To truly enjoy mascara snorkeling, you must be able to breathe underwater and not need to raise your head to get air. The snorkel is crucial. Snorkels would be unnecessary if our noses and mouths were on the backs of our heads. But, since they are not on our backs, snorkels are necessary – unless you like to swim on your back.
To get a better view of the marine life below the surface, most snorkels will be filled up with water. We need to make sure we have enough air to either blow out the water or clean the snorkel when we return to the surface to continue snorkeling.
A snorkel is essentially a plastic tube in the shape of a “J”, with preferably silicone mouthpiece, a hard barrel that is not flexible and a snorkel keeper. This is the definition for a basic snorkel. There are many variations of the basic snorkel.
A purge valve can be added to the snorkel’s mouthpiece. This will allow us to drain the water from the snorkel. Some snorkels have an additional purge valve at the top of the tube. This should make it easier to clean. Some snorkels will have a splash guard at their top to prevent the snorkel from being thrown around by a wave or splashing. These are called Semi-Dry snorkels. What if a snorkel didn’t fill with water after we submerge? There are many snorkels that can do this.
These are also known as Dry Snorkels. They have a valve at their upper tip that allows you to breathe, but when the tube is submerged the valve closes and stops the water from entering the tube. This means that you can spend a bit more time submerged with the same amount air you inhale when you submerge. You don’t have to conserve that extra air to clear your Snorkel.
The snorkel should fit comfortably in your mouth. It should allow you to quickly blow out water from the tube and mouthpiece, and enable you to swim more efficiently. The length of the snorkel’s barrel and its diameter are the most important features to consider when selecting a snorkel. They shouldn’t be too long, or too short. You should allow for airflow by allowing them to be at least three-quarters inch in diameter.
All snorkels can do the job. Your budget, your level of interest in snorkeling and how serious you are about it will influence the snorkel that you choose to add to your snorkel gear.