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Top Tips For First Time Snorkelers

The ocean is a great place to explore, but before you jump in and paddle around like a dolphin, there are some things you need to know. If you’ve never been snorkeling before, don’t worry — first timers are more common than you think!

Whether it’s because of a lack of confidence or not knowing the complications that can arise if the correct precautions aren’t taken, don’t give up too early before trying this popular water activity. We want to introduce a handy guide on how to prepare and enjoy your first time as a snorkeler. Here are some helpful tips that can make your first time an unforgettable experience.

Do Your Research

If you’re still new to the sport, consider getting a general guideline on what gear to bring and what equipment to wear before heading out on your first trip. Be sure to read up on safety regulations and standard snorkeling etiquette, where applicable. Look up the local regulations too.

Choose the Best Quality Equipment

Quality gear means higher durability and better performance in terms of durability and comfort for you and the manufacturers. Opt for plastic housings with soft silicone gaskets (also used on many of today’s high-tech dive watches) rather than metal housings with hard plastic seals (typical for cheaper brands).

You can read about our top picks for snorkeling masks here.

Start by Practicing in the Shallow Waters

To build confidence and to avoid the dangers of unfamiliarity with equipment and the environment, it’s best to start by practicing in the shallow waters before going deeper. It’s also a good idea to have a brief snorkeling tutorial with an experienced person or instructor before taking the plunge.

You can see many things on the shallow shore, like seahorses, starfish, and more. The shallow waters are also where most sea life is found. You will see giant moray eels, turtles, tropical fish, and even sharks. You’ll be able to enjoy your snorkeling adventure better and will be more confident, especially when going deeper into the ocean.

Master The Basic Snorkeling Skills

One of the best things about snorkeling is that anyone can do it, even if you don’t have experience in swimming. However, there are some things that you need to learn first that will make your experience a much better one and safer measures as follows:

  • Pay attention to the surrounding water. What do you see? Where is it going? Are there current or other obstacles that can affect your safety?
  • Look at your surroundings. Always look around for sharks, sea snakes, and other potentially dangerous water-related animals when in a water environment. You must frequently check for these creatures, even in a group of snorkelers.
  • Be alert and aware at all times. You should always remain alert and aware of your surroundings, even when taking photos and videos. You must take appropriate action if a shark or other creature comes near.

Don’t Touch What You See Around You

Most tourist attractions have clear markers to say: “Don’t Touch” or “Do Not Feed.” This is to protect the environment and the wildlife that you are in. So, follow these rules when snorkeling; this way, you will be able to enjoy your experience more and protect the underwater world at the same time.

Know Your Breathing Rhythms

If snorkeling for the first time, you don’t need to know how to swim or dive. All you need to know is a good breathing technique. This is particularly useful if it’s rough weather, as you can stay within easy reach of your snorkel.

The most common mistake that first time snorkelers make is to hold their breath. This could cause panic and even injury, especially if you have a weak respiratory system. Instead, always inhale and exhale naturally while looking at the clear waters and beautiful sea creatures around you.

Always Avoid the Current

Underwater currents can cause problems and injuries or even drown you. You need to know the current direction before you go out and take the right action during your snorkeling adventure. They could push you away if you’re swimming at the wrong spot, and even if you’re only snorkeling, it might be hard to return to your side. Most beginner snorkelers have been pushed to their death by the strong currents.

Beginner’s Guide to the Right Snorkeling Gear

One of the items you need to get as a first time snorkeler is a good mask. Since you’ll need to see underwater, a clear mask will be perfect. Mask lenses are made from either tempered glass or polycarbonate plastic, and the lens’s quality impacts visibility.

You’ll also need snorkels; the rubber ones are the cheapest and most common. The ones made of high-quality silicone or rubber are the best. Usually, these snorkels have a non-slip surface and have a drain valve at their bottom end. If you need to buy one, read the reviews first to pick the one that will serve your needs.

Next on the list is the fins. You need to use fins so your body will blend with the water while you’re swimming around. Look for fins with a high degree of flexibility and a comfortable foot pocket so you can feel the water and move like a fish.

Finally, use snorkeling vests to hold your mask and snorkel. You can easily find this item but make sure that you get one with a mesh pocket, which will allow your hands to stay freely at your side while holding the mask and snorkel.

The most important thing you must remember when buying these items is that they must fit you properly; size matters whether you are a woman or a man. You will want to ensure that the equipment you choose fits your height and weight right so that it won’t be too small or too big.

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