins. If you’re interested in taking your training further into freediving and duckdiving, it may be worth getting a pair of freediving fins like these and getting used to them, but if you’re happy just snorkeling, a simple pair of fins will work fine. It’s worth noting that some fins are designed to slot right onto your feet, whereas others are meant to be worn with wetsuit socks or boots for added warmth and comfort in the water.
Now we’ve got all our gear, it’s time to get ready to get in the water.
To stop your mask from fogging you’re going to have to do one of two things. The first is to spray the inside of your mask with an anti-fog spray so that it doesn’t fog up in the water. Once you’ve given it a good spray, give it a quick rinse in the water, and be careful not to overwash your mask otherwise you’ll wash away your anti fog coating. Alternatively, if you don’t have an anti fog spray, you can do what the pro’s do and use your saliva. It’s gross to start, but it’s very normal for snorkellers and divers. Give each lens a good spit and rinse just like before.
When putting the mask on, a common mistake is to overtighten it, and this will actually cause it to leak. You want it to be firmly on your face just enough that it doesn’t fall off, but not tight. Don’t worry, the water pressure will do a lot of the working securing your mask comfortably on your face.
With our mask on, now we’re now going to wade out into the water about waist deep, and put our fins on. The key to kicking with fins is to keep your body as straight as possible, including your knees. You don’t want to be bending your knees when kicking, as this will make things very difficult for you in the water. Be sure to keep your legs and knees straight, and try kicking from your thighs instead of your knees.
Now we’re actually ready to go snorkelling! When snorkelling, it’s likely that you will get some water in your snorkel especially if you duck under the water, and you will have to clear this. Clearing your snorkel can be done without interrupting your snorkelling experience and you don’t even have to take your head out of the water. To do this you need to sharply exhale, saying the word “Two”.
When done correctly the water will be expelled from the snorkel without you ever taking your head out of the water
Fish and wildlife usually live around rocks, structures and seaweed, which means that headlands and calm rocky areas are usually the best places to snorkel. Finally this is a new experience, and a whole new world, so it’s important to keep calm and relaxed.