A snorkel is a very personal piece of equipment. It lives with your mask, spends time in your mouth, and lets you breathe while you look below, until you’re ready to submerge on scuba. Whether you use your snorkel a lot while exploring the local dive site between scuba dives, or just occasionally to swim back to the boat after surfacing, you’ll appreciate that it makes your surface time easier. Support your local dive store and check out different snorkels.
- Comfortable mouthpiece, that fits you – not too small or big.
- Plastic tube with the proper diameter, length and shape to extend above your head and with smooth, rounded bends to avoid breathing resistance.
- Attachment system to your mask strap that’s adjustable for comfort.
- Self-draining (purge) valve below the mouthpiece that assists in clearing water from the snorkel.
- Flexible corrugated bottom portion or a swivel that allows the snorkel mouthpiece to swing out of your way when using a scuba regulator.
- Water-exclusion devices – slits, vents, covers and angles – that reduce the amount of water entering the snorkel from the top in choppy surface conditions.
- Water-blocking devices that close off the snorkel when you dive down
- Folding or collapsing snorkels become compact enough to fit in your BCD or wetsuit pocket. Technical divers often carry these snorkels for emergency use.
- A quick-connect attachment allows you to easily attach and detach your snorkel from your mask strap.
How to Choose
- Start by placing the snorkel in your mouth with the snorkel barrel against your left ear.
- Evaluate how the mouthpiece feels – comfortable bite with relaxed jaw, lips seal against it without effort, no sharp edges against your gums, sits straight in your mouth.
- Attach the snorkel to your mask. Put the mask on and then try the snorkel in your mouth. Adjust the snorkel angle and attachment as necessary for a comfortable fit.
- Try several snorkels and make the final decision based on color, optional features and personal preference. Remember that fit and comfort are most important.
You should know how to attach your snorkel to your mask – how the clip, slot or snorkel keeper works so you can put it together at the dive site, if necessary.
Along with your mask, rinse your snorkel in fresh water after each use and store it in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. Store it away from neoprene rubber to prevent staining of the silicone parts.