With so many advertisements claiming their product is “the most advanced technology” and claiming to be the best on the market, it can be overwhelming to find a snorkel that is just right for you. It’s so important to know how to choose, for once you’re in the water it’s possible all of those fancy bells and whistles will just get in your way from having the best possible experience. Your time in the water should be about you and the ocean, not your snorkel. So how to choose? I’ve put together a little guide for your reference while shopping for the perfect fit:
For the beginners out there, the mask is the part of the snorkel that fits right over your face. It is crucial that the mask fits perfectly. If it’s too big, it can leak water in and you’ll have to constantly surface to pour it out. If it’s too small, it will just be super uncomfortable and no one wants that.
The rubber portion of the mask that touches your face directly is called the skirt. A well fitting skirt will not allow water to slowly seep in, but will also not squeeze your face so hard it’s uncomfortable. When choosing a mask, hold your breath, then press the mask to your face. A good fit will stay on your face even when you let go with your hands. This little trick will initially help you narrow down your options, and you’ll be surprised to see that some of the masks that claim to be the hottest in tech right now simply aren’t the right fit for you.
Let’s move on to the actual snorkel itself. This is the piece that sticks out above the surface of water that brings air to your mouth while you swim. There are many different types of snorkels, and depending on your specific sport and experience level there are a lot of different options to choose from.
Unless you’re spearfishing or freediving, you’re going to want a snorkel with bright colors. This is for safety reasons, as it’s easier for boats to spot you. If you are spearfishing or freediving, you’ll want darker colors so as not to scare fish away as you come near.
Here are a few different types of snorkel:
- Classic Snorkel: For those beginners out there, this is what I recommend initially using. It does not have a deflector or valve, but it’s going to be on the less expensive side and is a great way to see if you want to invest a little more!
- Deflector: This device will be located at the top of your snorkel tube. It’s simply there to deflect water from getting into your tube.
- Valve: This is a snorkel that has a valve at the bottom to easily drain any water that may have found its way in.
Just like the mask, make sure your snorkel mouthpiece fits comfortably in your mouth. It should stay in place even when your jaw is relaxed. You don’t want to have to constantly bite down in an effort to keep it there.
Another spec to consider is the tube’s diameter, and make sure it’s wide enough so that it gathers enough oxygen so you can breathe comfortably.
Lastly, check out the piece that is right next to the mouthpiece. Is it flexible or rigid? A flexible bend allows some, well, flexibility. A rigid bend will stay in place. Whichever of these you choose is personal preference.
Try It Out!
The very last thing I’d advise you to do before making your final decision is trying on your chosen snorkel and mask together. You’d be surprised to see that oftentimes they aren’t right for each other, and this can put a damper on your snorkeling experience. Make sure they fit each other so they can work together to be the perfect fit for you!
I hope this guide helps in choosing your perfect snorkel. Please reach out to me for any further questions. I’m happy to help!