Snorkeling is a fun activity and one of the easiest ways to peek into the underwater world. Unlike scuba diving, it requires no formal training, minimum equipment and is something almost anyone can try.
Snorkeling is often promoted as the simpler of the two, and for that reason, it is the go-to activity for most beach vacationers.
Here’s a list of the equipment and terminologies you’ll need to get familiar with before setting out:
Dos ✔ and Don’ts ✖ for first time snorkelers
Safety Precautions for Snorkeling
Tips to Stay Relaxed and Reduce Effort
The key to a successful snorkeling trip is to stay calm and relaxed. Swim slowly, take deep steady breaths, try not to overanalyze, and simply enjoy the experience.
Swimming may take a good bit of energy, especially if you move too rapidly or are not used to wearing fins. Many new snorkelers have a tendency to swim along using their arms as they’d do in a pool.
Our legs, in particular with fins on, outperform our arms many times over. So, a good way to conserve energy and avoid exhaustion is to keep your arms relaxed at your sides and focus on slowly kicking with your fins instead.
Kicking too hard and flailing with your arms creates a lot of splashing that will scare away the marine wildlife. Only swim rapidly if necessary for safety.
Breathe slowly and easily through your snorkel. Firstly, taking steady relaxed breaths will ensure you do not accidentally take in water that might have splashed into the tube, as you will notice it coming in and have a chance to clear your snorkel before inhaling the water.
By being completely relaxed you will also learn how your breathing affects your buoyancy. With deep, even breathing, you’re almost certain to just float in the water with very little effort.
If you are not a strong swimmer, and that makes you anxious, use a flotation device such as a snorkeling vest or a water noodle.
Don’t worry about what you look like. Being comfortable and safe is most important.
Know your limits
Once you get out into the ocean, remember; it’s important not to overextend yourself. It’s a new experience; take it one step at a time. Some first-timers have reported not finishing the snorkeling course as a result of being too overwhelmed. If you are too tired to finish, or just don’t feel comfortable, indicate that to your tour guide. If you’re on a private trip with a snorkeling buddy and feel tired, let them know and make your way back to the boat together.
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